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Set pieces and more trouble Atlanta United in defeat to CF Montreal

That’s now four games in a row without a win.

SOCCER: APR 30 MLS - Atlanta United at CF Montreal Photo by David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Atlanta United’s trip to CF Montreal’s Stade Saputo was a fruitless one, as the Five Stripes suffered a 2-1 loss north of the border on Saturday. Atlanta’s record is now 3-4-2 and currently sits in 5th place in the Eastern Conference Standings.

In case you didn’t already hear, an injury curse is plaguing Atlanta United right now. Don’t believe me? Check out Atlanta’s section in the MLS Availability Report. I’m not going to list all the players that the team is currently missing.

But, with as many players as there are missing now, there was some good news when the lineup dropped. All eyes were on Luiz Araujo, who made his first start since he suffered a hamstring injury in the season opener against Sporting Kansas City. With the exception of Josef Martinez missing out for at least a few weeks, Atlanta United’s first choice attacking line is starting to come together.

Just three minutes into the game (!), Kamal Miller headed Djordje Mihailovic’s cross past Atlanta United goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth. It’s another example of Atlanta United’s consistent problem of defending set pieces. It was an issue throughout the game, and some of Atlanta’s most vulnerable moments came from defending set pieces.

Five minutes into the second half, Marcelino Moreno created a goal out of a very small window of opportunity, beating Sebastian Breza on his near post.

In the 81st minute, Kamal Miller did a madness to set up Joquin Torres for the game winning goal.

Again, the post-match Atlanta United discussion is mainly about how Atlanta didn’t take their chances while still controlling the majority of the possession. With 62% of the possession and 12 shots, Atlanta amassed 0.69 xG 5o Montreal’s 15 shots and 1.87 xG.

Jackson Conway was responsible for .18 of Atlanta’s xG, which is kind of a problem considering he came on as a substitute in the 85th minute.

Thiago Almada was once again probably Atlanta United’s best player on the day. He continues to dazzle with his vision, footwork, and passing range. The Argentine led the team with four chances created, 24 passes into the final third, and three dribbles completed.

Atlanta United is now winless in its last four matches, last winning in dramatic fashion against D.C. United. Three of those last four are losses.

Atlanta United is set to return to action on May 7th in the Mercedes-Benz Stadium against the Chicago Fire.