x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Beckham booed on return to Galaxy

The England international was booed by the crowd with every touch of the ball in the 3-1 win over the New York Red Bulls.

It was a noisy return to Los Angeles Galaxy for David Beckham on Thursday. The England international was booed by the crowd with every touch of the ball in Galaxy's 3-1 win over the New York Red Bulls. Making his seasonal debut for the Galaxy halfway through the current campaign following an extended loan spell with AC Milan, Beckham, 34, had a quiet game in central midfield before being replaced in the 70th minute. But Beckham said: "It's to be expected. Sometimes it's nice to get the boos. It gives you inspiration." His team stretched their winning run with first-half goals from Alecko Eskandarian, Landon Donovan and Eddie Lewis to move into fourth place in the MLS Western Conference standings and consign the home team to their fourth successive defeat. Beckham was handed a starting role for the Galaxy on his return to MLS, in a team led by Donovan, playing wide right, who in Beckham's absence regained the club captaincy he had relinquished to the England star on his arrival in July 2007. Donovan criticised Beckham's leadership and questioned his commitment to the Galaxy, while the Englishman countered with claims his teammate had been unprofessional in making his feelings public rather than airing them face to face. The two were brought together by the manager Bruce Arena at the weekend to discuss their differences on Beckham's return to the fold and both players declared the matter over - and that certainly seemed the case as they were both quick to acknowledge the other's contributions. Neither, though, was involved in the opening goal as Eskandarian turned the New York defender Albert Celades with a neat flick and fired home from 20 yards in the third minute. Donovan doubled the Galaxy lead in the 31st minute, grabbing his seventh goal of the season after receiving the ball from Lewis on the left and beating the New York goalkeeper Danny Cepero from the edge of the area. Beckham was quick to congratulate his teammate, suggesting their differences were indeed at an end. The midfielder was replaced by the English-born Trinidad & Tobago international Chris Birchall, making his Galaxy debut after leaving Brighton earlier this year. New York finally got on the scoresheet in the 87th minute when Juan Pablo Angel scored from the penalty spot, but the former Aston Villa striker missed another two minutes later as the Red Bulls extended their winless run to 11 games, having won just twice this season, to remain at the foot of the Eastern Conference.

* With agencies