Atlanta United dropped points in Chicago after ending up on the wrong side of a 2-0 scoreline. Though Atlanta United created some decent chances, there was a lot left to be desired from Atlanta. Let’s get into it.
#ATLUTD’s Starting XI vs Chicago Fire pic.twitter.com/ciS4dDOrWP— Atlanta United FC (@ATLUTD) September 27, 2020
For Chicago. Our XI is in.— Chicago Fire FC (@ChicagoFire) September 27, 2020
Chicago crafted two chances in the opening five minutes, forcing solid defensive play from Brooks Lennon and a save from Brad Guzan.
Atlanta couldn’t stop Chicago from taking an early lead after a giveaway in the midfield led to a Fabian Herbers goal in the 7th minute.
Whatta clean finish from Herbers! @ChicagoFire take the early lead! #CHIvATL pic.twitter.com/V2jZb1j5Vg— Major League Soccer (@MLS) September 27, 2020
Adam Jahn nearly scored an equalizer in the 18th minute, but Chicago keeper Bobby Shuttleworth made a spectacular save to keep his side ahead.
Bobby means business pic.twitter.com/tyF4jDATFJ— Chicago Fire FC (@ChicagoFire) September 28, 2020
Franco Escobar wasn’t too far from scoring an equalizer off the ensuing corner kick, either.
Jon Gallagher created a decent chance for himself at the top of Chicago’s penalty area, but it was an easy save for Shuttleworth in the 24th minute.
Jake Mulraney stepped up for a shot at the top of the opposition’s penalty area in the 30th minute, but Mulraney’s effort went straight to Shuttleworth.
Chicago forward Robert Beric, seemingly invisible and unopposed, put Chicago 2-0 up in the 39th minute.
Beric doubles the lead for @ChicagoFire! #CHIvATL pic.twitter.com/eztVkvICuM— Major League Soccer (@MLS) September 28, 2020
Guzan opened the second half with two saves that kept Atlanta in the match and saved Atlanta’s defense from two embarrassing moments.
Atlanta’s best chance of the match so far came in the 55th minute, but Mulraney couldn’t redirect the cross on frame to put Atlanta on the scoreboard.
Shuttleworth clamped Atlanta (*insert frustration inhale*) yet again, this time pushing Adam Jahn’s headed effort into the frame of the goal and out for a corner.
Bobby doing big things AGAIN. pic.twitter.com/3ZeIUhgn1Z— Chicago Fire FC (@ChicagoFire) September 28, 2020
Escobar almost scored off a cross for the second time of the match, but headed Mulraney’s cross wide of the post again.
Then the match ended and everyone was sad.
Three Quick Takeaways
Atlanta just looked... unorganized? Disinterested? Atlanta United didn’t seem very united (see what I did there? (*cries in Five Stripes*)) on the defensive side of things. It seemed as if no one was organizing the defense, and Chicago’s second goal is a perfect example of that mistake being punished by Chicago. There were a few other occasions when Chicago exploited these defensive lapses, too. Conceding early goals is a problem, by the way.
Atlanta could have gotten a goal or two, if not for poor finishing and Shuttleworth bullying Adam Jahn. The chances were there, which is at least some improvement from earlier this season.
The rotation that the backline has undergone this season shouldn't go unnoticed, especially within the center back role. Getting consistency, both in terms of which players are playing there and quality of play, from those positions is important.
Notable Performance of the Match
Guzan? He did make two great saves that, had they been scored, would have been embarrassing for Atlanta’s backline to concede.
Tweet of the Match
Cheers, Geoff https://t.co/UsUZ7kOEWR— Kyle Soto (@kyledsoto) September 27, 2020
Atlanta will play against some familiar faces on Saturday as the Five Stripes takes on DC United. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.