LA Galaxy 5, Chivas USA 0 | MLS Match Recap
CARSON, Calif. – Landon Donovan had leapfrogged Jaime Moreno and caught up to Jeff Cunningham by halftime Sunday, leaving his ascent to sole possession of the No. 1 spot on MLS's all-time goals list the only drama in the season's finally SuperClasico.
Donovan scored goals No. 133 and 134 as the LA Galaxy swarmed Chivas USA early, scoring three times in first 26 minutes and four before halftime en route to a 5-0 rout on a searing afternoon at the StubHub Center.
Robbie Keane also scored two goals, his 14th and 15th of the year, and Gyasi Zardes engineered the first three strikes as LA (14-11-6) vaulted past Colorado and back into fourth place in the Western Conference, just four points off Real Salt Lake's lead and four points clear in the battle for playoff berths.
Chivas USA (6-18-8), which has won just four times in 31 competitive meetings with their cross-stadium rival, watched their winless streak hit four games with their fourth back-to-back shutout loss and 13th goalless game of the season.
Keane tallied in the sixth and 90th minutes, Donovan in the 23rd and 41st – his ninth and 10th of the year – and Zardes in the 26th as the Galaxy ended things before the game slowed to a glacial pace on a blazing afternoon thanks to dry Santa Ana winds.
The Galaxy exploited mismatches on the left, sending the speedy Zardes darting up the wing past helpless Guadalajara loanee Mario de Luna to send balls behind the Chivas defense for Donovan. That's how they netted the first two goals, and the third came in similar circumstances.
Keane gave LA a sixth-minute lead after Zardes threaded a ball behind four defenders to Donovan at the far post. Donovan, hemmed in by Jaime Frias and goalkeeper Dan Kennedy, cut it back to the Irishman for an easy finish. It was makeup for Keane's first-minute miss, when he inexplicably shot wide from a Zardes feed into the goalmouth.
Donovan was by himself near the far post to finish the Zardes pass, behind three defenders, in the 23rd – pulling even with Moreno on the all-time list – and the game was, for all intents, over three minutes later after Zardes rifled home Keane’s deflected shot.
Donovan netted the fourth to climb level with Cunningham on a breakaway, chipping Kennedy from outside the box. Keane added another in the final minute, firing inside the far post from Laurent Courtois' pass.
The Galaxy are home Oct. 16 against Montreal and Oct. 20 against San Jose, then wrap up the regular season Oct. 27 at Seattle. Chivas are off until visiting Real Salt Lake on Oct. 23, then finish Oct. 26 at StubHub against Portland.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Gyasi Zardes||Was this the breakout performance everyone's been waiting for? Zardes absolutely owned his flank with athleticism, smarts and pure quality.|
|2||Landon Donovan||A picturebook goal, an even better assist, and near perfection in possession. Best player in MLS history at the top of his game.|
|3||Marcelo Sarvas||Unheralded, underrated, but never unnoticed. He manages to be everywhere on the pitch, always available to combine in attack and help in defense.|