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soccer

Panenka Zlatan

The LA Galaxy had their DP duo of Roman Alessandrini and Zlatan Ibrahimovic back Sunday night against the Portland Timbers at Dignity Health Sports Park. It was a feisty clash between the two western conference clubs that would see the galaxy win 2-1. Ibrahimovic slotted home 2 penalties, one in the 33rd minute and the game winner in the 65th. The galaxy’s midfield trio has proven a lot to handle for multiple opponents this season and the trend continued Sunday.

The Galaxy’s roster was nearly back to full strength against the Timbers. They’re only missing midfielder Juninho who is still dealing with a leg injury, but the big name DPs Allesandrini and Ibra were back and boy did they shine. Alessandrini had a good game on his return from injury, making dangerous runs up the wing and looking to drive into the box to feed a ball across the goal. He was substituted in the 74th minute for Chris Pontius, a more defensive minded midfielder.

Zlatan, Oh Zlatan. A year to the day from his unforgettable MLS debut against cross town team LAFC, Ibra would once again notch a brace. Although not as dramatic as his first MLS brace, there was still some flare to the game, and Ibra capped it off by slotting home a panenka penalty, in my opinion the ultimate sign of disrespect towards a team. Ibra had missed the last 2 Galaxy games from a sore Achilles but went the full 90’ on Sunday and ultimately was the difference maker for the Angelinos.

The Galaxy midfield trio of Lleget, JDS, and Corona has proved much to handle for their opponents this season. The trio has absolutely dominated the midfield and possession for LA. They were constantly looking for runs off the wing or feeding the ball into the 18 yard box themselves. Communication and chemistry will only get better as they continue to play together and they could end up being the league’s best midfield trio.

It’s a quick turnaround for LA as they head to Vancouver to face the Whitecaps tomorrow night. Can they continue to piece together good attacking play? The big question is how will Zlatan play on artificial turf, and will his leg hold up? It’ll be a fun clash no doubt, as these teams have had some wild games in the past.

Photo by Raul Romero Jr

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