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New England Revolution 1 - LA Galaxy 2: 3 thoughts

Bruce Arena’s former side returned to New England

MLS: LA Galaxy at New England Revolution Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

It has been a long time since the LA Galaxy came to New England and just like the last time, the Revolution were defeated on Sunday evening.

This was the Galaxy’s first journey out to Gillette Stadium since 2018 when Zlatan Ibrahimovich was a no-show to a packed crowd. There were fireworks in the 2018 match as Christian Penilla and Ashley Cole were sent off with New England blowing a 2-0 lead in stoppage time.

This go around, both teams looked different with the likes of Gustavo Bou, Chicharito, and Riqui Puig gracing the field.

Justin Rennicks got his sixth consecutive start while Gustavo Bou, Maciel, and Noel Buck returned to the bench. Christian Makoun earned his second start and was alongside Matt Polster in the midfield.

Across the field, Chicharito, Julian Araujo, and Kevin Cabral were the stars of the Galaxy starting XI along with Puig who got his first MLS start.

So what do you need to know about Sunday’s loss? Here are three thoughts.

1 - Defensive doubts

It didn’t take long for the Galaxy to score and while that isn’t too surprising considering their starting XI, it’s unacceptable from the New England Revolution.

Daniel Aguirre kicked things off in the fourth minute after receiving a beautiful ball from Chicharito. Aguirre split DeJuan Jones and Henry Kessler and was off to the races. Djordje Petrovic was left out to dry and New England was down a goal.

Things got even worse when in the 35th minute when a pass from Puig sent Chicharito towards goal and the veteran Mexican striker put it home.

New England can’t rely on the excuse that they were short-handed. Their entire back line was healthy, they just didn’t perform.

In a crucial game like Sunday’s the performance the back line gave was unacceptable.

2 - LA stars shine

The stars from the Galaxy came to play on Sunday night. Chicharito had a goal and an assist while Puig also had an assist.

But both these players did more than just score and assist on goals. Chicharito was being physical and drawing fouls while Puig was dominating the midfield. The former Barcelona man showed his talent and looks to be a great pick up for LA.

LA’s big players made the difference on the night and New England was unable to do anything to stop them.

3 - Finishing flaws

While the Revs dominated the shot battle they were unable to find the back of the net until the 82nd minute when Gil scored a beautiful goal. New England doubled LA’s shot total and won the xG battle but didn't win the match.

Throughout the night New England simply didn't have the final touch to get on the board. Multiple times shot failed to make it on frame when they should have. There was sloppy play all over the pitch to be fair. Players failed to connect on passes and had poor touches.

With Bou back, hopefully New England will do better in the attacking third but time is running out to see what this team is capable of.

New England’s next two matches got a hell of a lot more important. With the Revs falling below the playoff line, the matches against the Chicago Fire and New York City FC are as close to must wins as you can get without legally be required to win a game to get into the playoffs.

It’s time for the Revolution to prove what kind of team they are, after Wednesday, fans should have a clearer look.