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Zlatan Ibrahimovic: LA Galaxy should have thrashed LAFC

Taylor Twellman shares his takeaways from the final regular-season installment of the LA derby, a 1-1 draw between LA Galaxy and LAFC.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored career goal No. 499, but a penalty kick by Carlos Vela earned LAFC a draw at crosstown rivals LA Galaxy.
Major League Soccer: Carlos Vela (51') LA Galaxy 1-1 LAFC
Steve Nicol and Shaka Hislop wholeheartedly disagree with Zlatan Ibrahimovic's claim that American soccer is being strangled by MLS rules.

LA Galaxy forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic bemoaned his team's lack of sharpness in the final third during Friday's 1-1 draw with crosstown rivals LAFC, saying it was a game that the Galaxy "could win easy."

Ibrahimovic scored his 16th goal of the season -- and 499th of his professional career for club and country -- in the 15th minute to put the Galaxy ahead, but failed to capitalize on some additional first-half opportunities.

"I think everything was good until we came to their box," he said. "The last pass wasn't good at all. This game we could win easy. It was an easy game.

"We were much better than them, and we had great chances, but the last pass was totally opposite of what it should be. We could have scored 3-0, 4-0 easy."

Wasted chances came back to haunt the Galaxy in the second half when midfielder Perry Kitchen tripped Carlos Vela in the box, and the Mexico international converted the ensuing penalty.

LAFC did have some clear chances late on, but a combination of wasteful finishing and sharp goalkeeping from David Bingham kept the game tied.

"I was active, I was hungry, I wanted it a lot," Ibrahimovic said. "The goal I scored, I had a couple of chances in the first I half, I tried to put it in. The second [half] I was just waiting for the final ball to bury the goalkeeper. But it didn't come. I tried, I did some simple mistakes I shouldn't have done, and that's it."

The result saw the Galaxy go 1-0-2 versus LAFC this season, but with LA's playoff hopes slipping away -- it currently lies fifth in the standings, but seventh in terms of points per game -- Ibrahimovic took little consolation from that fact.

"That's the objective, to reach the playoffs, not win the series against LAFC," he said. "Because the focus isn't them, the focus is the playoff and then from the playoff you take it further and try to win the whole thing. I don't know how many games we have left, six or seven. We have to take the points we need to make the playoffs."

Ibrahimovic was later asked if he and his teammates had started watching other results given that it now looks like the Galaxy will need the other contenders to drop points.

"I never watch the other ones," he said. "I watch my team. I like to be dependent on my team, so we have everything in our hands. Hopefully the other teams can lose points and we can make it."

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