2. Eduard Atuesta the key for LAFC
It is not a coincidence that Eduard Atuesta returned to duty for LAFC and the performance of the entire team improved substantially when compared to the first leg.
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Playing at the base of the LAFC midfield, Atuesta was the best player on the pitch. His distribution was superb, picking apart the Club Leon midfield and defence with searching passes into the feet of his teammates in advanced positions. He provided structure from deep and made the most of the openings in front of him.
While LAFC’s first-leg performance has largely been criticised, these openings were present time and again. However, the decision-making was extremely poor when breaking forwards, the wrong pass chosen on almost every occasion. Atuesta, though, rarely makes the wrong choice.
Very rarely did LAFC put together a threatening attack without Atuesta playing a crucial role in it. He controlled the midfield area, lending the ball to others before taking it back, conducting play with wonderful aplomb. And then when the opportunity to push the envelope came, he took it. A terrific performance.