Atlanta United’s red-hot goal-scoring form seared through another opponent Wednesday with the Five Stripes’ blowing past the L.A. Galaxy at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
With Leandro González Pirez returning from suspension, his addition was the only change from the lineup that drew against Orlando over the weekend, coming in for Julian Gressel. Tata Martino’s full: Brad Guzan (GK), Chris McCann (LB), Leandro González Pirez (CB), Michael Parkhurst (CB), Anton Walkes (RB), Jeff Larentowicz (CM), Carlos Carmona (CM), Yamil Asad (LW), Miguel Almirón (CAM), Tito Villalba (RW), Josef Martinez (ST).
Atlanta United started cautiously, reading the opposing attack as they faced the Galaxy for the first time ever. But after a period of pressure from the visitors, Atlanta United went on an unstoppable scoring blitz. First, in the 13th minute, Yamil Asad beat his defender with a nifty dribble on the wing, squaring it for Josef Martinez who slammed home the opener. It was his eighth goal in four games and his 17th of the season, just two behind David Villa for the league lead.
It took just seven more minutes for Atlanta to put the game completely out of reach, with Yamil Asad turning from goal-provider to goal-scorer. In the 17th minute, Tito Villalba’s shot on goal was parried away by the Galaxy goalkeeper, but only as far as Miguel Almirón. The Paraguayan’s shot was blocked, but it fell right to the feet of Yamil Asad – with the suffocating Atlanta press – and Asad slammed it home.
Then came the most beautiful goal of the night. Miguel Almirón’s incisive pass from the top of the box cut right through the Galaxy defense, and Tito Villalba’s run was perfect. The Argentine’s cross found a wide-open Asad for a simple finish to make it 3-0 in the 20th minute.
After a red card from the Galaxy’s Jermaine Jones, Atlanta iced the win before halftime. Yamil Asad chipped in with his second assist of the night, playing Almirón into acres of space behind the L.A. defense. The magic #10 was lethal from there, with a chipped finish leaving the Galaxy goalkeeper no chance to grow the lead to four.
The second half was comfortable, with Atlanta using the man advantage to slow the game down and save their legs with a heavy fixture schedule continuing into the month. The only blemish came late, with Brandon Vazquez with a straight red card sent off for a late foul in the 82nd minute. But the game was already out of sight for the Galaxy to make it any sort of contest.
The 4-0 win in front of yet another full house of 42,723 Atlanta faithful lifted Atlanta into fourth place in the Eastern Conference, with games in hand on their opposition. That also extends their home unbeaten streak to ten, with 17 goals in just four matches so far at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The red, black and gold will try to keep their scorching home form alive on Sunday, with the Montreal Impact visiting Atlanta for a match with huge playoff implications. Tickets for that are still available – make sure to reserve your tickets here.