Once again, El Trafico had it all. Except this time it was in the playoffs, and everything was turned up to 11.
It was one of the most anticipated playoff games in league history and LAFC beat their in-city rivals LA Galaxy 5-3 to advance in the Audi 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs. Here are a few reasons that made it so great.
Right into the record books
The eight total goals tied a league record for most goals in a playoff match, level with the Columbus Crew's 5-3 win over the (then) MetroStars in 1998.
Again: EIGHT GOALS! We kind of take it for granted given there have been 32 goals in six total games in this rivalry. THIRTY-TWO GOALS IN SIX GAMES. Continue to remind yourself this is not normal.
SeatGeek has great deals for future MLS matchesGET TICKETS Official Ticketing Partner of Major League Soccer
Stars delivered (again)
In the regular season, the pair had 64 goals, 22 assists and innumerable "WHAT JUST HAPPENED!" moments between them. Again: 64 goals and 22 assists! The pair far and away are atop the series lead for goals, too, and they showed up again.
Vela had two goals and an assist while Zlatan had a goal and an assist. Behind those two galacticos? Cristian Pavon scored. Diego Rossi scored. Adama Diomande marked his return with two goals in 31 minutes.
All the stars off the field, too
What a great win!! @cjbycookie and I had so much fun watching @lafc advance in the playoffs with a victory against our crosstown rival 5-3! I was so nervous when I was holding the falcon I started sweating 😂but it was so much fun! pic.twitter.com/GKYHPfJwr8— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) October 25, 2019
It is Hollywood after all, folks.
Magic Johnson kicked the game off with a falcon. Will Ferrell was wearing an LAFC captain's armband in his owner's suite and reportedly paused filming a movie so he could be in attendance. Then he got in on the action in front of the 3252 after the win.
LAFC's second goal set Twitter ablaze. Above is the best look we've got at the initial pass through to Brian Rodriguez, who squared to Vela for a tap-in.
Is that clear and obvious? Is that a direct angle? Video review decided it wasn't and the goal stood. It sure sparked some controversy, though. I look forward to Andrew Wiebe and Bobby Warshaw breaking it down on Instant Replay.
With emotions running high, the action didn't end with the referee's final whistle.
Long-time Mexico national team teammates Vela and Jonathan dos Santos shared a nice moment together, while Ibrahimovic made a questionable gesture toward fans as he headed for the tunnel while Bob Bradley had a contentious exchange with ESPN's Sebastian Salazar in his postgame interview, scoffing at the idea that Vela doesn't show up in big games.
"Get lost," said Bradley to end the abruptly end the exchange.
One again: It is Hollywood after all, folks.