By Araceli Villanueva // @Aracelv1
The Los Angeles Football Club downs D.C. United 4-0 in a battle between the two best teams in each conference on Saturday afternoon at Audi Field. Diego Rossi‘s hat trick led to the statement shutout victory to stay atop the Western Conference (and league standings) with a now 5-0-1 record.
Head Coach Bob Bradley fielded the same lineup from the thunderous 5-0 shoutout in San Jose last week. Perhaps, this lineup is finally clicking? It must be. Because LAFC would earn a comfortable 3-0 lead just before the half.
In the 10th minute, Jordan Harvey chased down a long ball in the left wing and tried to send the cross. D.C. United’s Leonardo Jara blocked the cross on a sliding effort, awarding LAFC the penalty.
What would seem like a magical moment for Carlos Vela, who scored his first hat trick last week, saw his chance be thwarted by Bill Hamid, who dove left to save the penalty.
In the 52nd minute, D.C. United’s captain, Wayne Rooney was shown a red after digging his cleat into Rossi’s right leg in a sliding tackle for the ball. Rooney was originally given a caution but upgraded to red after the play underwent review. Rooney’s departure gave LAFC some relief as the captain had logged three free kicks that evening.
Now playing with ten men, D.C. United would find one opportunity but Lucas Rodriguez’s attempt found the side of the netting.
Steven Beitashour and Tyler Miller are the keeper duo we didn’t know we needed. A free kick conceded by Beitashour in the 57th minute resulted in a dangerous opportunity for D.C. The resulting cross was mishandled by a jumping Miller. D.C. put the loose ball on net twice: the first saved by Miller and the second redirected off the goal line by Beitashour.
With 20 minutes left and a solid 3-0 lead, Bradley started making substitutions. His first was replacing Harvey with Mohamed El-Munir to make his LAFC debut.
Rossi scored the hat trick in the 76th minute after finding himself alone with Hamid and finishes low to left corner – securing the black-and-gold’s 4-0 victory, as well marking history for the club.
A brief scare came in the 80th minute when Miller landed hard on his right side. The 26-year-old keeper was down briefly but managed to collect himself back up and quickly jumped back into action. Unlike Diomande’s injury he acquired earlier, Miller appeared to be fine.
The rest of the match saw both sides go back and forth with LAFC controlling more than half of the possession, ultimately extending their undefeated run in a 4-0 win.
LAFC will return to the Banc to host FC Cincinnati for the first time on Saturday, April 13.
Photo credit: LAFC
Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @Aracelv1
Check us out on Instagram @mlsfemale