Crazy, I have no other word than crazy to describe what went down at Mapfre Stadium between our Montreal Impact and the Columbus Crew. Saturday's match saw a total of 8 goals; 5 in the 2nd half. The game between the Impact and the Crew was definitely closer to a hockey game than a soccer match (Therrien could only dream of scoring 4 goals).
If you're a glass half full kind of fan, you will be thrilled to see the Impact score 4 goals in the same match. On the other hand, if you're the glass half empty type, you will be very disappointed to see your squad concede 4 times versus a struggling Columbus team. At the end of the day, we must remember that the Impact were able to come back from a 3 goal deficit to secure a road point. Here are my thumbs up and thumbs down for this week's match versus the Columbus Crew.
Ignacio Piatti: Noodle legs has struggled ever since Drogba's presence has become permanent in the starting lineup. He has had trouble creating that all important offensive spark. Well, this week Piatti definitely found his offensive flare.
The Argentine attempted 5 shots; 2 were blocked but 3 made it to Steve Clark's net. Out of those 3 important shots, 2 nestled themselves into the back of the Crew's net. Piatti's 1st goal of the match was spectacular. He received the pass from Drogba, flicked the ball to his dominant right foot before curving the ball around Clark's outstretched fingertips. Piatti also contributed to the comeback effort in the 57th minute with his 2nd goal of the match.
It is also important to mention that it was Piatti who was fouled in the 55th minute and that permitted Drogba to net the penalty. On the down side, Piatti had 15 unsuccessful passes for only 19 completed passes. Performance Rating: 8/10
Mauro Biello: I have been a fan of Mauro Biello ever since he was appointed interim head coach at the end of last season. This week, I was happy with the starting 11 he put out versus the Crew. I quite liked Biello's decision to start Dominic Oduro on the right instead of Lucas Ontivero. I believe Ontivero has more talent but Oduro's pace is essential to the counter attack the Impact utilize on the road.
It was also nice to see Michael Salazar make his very 1st appearance in the MLS. I was pleasantly surprised to see Biello sub out defender Maxim Tissot for the offensive Salazar. By subbing off a defender, Biello decided to play with 3 at the back. With only 3 at the back, we could muster more fire power in the offensive third but we were left thread bare on the defensive end of the pitch. That was a gutsy move that I do not believe Frank Klopas would have made. Performance Rating: 9/10
Back Five: When I say back five, I mean the Impact's back line (Ambroise Oyongo, Laurent Ciman, Victor Cabrera and Maxim Tissot) and goalkeeper (Evan Bush). Any time that a club lets in 4 goals, part of the fault must be dished onto the shoulders of the defence.
On the 1st goal, we saw Oyongo over commit himself down the right flank of the Impact's defence. On that same goal, Marco Donadel failed to engage Justin Meram which allowed Meram to whip in the cross that Kamara headed into the back of Bush's net by leaping clear over the great Laurent Ciman.
The defence's next break down came in the 45th minute. A few seconds before both teams were to head to their respective locker rooms, a booming lob was sent into the Impact's half with Kei Kamara chasing. On that lob, Cabrera was utterly humiliated by Kei Kamara. After winning the aerial battle with Cabrera, the Crew's star striker watched Evan Bush bunny leap over the ball before tucking it into the back of the Impact's net.
The Crew's 3rd goal was the result of a fluky play that began when Harrison Afful floated in a cross. The result of that cross was a massive game of pin-ball inside the Impact's box. After a clearance by Ciman that bounced off of Patrice Bernier's leg, Frederico Higuain found himself with the ball on his foot in front of a wide open Impact goal.
The Crew's final goal came as the result of a penalty accorded in the 51st minute. Once again, the Crew sent a long lob towards Justin Meram who found himself with space behind the Impact's back four. Whether or not Donadel actually fouled Meram is a whole other issue. All we know for sure is that Higuain buried the resulting penalty in the 53rd minute to give the Crew a 3 goal lead. Performance Rating:
Evan Bush: 6/10
Ambroise Oyongo: 5/10
Victor Cabrera: 5.5/10
Laurent Ciman: 6/10
Maxim Tissot: 6.5/10
The Impact's performance on the offensive end of the ball was quite impressive since we netted 4 goals. Usually, 4 goals is enough to secure three points but this week, the team at the other end of the pitch also scored four so we could only return home with 1 point. It is important that the Impact work hard this week to iron out their defensive flaws that were so clearly highlighted versus Columbus. Before we get too down on the Impact, we must remember that they are still perched atop the eastern conference standings with 15 points, 1 more than TFC and 2 ahead of the Philadelphia Union.
Question of the Week:
When Andres Romero returns from his injury, who would you like to see start at right midfield?