Go ahead and push the unbeaten streak to 11 games and add to it that Atlanta United has held four cleansheets in their last five games. For a team that has a reputation for relentlessly attacking, sometimes recklessly so, the Five Stripes kept scoring chances for the Montreal Impact to a minimum on Sunday night. The backline was solid despite having a backup left back and hosting a team that just scored five goals against Toronto FC.
Leandro Gonzalez Pirez had several key tackles that blocked shots which could have been trouble for keeper Brad Guzan and Chris McCann did a solid job on the left and had several crosses that nearly set up Atlanta for a goal. Their combined efforts made the vaunted Impact attack look lost in the final third as the Peachtree Press forced turnover after turnover never allowing Montreal to settle into the game. All of it added up to United showing off a new skill that will be useful come playoff time: killing off close games.
Then there is the revenge factor and how good does it feel to beat a team that took cheap points from Atlanta back in April? It even seemed like United was destined to have the referee play a role in this game as a blatant hand ball early in the first half denied a penalty chance early in the game.
The Five Stripes will be back at it yet again Wednesday as the Philadelphia Union come to town hoping to recapture the ability to turn invisible at the back post in their rematch against Atlanta.