Friday night’s LA Galaxy LAFC matchup had all of the usual fireworks and then some, but the story followed a familiar script: An early back-breaker of a Carlos Vela goal followed by a furious comeback.
Led by a Zlatan Ibrahimovic hat trick and capped off with a brilliant team performance, Guillermo Barros Schelotto’s group masterfully halted the LAFC machine as the LA Galaxy bested their cross-town rivals 3-2 to stay undefeated in four El Traficos.
HAT TRICK ZLATAN.— LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) July 20, 2019
BOW DOWN. #LAvLAFC pic.twitter.com/uCJe4pAwT5
It was early heartbreak for the Galaxy as a lazy turnover from Favio Alvarez resulted in David Bingham needlessly tackling Carlos Vela to the turf, and the El Tri international easily put Bingham the wrong way to gift LA an early lead.
The comeback didn’t take long. Five minutes later Zlatan Ibrahimovic defied time and space to lift a ball over Eduard Atuesta and fire a rocket of a half-volley to draw the match.
Usually LA struggle in the second half of matches, but tonight was a different story. In the 56th minute Zlatan was first to a floated cross and beat a slightly hesitant Tyler Miller to nod an easy header into a gaping net.
Inconceivably, the Galaxy doubled their advantage when Ibra was left open outside the box and used his left foot to smash a low finish into the bottom right corner. Diego Rossi would hit the post late and Vela secured his brace with moments remaining in the match, but LA would take home all three points.