LA Galaxy coach Bruce Arena has heaped praise on David Beckham for his role in guiding the team to a 2-1 victory over New York Red Bulls in the Western Conference semi-final on Thursday night.

LA scored a 3-1 aggregate win following their 1-0 away win in the first leg but it did not come without its problems as Luke Rodgers scored for the Red Bulls in just the fourth minute at The Home Depot Center after a brilliant through ball from Thierry Henry.

The Galaxy rallied thanks to goals from Mike Magee (from a Beckham corner) and Landon Donvan (penalty which Beckham won) abut it was Beckham's influence which received adulation from the coach.

"He's a player with an unbelievable desire to win and compete," Arena said. "When we got down a goal, David helped pick up the team.

"His energy in the second half and earning the penalty it was all David. David, I think, was an inspiration to our team."

Beckham and the Galaxy will now prepare to take on Real Salt Lake in the Conference finals on Sunday for a chance to qualify for the MLS Cup final for the second time in three years.

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