Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez lived up to his star billing in the first El Trafico of the 2021 MLS season, providing one goal and one assist in the LA Galaxy’s 2-1 win over rivals LAFC on Saturday night at Dignity Health Sports Park.

LA stormed out to a 1-0 lead in the 11th minute through Chicharito, who tucked home a right-footed curler past Pablo Sisniega to continue his red-hot start to 2021. Mexico's all-time leading scorer latched onto a wayward ball after Derrick Williams landed a stiff challenge on Jose Cifuentes, creating a counter-attack when LAFC thought they were breaking forward.

Then in the 79th minute, Chicharito set up the eventual game-winner from midfielder Jonathan dos Santos. Chicharito collected a low cross from second-half substitute Cameron Dunbar and sent a blind pass across goal that dos Santos punched home after a late-arriving run.

In between, LAFC’s persistent pressure paid off in the 62nd minute. Diego Rossi dispatched some tic-tac-toe combination play past goalkeeper Jonathan Bond, with Latif Blessing and Corey Baird combining atop the 18-yard box before Rossi’s slashing run produced an equalizer at 1-1.

LAFC also had a great look in the 32nd minute, though Galaxy goalkeeper Jonathan Bond answered the call to deny back-to-back attempts from Rossi and Blessing after a turnover on the right flank.

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Goals

  • 11' – LA – Chicharito | WATCH
  • 62' – LAFC – Diego Rossi | WATCH
  • 79' – LA – Jonathan dos Santos | WATCH

Three Things

  • BIG PICTURE: In his El Trafico debut, Chicharito matched the moment and then some. He’s carried the Galaxy to three wins through their first four games of 2021, taking important strides forward under head coach Greg Vanney. As for LAFC, they enjoyed large portions of possession and generated quality goalscoring opportunities. But the final product was in short supply, leaving them winless through three games. They're also still without star forward Carlos Vela, who hasn't featured since a Week 1 win over Austin FC.
  • MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Jonathan dos Santos’ goal was immense for LA, giving them an all-important rivalry victory. It was the Mexican international’s first tally since an October 2019 playoff match against Minnesota United FC.
  • MAN OF THE MATCH: Who else? Chicharito now has six goals and one assist through LA’s first four games, with his resurgence putting a rough 2020 further in the rearview mirror.

Next Up

  • LA: Saturday, May 15 vs. Austin FC | 3:30 pm ET (Univision, TUDN, Twitter)
  • LAFC: Sunday, May 16 at Seattle Sounders | 9:30 pm ET (FOX Deportes)

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