Let’s be honest, the Montreal Impact did not deserve to lose against Columbus Crew on Saturday. Unlike the game against Vancouver on matchday 1, les Montréalais were much livelier in attack and had many quality opportunities in front of goal. A pair of shots off the crossbar, a few missed sitters and two ridiculous saves from Steffen, coupled with a soft penalty call, stopped the Impact from getting their first point of the season. The team looked much sharper and controlled large stretches of the game, bar that atrocious 5-minute period in the first half. They also showed their grit and courage, scoring two magnificent goals and nearly taking the lead late into the game.
But, as Bush said so wisely, positives don’t get you to the playoffs. The Bleu-Blanc-Noir will need to finish their opportunities and be more clinical in front of goal if they are to start stacking up the points.
Now, let’s see who makes the list for Saturday’s Impact vs. the Crew!
Virtuoso #1: Daniel Lovitz
Another week and another great performance from our American defender. Although he still lacks some awareness in defense, his tackling during the game was superb, breaking up dangerous plays down his flank. The winger-turned-fullback once again showed off his offensive prowess and his crossing abilities, recording another assist off a cross. And once again, had it not been for Mancosu’s abominable finishing, Lovitz could have had a hat-trick of assists. He marauded the left flank and was a danger man throughout the game.
Virtuoso #2: Evan Bush
It’s like he read my comments on my last post, and then decided to make me look like a fool. 89.5% pass accuracy. 6 out of 8 long balls successful. Very smart throws to release the team on the counter. Everything I criticized him for after the last match, he did much better this time around. He looked confident, his distribution was good and his shot-stopping was exquisite as usual. Bush only allowed one open-play goal, which no keeper in the world could have saved. Unfortunately, the team let him down and forced him to face not one, but two penalties, ruining what could have been a great game for the keeper.
Virtuoso #3: Ignacio Piatti
Another player to make the list a second time in a row, Piatti played a great game and added a goal to his season’s tally. And what a wonderful goal it was. Seamlessly controlling a powerful pass from Piette, he beat Afful with a cut back, dribbled and struck a beautiful shot towards the far post. This is why Piatti is Montreal Impact’s MVP. He is one of the very few players in MLS who can score goals or create chances from almost nothing. Watch the replay. Look at his movement. Look at his ball control. Look at his technique. It’s simply unbelievable.
All statistics courtesy of SofaScore.
Who do you think were the top performers? Leave your comments below, and as always, Allez Montréal!