The Impact players were going into this game with a point to prove. Garde called out his players for not giving the right amount of effort in practice and how it was reflecting on the pitch on game day. When the lineup was announced Jackson and Edwards were part of the starters in the group and these are two players that were pointed out by their coach for different reasons and could answer his demands right away. New England, who humiliated the Impact in a 4-0 victory in their last meeting wanted to continue on the same stride while the Impact was most definitely looking for vengeance.
The beginning of the game was a middle of the pitch battle, where both teams were attempting to build themselves scoring opportunities but not much came to fruition. The best chance early belonged to the Impact when a cross coming into the box from Lovitz was redirected by Edwards but the ball went just wide.
In stoppage time of the first half, Taider intercepted a ball which landed at Piatti's feet. With great awareness on the play Piatti quickly distributed the ball to a well positioned Jackson. A perfectly timed run left Jackson alone against Revs keeper. Jackson took a strike which was touched but not saved by the keeper and trickled in.
Jackson-Hamel gives Montreal a 1-0 lead pic.twitter.com/NGinVVG8mm— Total MLS (@TotalMLS) May 5, 2018
Coming into the half with a lead and confidence was a great momentum builder for the Impact who continued on that stride right away. In the 49th minute, it look like Jackson had the brace when he received a pass from Piatti and tried curling the ball into the net. While the nicely curled shot got passed the keeper it hit the post and stayed out. The 24 year old striker made no mistake, only moments later, when he was given an easy tuck in goal after a great effort was executed by Piatti to get him the ball.
In the 64th minute, Piatti received a pass from Piette who intercepted the ball from the opponents. Piatti ran up the pitch and passed the ball through the defenders to Edwards on the right. In one touch, Edwards took a powerful strike and put the home team up 3-0.
In the 68th minute, Piette got a pass in front of the defenders to Piatti who got a strike across goal capping off his 100th MLS appearance with a goal, after his three assists earlier in the game.
It would have been fun for the scoreline to stay the same and get the same result that New England had put up against the Impact just a few weeks ago but Zahibo had different plans for the Impact. In the last fifteen minutes of the game, he managed to put the ball in the back of the net twice for the opposing team once off a header following a corner. The second goal came off a free kick in the dying minutes of the game. While the Revs managed to reduce the scoreline the Impact held them off to walk away with three points in their first game of May.
In all honesty, the lineup changes brought by Garde were very well thought out and were a win win situation. If the players showed him what he wanted his team was in a good position for a victory, if these players didn't give him the effort he wanted his point was proven. Hopefully, the Impact can carry this positive victory into their next match up as it is coming quickly midweek. The shift in attitude will be very important in their road match up on Wednesday against Chicago.
- True Leader: A lot have been discussing the absence of a leader for the Impact but what more can one ask from their captain and designated player. He providing the team with three assists and one goal. More importantly, those three assists helped players who were struggling to prove themselves since the beginning of the season make an impact in the outcome of the game and show what they are capable of. Piatti is something special for sure and fans should be appreciative of the luck they have to witness his talent every week.
- Your Move: Given the lineup, two players were going to be observed very closely; Raheem Edwards and Anthony Jackson-Hamel. These two players, for different reasons, were put under the microscope by coach Garde earlier in the week being publicly demanded to give more to their team. Garde knows the potential of these players and his press conference in my opinion was just to get that fire going in the heart of his players. Both players showed their moments of brilliance during the game; Jackson seized the opportunities he was given and Edwards showed great work ethic throughout the game and capitalized it off with a goal.
- Surprise of the Season: Raitala seems to be passing under the radar. This player who was most likely brought in as more of a depth move than anything else was required to step up early in the season and out of position. While he has had his moments that were somewhat more difficult, it should have somewhat been expected given the caliber of the center back in some situations and the fact that it isn't his natural position. He has adjusted quite well and deserves to be recognized for the amount of work he has put in to become more and more successful and comfortable with the position. It will be interesting to see what happens to him when Fanni returns as Raitala has done well given the circumstances he was put in since the beginning of the season.
MTL – G-Evan Bush; D-Chris Duvall, Víctor Cabrera, Jukka Raitala, Daniel Lovitz; M-Samuel Piette, Alejandro Silva, Saphir Taider; A-Ignacio Piatti (Michael Petrasso 75’), Anthony Jackson-Hamel (Jeisson Vargas 66’), Raheem Edwards (Matteo Mancosu 85’)
Unused substitutes – Clément Diop, Louis Béland-Goyette, Dominic Oduro, Ken Krolicki
NE – G-Matt Turner; D-Andrew Farrell (Brandon Bye 71’), Jalil Anibaba, Claude Dielna, Gabriel Somi (Kelyn Rowe 70’); M-Wilfried Zahibo, Juan Agudelo (Krisztián Németh 34’), Luis Caicedo, Diego Fagundez, Cristian Penilla; A-Teal Bunbury
Unused substitutes – Brad Knighton, Chris Tierney, Antonio Milnar Delamea, Scott Caldwell
MTL – Jackson-Hamel (Piatti) 45’+2’
MTL – Jackson-Hamel (Piatti, Silva) 52’
MTL – Edwards (Piatti) 65’
MTL – Piatti (Piette) 68’
NE – Zahibo (Fagundez) 78’
NE – Zahibo 86
MTL – Duvall 38’
NE – Caicedo 59’
NE – Fagundez 90’+1’