After a strong start to the season for the New England Revolution, it all came crashing down on the west coast. The team that won the double last year LAFC made light work of Bruce Arena’s side. Denis Bouanga was the star of the show, netting the first two goals in a 4-0 drubbing.
Denis Bouanga is Amongst the Goals in LA
Revs Suffer First Loss of 2023
New England beat Charlotte and Houston in their first two games, the bottom side in the East and the bottom side in the West respectively. This fixture with LAFC took things up a lot of notches and it was reflected on the score line, as the Revs suffered a first loss of this season.
Bruce Arena wasn’t completely down on his side in the wake of this defeat, instead directing a lot of praise towards the opponents. “We were okay for about 15 minutes, but then I think they took control of the game. They came after us. I think on the day they just physically dominated us.”
— New England Revolution (@NERevolution) March 13, 2023
There were some notable changes to the Revolution XI as captain Carles Gil only made the bench and Gustavo Bou notched his first start of the season. In the words of Arena, Gil “had a little bit of a muscle strain and we knew we were only going to play him 30 minutes today.” Meanwhile, regarding Bou, “we look forward to getting him fitter and putting him in a more comfortable position on the field.”
Denis Bouanga Makes the Difference on the Day
In every facet of the game, Steve Cherundolo’s side had the advantage at BMO Stadium. As previously mentioned, Bruce Arena spoke very highly of both the LAFC team and head coach, saying this about the latter. “Steve’s done very well. They’ve assembled a good team. In the L.A. market, you should be able to attract some of the better players that want to come to MLS, and they’ve been able to do that.”
One particular figure that starred in the black and gold was Denis Bouanga. The Gabonese international, formerly of Saint Etienne, netted a hat-trick in CCL in mid-week against Alajuelense and he continued this form. Carlos Vela may not have started but LAFC still thrived through the excellence of Denis Bouanga, who scored a brace against the Revs.
Denis Bouanga’s last two games for LAFC:
– 5 goals
– 1 assist
– Two LAFC wins (3-0 @ Alajuelense, 4-0 vs New England)
— Tom Bogert (@tombogert) March 13, 2023
Arena continued to laud LA with praise which is something of a rarity from him. “They were clearly the better team. They’re obviously ahead of us at this point. They have a style of play that they’re good at. I was absolutely impressed with their pressure on the ball, which was huge.”
Latif Blessing, who of course played a huge role in LAFC’s history, started in the Revs midfield against his former club. As well as pointing out the strengths of Cherundolo’s midfield, Blessing spoke candidly about the result. “The better team won so I think I’m going to give credit to them, so I think we’re going to move forward, play the next game.”
LAFC are going to be there or thereabouts when it comes to MLS Cup and the Shield whereas this result shows that the Revolution have a long way to go. Denis Bouanga was unstoppable with Timothy Tillman and Stipe Biuk also getting on the score sheet. The Revs will have to be much better when Nashville SC come to Gillette Stadium next time out.
Featured image credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports on March 12, 2023.C
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