New England Revolution recorded their fourth successive win as they beat Philadelphia Union 5-3 on Saturday night, the Revs first ever win at PPL Park and they moved to the top of the Eastern Conference. Here are our takeaways from another thrilling MLS game.
1. New England are so effective on the counter-attack.
The Revs put on a counter-attacking show for the second week in a row, and scored five for the second time in a week as well. They picked up where they left off in last weekend’s 5-0 drubbing over the Seattle Sounders, soaking up Philadelphia pressure before hitting them on the break time and time again.
2. Teal Bunbury a key part of the Revs system.
Bunbury epitomises the counter-attacking tactics that the Revs deploy, as his pace is so devastating on the break. Bunbury is the man who will always look to get in behind, and with the likes of Lee Nguyen able to send passes over opposing defences, it will work more often than not. Bunbury can play on either win, or lead the line himself, and his ability was seen in the Revs second goal, as he made a diagonal run that the Union defence didn’t deal with before teeing up Diego Fagundez who slotted in.
3. Philadelphia missed Maurice Edu.
The Union were unlucky to be two down so early on, as they were in control of the game but were not clinical enough, and paid for this. Maurice Edu’s presence in the middle of the park was missed, as he would have provided them with more stability and could have made the difference in the final third. The American midfielder would have got a foothold in the game and could have orchestrated Philly in such an open contest. Edu is with the USMNT at training camp in Stanford, but the Union will already be counting down to his return.
4. New England’s free-flowing attacking unit is a joy to watch and can hurt every team in MLS
New England have now scored 10 in their last two, and seem to only be improving in an attacking sense. They lead 5-1 in the second-half before Philly grabbed a couple of goals late on, and their attacking play is simply breathtaking at times.
The attacking unit of Patrick Mullins, Teal Bunbury and Diego Fagundez make it so difficult for opposing defences to mark, and with Lee Nguyen and Daigo Kobayashi making runs from midfield, it’s almost impossible to stop them. Nguyen is the man who makes everything tick, and is playing some excellent football but the attacking movement ahead of him must make it a joy to play at the moment. They are blitzing teams around the league at the moment, and will do the same to many more.
5. Sebastien Le Toux doesn’t miss penalties.
Philadelphia will be disappointed to have lost the game, but a positive is that they didn’t let their heads drop at 5-1 and battled back to finish the game 5-3. Sebastien Le Toux converted the final goal of the game from the penalty spot, continuing his 100% record from the spot in Philadelphia. He is now nine from nine as a Union player and can always be trusted from 12-yards out.
Highlights via MLS on YouTube: