MLS Review: Atlanta thrash LA, Whitecaps lose at Salt Lake
Atlanta United survived an early red-card scare to thrash LAFC 5-0 in the MLS clash at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
The visitors were looking to recover from last week's dramatic derby loss to LA Galaxy but were dispatched in ruthless style, despite having more shots and possession than their hosts.
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 referral.
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 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, as Gerard Martino's side celebrated moving to within a point of Eastern Conference leaders New York City.
— Atlanta United FC (@ATLUTD) April 7, 2018
Vancouver Whitecaps missed the chance to go above Sporting Kansas City in the Western section, 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.
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 cancelling out a first MLS goal for Magnus Eriksson.
Chicago Fire moved a point behind 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 Columbus Crew with his fourth goal in as many games.
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.