Blog Written by Alessandro Pugliese (@sandro_pugliese):
In the fifth edition of the New York Derby, New York City Football Club finally claimed their first victory in the rivalry. The number one overall pick in this year's MLS SuperDraft, Jack Harrison, helped propel NYCFC to a 2-0 win providing a goal and an assist. This is the first time in club history that NYCFC have beaten a New York team, having lost all previous matches against the New York Red Bulls and the New York Cosmos.
NYCFC kicked off the match on the front foot in front of a passionate 33,613 fans in attendance at Yankee Stadium. Luis Robles made two early saves on David Villa and Tommy McNamara but the home team found the breakthrough in the eighth minute. Andrea Pirlo lofted a corner kick outside the box to Jack Harrison and the youngster did well to get past a pair of Red Bull defenders and finish home at the near post. NYCFC continued to have all the threatening possession in the opening 20 minutes before the match started to open up more. Josh Saunders made a commendable save on a 22-yard shot from Alex Muyr to ensure NYCFC went into halftime with the lead.
The beginning of the second half was quite even, with each side having their fair share of the play. The visiting Red Bulls had a golden opportunity to equalize in the 63rd minute but Felipe missed an open header from inside the six-yard box. NYCFC were able to double their advantage just three minutes later. Frank Lampard did very well to find Jack Harrison on the right flank to spring a counter attack and the English teenager played a ball across goal for a David Villa tap in. As the Red Bulls were chasing the match, Chris Duvall received a red card in the 79thminute for a studs-up tackle on Andrea Pirlo. Both Lampard andPirlo received standing ovations when they were substituted in the 73rd and 83rd minute, respectively. Jefferson Mena almost put the icing on the cake for Patrick Viera’s side in the 88th minute when he went through on a breakaway but his chip sailed over the crossbar. New York City Football Club held on for a vital three points and a statement win.
NYCFC had a rocky start to the 2016 season with a 1-3-4 (W-L-D) record but have shown resilience to rebound and now sit in first place of the Eastern Conference standings. Patrick Viera has done quite well getting his squad to play as a collective unit. David Villa’s leadership has been evident both on and off the pitch and he fully deserves to be wearing the captain’s armband. Pirlo and Lampard are really starting to show their worth, playing with experience and vitality.
Red Bulls head coach Jesse Marsch complimented NYCFC, admitting they were the better team on the day. “They wanted it more and they showed it on the field. They changed things on defense to make it harder on us. Their whole team seemed to pour its heart out on the field.” Meanwhile NYCFC coach Patrick Viera was rather happy with his team, “I’m really pleased with how we played, the performance. We are strong and we are determined and there is a really good spirit on this football club.”
Frank Lampard mentioned he formed a formidable relationship with Jack Harrison when they were both injured at the beginning of the season while they were often in the gym. The former Chelsea midfielder also mentioned he was disappointed with England’s exit at Euro 2016 but acknowledged the young players would learn from the negative experience. Meanwhile, David Villa admitted it was difficult for him to see Spain’s early exit at the European Championships but gave credit to Italy for being a very good team.
New York City Football Club will certainly be delighted to finally have that derby rock off their back. They will look to build upon their recent impressive results and earn their first MLS playoff appearance this season. NYCFC now begin a four-match road trip starting with the New England Revolution on July 6th and ending with a trip to Red Bull Arena on July 24th. The Red Bulls resume play against the Portland Timbers on July 10th in Harrison, New Jersey.
Below is some footage from the match including some Frank Lampard and David Villa's post-match comments.