In the aftermath of El Trafico IV, Zlatan Ibrahimovic was singled out for a violent collision with Mohamed El-Munir that left the defender with a zygomatic fracture, and subsequently scrutiny of the league referees intensified from all corners. LAFC fans wanted punishment, Galaxy supporters demanded a fair trial.
When Ibra escaped punishment, the general perception was Zlatan had gotten away with one. While the incident in question remains controversial, the notion the LA Galaxy and Ibra in particular have benefitted from referee decisions in 2019 is simply wrong.
Per the league website, the Galaxy are dead last in fouls suffered, with just 215 whistles for the blue white and gold this season. And as comms VP Brendan Hannan points out, Zlatan has been whistled for infractions himself at a curiously high rate.
These numbers should be applied in the correct context: The Galaxy have a less than impressive 31 goals this campaign due to a predictable attack that struggles mightily in transition, so you would expect a drop in fouls suffered.
That being said, LA ranking dead last is certainly an eyebrow raiser. In light of Sunday’s match when it appeared Zlatan was denied several clear-cut penalties, the stats suggest the Galaxy (and Ibra in particular) might be deserving of a few more calls.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments.