CARSON, Calif. – Robbie Keane and Juninho broke Chivas USA’s backs and dealt a blow to their playoff chances while helping the LA Galaxy to a 4-0 rout on Sunday night at The Home Depot Center.
The Galaxy claimed the SuperClasico series victory over the Rojiblancos for the seventh time in eight seasons, winning two of this year’s three matchups and outscoring Chivas 7-2 in the process.
Juninho’s pair and one each from Keane and Omar Gonzalez, plus a career-high four assists from Landon Donovan pushed the Galaxy 10 points ahead of Chivas. The Goats do have four games in hand, but on the night LA left no doubt over who the better team were.
The Galaxy broke through in the 27th minute with the help of a poor giveaway from Ben Zemanski. Keane wound up with it, slipping a pass to Donovan on the right side of the penalty area then diving to the near post for the return ball and a 1-0 lead.
HIGHLIGHTS: CHV vs LA
It was a lead a long time coming as Chivas goalkeeper Dan Kennedy made a string of fantastic early saves to keep the visitors off the board. But the floodgates eventually opened despite Kennedy’s heroics.
Chivas came out gunning for an early goal in the second half – nearly getting it when Nick LaBrocca had his shot cleared off the line by Todd Dunivant. Juan Agudelo got to the rebound and fired another rocket but A.J. DeLaGarza stepped in front and turned him away.
That seemed to spur the Galaxy on, and they stretched the lead to 2-0 in the 64th through Juninho. Donovan raced down the field on a quick counterattack and fed the Brazilian, who calmly curled a shot over Kennedy’s head and into the upper 90 to give LA an insurmountable 2-0 edge.
Just to be sure Chivas would have no comeback, Juninho scored his second goal of the match minutes later. After a quick build-up he snuck back post to one-time Donovan’s cross past Kennedy.
Gonzalez finished off the night’s fireworks by heading home a Donovan corner kick with seven minutes left. It was the 2011 Defender of the Year’s first goal since his return from a winter ACL tear.
The Galaxy (11-11-3, 36 points) face a short turnaround with a trip to Columbus on Wednesday. Chivas USA (7-9-5, 26 points) travel to Colorado to face the Rapids on Saturday.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Landon Donovan||Finishing touch deserted him, so he just went out and set a career-high for assists. Now leads the league in 2012, and is 4th all-time. Ho-hum.|
|2||Juninho||Donovan put both goals on a tee, but both required timing, technique and confidence (especially the first one). Great defensive work, too.|
|3||Dan Kennedy||Has a 'keeper ever played better in a 4-0 drubbing? Could have been 10-0.|