(Pregame festivities on Sunday at Yankee Stadium – Photo by Jason Schott)
New York City Football Club beat the Red Bulls 3-2 in the latest installment of the Hudson River Derby on Sunday night at Yankee Stadium.
The stars came to play in this one, as NYCFC’s David Villa had a hat trick to give him 17 goals on the season, and the Red Bulls’ Bradley Wright-Phillips notched two goals to give him 12 for the year.
This game had a chippy start to it, as Red Bulls midfielder Daniel Royer was given a yellow card in the fifth minute for a challenge on NYCFC’s Maxi Moralez.
Two minutes later, Moralez received a yellow card of his own.
In the 11th minute, Royer was going for a loose ball in the corner and got tangled up with an NYCFC player. He remained on the ground with what appeared to have a knee injury and was pulled a few minutes later for Alex Muyl.
Villa gave NYCFC the early lead in the 29th minute when he swooped in to take a pass from Red Bulls defender Aaron Long and he was off to the races, got in alone, and blew it by goalkeeper Luis Robles to make it 1-0.
A nearly identical play happened in the 10th minute, with Villa on a breakaway and Robles flicking away the point-break shot.
In the 40th minute, NYCFC’s Jack Harrison was taken down in the box and, to the detriment of most of the crowd, no call was made.
The Red Bulls quickly made it to the other end and Bradley Wright-Phillips blasted on by NYCFC goalkeeper Sean Johnson to tie it at 1.
Wright-Phillips nearly had another one in the 45th minute when he got a beautiful feed, but Johnson kicked it away.
In the second half, NYCFC got some chances early, but it was the Red Bulls who cashed in first.
In the 64th minute, Tyler Adams got the ball in the corner and fired a cross into the box to Wright-Phillips, who buried it for his second goal of the day to make it 2-1 Red Bulls.
A minute later, BWP was in on the break, but NYCFC’s Alexander Callens was on him and prevented him from getting off a clean shot.
Villa responded in the 72nd minute when he came up the right side, blowing by the Red Bulls defense, and fired a rocket by Robles to tie the game at 2.
In the 75th minute, Red Bulls defender Sal Zizzo was going for a loose ball and his spike came up near Villa’s face.
Zizzo was given a yellow card and Villa received a penalty kick.
Villa took it and buried it to give him a hat trick and NYCFC a 3-2 lead.
In the 90th minute, Zizzo got another yellow card, and was ejected, when his spike clipped Yangel Herrera while going for a ball in midfield.
Villa was pulled in the 91st minute and received a standing ovation from the crowd, filled with chants of “MVP!”
NYCFC improves to 12-4-7, 40 points, in third place in the Eastern Conference, just one point behind the Chicago Fire. The Red Bulls dropped to 11-2-9, 35 points, and remain in fourth place in the East.
The game was played in front of a sellout crowd of 33,679.