LA Galaxy’s perfect home form so far this season was put to the test when the in-form New York City FC came to Dignity Health Sports Park from the Eastern Conference, looking to build on their six game unbeaten streak. Would Zlatan take a bite out of the Big Apple? We took our seats for the next instalment in our ‘Framed’ series.

Despite their impressive home form, LA Galaxy came in to this game on the back of two defeats in a row on the road. Their early season form still had them in second in the Western Conference, the only team to be keeping pressure on their neighbours, LAFC. But if that pressure was to be maintained, then results had to improve. By contrast, New York City FC were enjoying a strong period coming into the fixture, having gone the whole of April unbeaten. 

The home side got off to a strong start in front of the buoyant crowd, and just over half way through the first half a slide rule pass found Galaxy’s Antuna, who was racing beyond the backline. He then squared for Zlatan to calmly finish, only for the assistant referee’s flag to spoil the celebrations. But then the wheels fell off for the home side. Some neat passing found NYCFC’s Tinnerholm free to rifle a shot from the edge of the area, which Galaxy keeper Bingham could only parry to the on rushing Heber, who fired home.


That was followed mere minutes later by a nice set piece routine which again found Tinnerholm, this time the NYCFC man attempted to cross but the ball was blocked by the hand of Antuna, and following a VAR review the penalty was given. Having missed his first two penalties of 2019, Maxi Moralez stepped up to cooly slot home in the bottom corner to double NYCFC's lead going into half time.

The second half played out somewhat uneventfully in comparison, barring Zlatan being Zlatan; the Swede clashing with keeper Sean Johnson in a case of handbags at dawn. But that flare up was the result of a frustrating afternoon for the Galaxy. Three defeats on the trot and in the wake of Ibrahimovic's antics, the Dignity Health Park was left looking undignified and not so healthy.


Photography by Jared Martinez for SoccerBible.