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MLS Review: Atlanta thrashes LAFC, Whitecaps lose at Salt Lake

08:49 GMT+4 08/04/2018
Carlos Vela Julian Gressel Atlanta United LAFC MLS
A week on from their dramatic derby defeat, the expansion side's defensive issues continued against the second-year outfit

Atlanta United survived an early red-card scare to thrash LAFC 5-0 in the MLS clash at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

The visiting side was looking to recover from last week's dramatic derby loss to the LA Galaxy but was dispatched in ruthless style, despite having more shots and possession than the host.

Chris McCann was sent off for a foul on Benny Feilhaber in the first minute, but referee Ted Unkel downgraded the punishment to a booking following a video review.

Atlanta did not look back from that early boost, with Julian Gressel breaking the deadlock 17 minutes in before Josef Martinez made it 2-0 with a header midway through the second half.

LA then endured a miserable end to proceedings, Miguel Almiron converting one penalty before adding a second from the spot in the second minute of injury time, after LAFC rookie Joao Moutinho had earned a second booking in the space of two minutes.

Romario Williams fired home on the break with practically the last kick of the game to make it 5-0 as Gerard Martino's side celebrated moving to within a point of Eastern Conference leader New York City FC.

The Vancouver Whitecaps missed the chance to go above Sporting Kansas City in the West, as they slipped to a 2-1 defeat to Real Salt Lake.

Luis Silva's strike in first-half stoppage time put the home side ahead at Rio Tinto Stadium, before Jefferson Savarino made it 2-0 in the 88th minute. Brek Shea halved the deficit in injury time, but to little avail.

The Philadelphia Union dominated large spells of their home clash with San Jose Earthquakes but had to settle for a 1-1 draw, with Alejandro Bedoya canceling out a first MLS goal for Magnus Eriksson.

The Chicago Fire moved a point behind the seventh-place Union in the Eastern Conference table with their first win of the season, Nemanja Nikolic pouncing on an error from Zach Steffen to seal the 1-0 victory over the Columbus Crew with his fourth goal in as many games.

The Colorado Rapids had looked to be set to move above FC Dallas in the Western standings when Joe Mason's strike deflected in off Reto Ziegler, but Cristian Colman headed home in the 89th minute to earn a point.