Atlanta United tops Galaxy, now unbeaten in 6

Goals from Josef Martinez and Miguel Almiron were enough to lift Atlanta United past Zlatan Ibrahimovic and the L.A. Galaxy 2-0 on Saturday at Stubhub Center in Carson, Calif.

Atlanta United (5-1-1) is unbeaten in its past six, with five wins, and will host Montreal on April 28 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The Five Stripes have 16 points and remain in second in the East, one point behind NYCFC.

In a battle of attacking talent, Atlanta United’s defense, led by captain Michael Parkhurst, did enough to stifle Ibrahimovic, while Martinez’s sixth goal this season came in the first half against a besieged Galaxy defense that had trouble dealing with the speed of Martinez, Ezequiel Barco, who made his first start, Miguel Almiron and Darlington Nagbe. Attendance was 25,846.

Atlanta United missed a chance to take a 1-0 in the 20th minute when Josef Martinez missed a penalty kick. The foul was the result of Rolf Feltscher taking down Almiron in the box. It was Atlanta United’s second missed penalty kick this season. Almiron missed one in the season-opening loss at Houston.

Atlanta United made up for it less than two minutes later. First, Almiron slammed a shot off the crossbar from 17 yards out. A few seconds later from the other side of the pitch, Julian Gressel put a shot off the crossbar. Martinez pounced on the rebound for the easy goal.

Atlanta United received a few scares when key players went down after colliding with Galaxy players in the first half.

First, Almiron, who was knocked down several times in the first half, stayed down after chasing down a pass from Gressel and getting his ankle twisted while tackling a Galaxy player. He didn’t run for several minutes, but did start jogging on the pitch before halftime. With Almiron hobbled, the Galaxy began to exert control on the match and dominated most of the final 15 minutes.

A few minutes, centerback Leandro Gonzalez Pirez tripped on Sebastian Lletget’s arm and stayed down for so long the trainers came and administered treatment. He returned to play.

Near the end of the half, Martinez tried a spinning volley after chesting a pass from Chris McCann. Martinez already injured left hand, bound by a black brace, hit a Galaxy defender during the spin. Martinez also needed to receive treatment but did return to the game.

All three came back on for the second half.

Atlanta United came close to taking a 2-0 lead in the 70th minute, but Galaxy goalkeeper David Bingham got a hand on a close-range shot by Martinez.

Gressel, who put in another outstanding shift as a right wingback, was denied by Bingham less than two minutes later on a left-footed shot from six yards.

Almiron’s goal came on a penalty kick in injury time during the second half. Romario Williams won the penalty after he was taken down following a perfect pass from Kevin Kratz.

Ibrahimovic showed a lot of flicks and tricks in the first half, but didn’t threaten Brad Guzan’s goal with a shot.

The Swedish legend and striker Ola Kamara put together some nice 1-2 combinations, but the center of Atlanta United’s defense continually held firm.