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RSL cruise to 4-0 victory over Columbus Crew in complete performance

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Real Salt Lake cruised to a 4-0 victory over Columbus Crew with one of the most complete displays in recent memory, continuing their reign at the top of the MLS table.

The first real chance of the match came in the 4th minute, after Javier Morales retained possession in a dangerous area in the midfield then unleashed Garcia on the right side, whose cross was only just too close to the goalkeeper for Devon Sandoval to capitalize. Through the first half, Garcia was at the center of a number of chances.

As important as the more creative players were to early chances, just as vital was the midfield and defense winning possession back seconds after losing it. The first half continued very much according to that pattern, with Real Salt Lake in the ascendency but unable to find the finishing touch necessary for a win.

But shortly before the end of the first half, Javier Morales sent in a free kick that took one or perhaps two deflections on its way past Columbus goalkeeper Matt Lampson. It may have been credited to Kyle Beckerman, but whoever may have deflected the ball into the net is by and large inconsequential. The free kick that dropped Morales in that position came after Chad Marshall committed a handball to stop a Tony Beltran shot.

The second goal came in the 51st minute, when Devon Sandoval finished past Lampson, who may have been struggling with injury. Olmes Garcia's pass into the box was perfectly weighted - Sandoval had little trouble applying a simple finishing touch.

Luis Gil, with a fine bit of skill in the box, grabbed the third of the match for Real Salt Lake with a far-post finish that's sure to feature in goal of the week considerations. The run-up by Sebastian Velasquez to the edge of the box and the exquisite pass from Ned Grabavoy put Gil in the fine spot, but the work involved to score that goal was unmistakable.

Kyle Beckerman added the fourth after Sebastian Velasquez sent in a pass from the left flank, and a slight deflection saw it land perfectly in the path of RSL's captain. Beckerman's goal was his third of the season, and it came just before stoppage time.

Federico Higuain was sent off immediately after play resumed, reportedly for a second yellow issued for dissent.