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Buddle, Beckham lead Galaxy to victory over Chivas USA to a 2-1 in Superclasico

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Photo by Michael Janosz/ISIPhotos.com

BY ADAM SERRANO

The SuperClasico may be a rivalry on paper, but on the field, the dominance lies with the Los Angeles Galaxy.

A pair of first half goals by Edson Buddle and David Beckham was enough to cancel out a second half strike from former Galaxy forward Alan Gordon and the Galaxy were able to take home the SuperClasico trophy for the third consecutive time. The victory puts the Galaxy's advantage to 12-3-5 all time in the regular season against Chivas.

With the victory, the Galaxy were able to return to the top of the league table and officially eliminated their arch rivals from playoff contention. The match was a fierce one with a number of harsh tackles and the Galaxy finishing with 10 men.

"We had real pressure on us. Salt Lake won and we were in second. Winning the Supporters Shield is really important for us so this was a big game for us," said Landon Donovan. "It’s always going to be difficult against Chivas, they played hard and give them credit, we’re still happy we won."

The first half was a typical SuperClasico affair with fierce back to back play that led to scoring chances by both clubs. The Galaxy would strike first in the 23rd minute when rookie Michael Stephens played in a looping 40 yard pass to Buddle, who was able to confidently fire a shot into the back of Zach Thornton's net. The strike was the 15th for the currently MLS leading goal scorer and the Galaxy are 10-0-1 when Buddle scores. 

Los Angeles would add a second in the 39th minute when a reckless foul by Chivas defender Carlos Borja on Buddle who set up a free kick from about 20 yards out. Beckham stepped to take the free kick and confidently finished a classic goal into the upper right hand corner of the net. It was Beckham's first goal of the season.

"The Beckham free kick, when you see the wall there are a number of players in the wall and I think the goalkeeper is definitely not able to see the ball from there," said head coach Bruce Arena. "Beckham hit the open spot and from that position to the goalkeeper’s left is the spot to put that ball. We said in the bench if he hits it to the ‘keeper’s left it’s a goal and it was."

The Rojiblancos struggled throughout the night to handle the Galaxy midfield that dominated possession and was not wasteful when it came to passes. Chivas USA would pull one back in the 63rd minute when the former Galaxy forward Gordon fired a header that was too much for Ricketts to handle. The goal was controversial however as Gordon appeared to be several yards offside on the play.

Chivas USA would catch another break in the 76th minute when Eddie Lewis was sent off after coming down on Rodolfo Espionza after the Mexican winger lunged in with a studs-up tackle from behind. Lewis came down on the Mexican's midsection and was sent off.

The challenge led to both benches being cleared and added some additional heat to an already fierce match. In the end however, Chivas was unable to come up with the equalizer and were officially eliminated from playoff contention ending a streak of four consecutive playoff appearances.

""It was a tough match and like every SuperClasico, there was a lot of physical stuff," said Chivas USA captain Mariano Trujillo. "We created some chances in the attack, but we weren't able to finish them and they did and that was the difference." 

The Galaxy line up appeared to be rejuvinated from the squad that was unable to defeat the Red Bulls due to the addition of young players AJ DeLaGarza in center defense and the rookie Stephens in the midfield. Los Angeles will now travel to Philadelphia to take on the Union on Thursday while Chivas USA will face off against Toronto on Saturday. After the match, Arena added some positive words of hope for their arch rivals after their traditional poor history against the Galaxy.

"Chivas will win their share of games in this rivalry. Hopefully I’m in a nursing home at that point and I might be this week at some point," said Arena. "They’re rebuilding their team, they’ve got a plan and you can see they’re making progress.  going to win some games before the end of the year and they’re going to have their moments in this rivalry as well."

Comments

  1. Beckham looked a class above everyone else last night and Donovan continued his poor form. I think Harkes is right about Donovan deperately needing a break. Nifty Beckham-esque ball from Stephens to Buddle on the first goal!

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  2. Since FIFA is so behind the times I think the MLS should set an example and introduce Video Technology to review every goal. As a fan goals are always fun to watch but Gordon got away with one.

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  3. BS reffing. Marufo and company were HORRIBLE last night! The second half looked like Chivas paid him off during half time so they could keep their play-off dreams alive. There were at least two goal scoring opportunities taken away from LAG for “offside” calls that were clearly not offsides. Then Chivas is GIFTED a goal while Gordon was 2-3 yards offside. Heck, their were two Chivas players offsides. Not too hard to spot those striped jerseys linesman. Talk about a big swing in the 20 minutes after second half opened. Could’ve been about 4-0, but instead it’s 2-1. Don’t get me started on the Red Card. Maybe a yellow card for Lewis. If anyone should have gotten red it was Espinosa. JUST HORRIBLE. Please let the era of DP Refs begin! Until we can develop good ones here, we need to import them at whatever cost.

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  4. Espinosa came flying in. Lewis jumped with his left foot leaving the ground first. As Espinosa kept sliding, Lewis then lifted his right foot. Down came the left foot landing on Espinosa, kind of making Lewis go off balance, and then the right foot came down. There really was nowhere else for Lewis to go. It all happened so quick

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  5. The answer is not to land on the guy with your cleats in his midsection. It’s a red card…everyone knows it has to be a red card. Just accept it.

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  6. Glad to see Buddle back on the scoring sheet! Beckham made a huge difference tonight. Terrible reffing though. Gordon was several steps offside on his goal, and the red card on Lewis was frickin ridiculous. Where was he supposed to go? He jumped to avoid Espinosa’s reckless studs up challenge, and of course he came back down on him.

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  7. WHAT A GOAL by Buddle! That was SICK. Clinic. Beckham’s goal was nice as well…THIS is why soccer is called “the beautiful game.”

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