Bruce Arena did not want to be a distraction for his New England Revolution side when they visited the LA Galaxy on Sunday evening. He wasn't, as the Revs claimed a win in Arena's first match on the sidelines with his new team, defeating his former club 2-1 at Dignity Health Sports Complex.
Cristian Penilla and Teal Bunbury notched goals on either side of the break before Zlatan Ibrahimovic cut the lead in half late in the match on a fantastic bicycle kick, but the Revs would hold on for the full three points.
An even first half appeared headed to the break scoreless, until Penilla made a run at goal from the left side and hit a hard shot that Galaxy goalkeeper David Bingham couldn't handle to open the scoring.
Zlatan got the Galaxy back into it with an acrobatic overhead shot for a goal, and Diego Polenta nearly tied it in the dying seconds of stoppage time but his shot clanked off the crossbar.
- 45’ — NE — Cristian Penilla | WATCH
- 60’ — NE — Teal Bunbury | WATCH
- 84’ — LA — Zlatan Ibrahimovic | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: The Galaxy were forced to replace Sebastian Lleget early on after the winger suffered a hamstring injury in the opening minutes. They remain second in the West, though they've now lost three consecutive home matches. The Revs have quietly put together a four-game unbeaten run since the coaching change, and have only conceded three goals during the span — a massive improvement from the 18 allowed in the previous four games.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Carles Gil had two nice passes to set up the Revs goals, but ... just look at this again from the 37-year-old Zlatan:
🚨🚲 ZLATAN BICYCLE KICK 🚲🚨 pic.twitter.com/F8OUYtYWwK— Major League Soccer (@MLS) June 3, 2019
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Gil's vision and creativity set up both goals, as he sprung Penilla and Bunbury for solo runs at the 'keeper.
- LA: Wednesday, June 12 vs. Orange County FC, U.S. Open Cup 4th Round (10:30 pm ET | ESPN+ in US)
- NE: Tuesday, June 11 at New York Red Bulls, U.S. Open Cup 4th Round (7:30 pm ET | ESPN+ in US)