MLS

MLS Review: Ibrahimovic, Rooney braces lift Galaxy and DC

By Sports Desk September 30, 2018

Former Manchester United team-mates Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Wayne Rooney both scored twice to lead MLS play-off hopefuls LA Galaxy and DC United to respective wins. 

Ibrahimovic netted a brace as the Galaxy boosted their post-season hopes with a 3-0 victory over Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday.

The 36-year-old striker scored in the 3-0 win against Seattle Sounders last time out and he was at it again with a pair of goals at Stubhub Center.

Ibrahimovic broke the deadlock via the penalty spot in the fourth minute after Romain Alessandrini was fouled inside the area.

The Swedish great doubled the lead approaching the hour-mark with a thunderous effort – his 20th of the season – before earning a penalty, which Alessandrini converted with 13 minutes remaining.

Saturday's win moved Galaxy within a point of sixth-placed Real Salt Lake in the Western Conference, while the Whitecaps are four points back.

Ex-United captain Rooney was at the double as DC demolished Montreal Impact 5-0 to close within two points of the play-off spots in the Eastern Conference.

DC were dominant thanks to Rooney, who scored twice in the second half and added an assist against the Impact.

After firing past Evan Bush in the 48th minute, Rooney scored from 40 yards following a failed clearance from the Impact keeper eight minutes from the end.

Paul Arriola also posted a brace, while Luciano Acosta opened the scoring in Washington.

Los Angeles FC lost ground in the west after their shock 3-1 defeat to lowly Chicago Fire, New York City were stunned by Minnesota United 2-1, the Sounders crushed Colorado Rapids 4-0, Toronto rallied to beat New England Revolution 4-1 and Houston Dynamo scored three unanswered goals to overcome San Jose Earthquakes 3-2.

Dallas were held to a 0-0 by Portland Timbers, while Columbus Crew and Philadelphia Union drew by the same scoreline.

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    The visitors, 13-time winners of the competition, secured a 2-1 triumph at the Vitality Stadium with Bukayo Saka and Eddie Nketiah on target before substitute Sam Surridge grabbed a late consolation in an otherwise one-sided tie.

    Arsenal's two goalscorers were the standout performers in a youthful line-up on a night when Arteta's defensive options were further depleted by a serious-looking injury for Shkodran Mustafi.

    Arteta, while pleased with Monday's display, admitted the club would need to dip into the transfer market to bolster his squad, with a fifth-round trip to Portsmouth added to their schedule. 

    "Very pleased. It's always tough to come here and win, we've done it with a young team as well," the Gunners boss told BBC Sport.

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    On the injury to Mustafi and his hopes to bring in reinforcements, Arteta added: "We will have to assess him but when Mustafi has to come off, normally it is not good.

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    Opposite number Eddie Howe conceded his side lost the tactical battle and did not work hard enough without the ball to match their visitors.

    "There were tactical problems for us," said the Cherries manager. "We changed system a couple of times but we weren't ourselves out of possession.

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    Bukayo Saka opened the scoring inside five minutes to cap a fine team move involving all 10 outfield players, with Eddie Nketiah doubling the visitors' lead before the break.

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    The industrious Willock was in the thick of the action again midway through the half, eluding Dan Gosling before calling goalkeeper Mark Travers into action.

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    Saka's impact on the game is evident from his goal and assist, but the 18-year-old's all-round display was just as noteworthy, with an 87.5 per cent passing accuracy, five recoveries and two chances created.

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    Arsenal head to Turf Moor on Sunday to take on a Burnley side who sit level with them on 30 points, while Bournemouth welcome Aston Villa for a crunch six-pointer on Saturday. 

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    Jurgen Klopp's Premier League leaders were stunningly held to a 2-2 draw by the third-tier club on Sunday.

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    Holders Manchester City were handed an away tie at Championship promotion chasers Sheffield Wednesday, while Manchester United could renew acquaintances with record goalscorer Wayne Rooney if his Derby County side defeat fourth-tier Northampton Town in a replay.

    There will be an all-Premier League tie regardless of who comes through the replay between Tottenham and Southampton, the winner set to host relegation-threatened Norwich City.

    Arsenal, who have won the competition a record 13 times, can secure their place in the fifth round on Monday with victory at Bournemouth, whose south-coast neighbours Portsmouth await the victor.

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    Draw in full:

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