A penalty taken by Josef Martinez followed by a beautifully orchestrated build-up play that saw Tito Villalba executing the finish was all Atlanta United needed to bury the Union by a 2-0 margin.
After an even, all around 1st half and many missed opportunities from both sides, Atlanta United was able to notch their first goal due to a penalty given against Philadelphia Union goalkeeper Andre Blake in favor of Miguel Almiron in the 57th minute.
A cool, calm, and collected Josef Martinez stepped up to take the penalty and gave Atlanta the one goal lead in the early parts of the 2nd half. With this goal, Martinez now has 18 goals in 20 games and is the clear front runner for the MLS Golden Boot, 7 goals ahead of the runners-up.
Next, Tito Villalba found the back of the net in the 76th minute with a quick pass from Almiron from inside the box, neatly wrapped up like a present. Even though the goal itself was a simple tap in, the finesse along with the beautiful passing that started from the Atlanta’s backline displayed great technique from the 5 Stripes players as a team.
Overall, Atlanta United had one of their best showings as a cohesive unit with their match against the Philadelphia Union. With dynamite performances, the men of the match were easily Almiron and Martinez. As Atlanta’s playmaker, Almiron was responsible for the first goal opportunity and gave the offense a dangerous edge every time we possessed the ball. Martinez’ technique and assist to Villalba also earned him a high performance rating.
Starting from the midfield and working our way back, the attack consistently looked dangerous. The midfield players communicated well with both the attacking and defensive players in order to function together.
A solid showing from team captain, Michael Parkhurst and keeper Brad Guzan, allowed Atlanta to keep a clean sheet, both of which fans and players needed after giving up 2 late goals in the match against FC Dallas.
After the result of this match, Atlanta United picked up a well deserved win and tallied up 3 more points to maintain their dominant lead in the Eastern Conference.
The 5 Stripes get a break after their 3 match stretch and expect a tough battle in Seattle against the Sounders next Sunday. With their new acquisition of 2 time Liga MX Balon de Oro winner and Peruvian international, Raul Ruidiaz, the Seattle Sounders have amplified their attacking presence and will look to turn their current form around.