Frank Lampard scored the first hat trick in New York City history as the Blues destroyed the best defensive unit in the league en route to a comprehensive victory.
A makeshift lineup - occasioned by the suspensions of David Villa, RJ Allen, and Federico Bravo, plus the injury absence of Ronald Matarrita - delivered one of the most polished performances at home this season.
Lampard scored in the 28th minute in a wild scrum to put the Blues up 1-0. Within seconds, referee Alejandro Toledo halted the game as lightning was seen in the area. The game restarted around 30 minutes later, but someone forgot to tell the Rapids.
In the 37th minute, Colorado defender Michael Azira was sent off for a last-man foul on Jack Harrison, further depleting the Rapids defence.
Tony Taylor took advantage of the visitors’ defensive lack of concentration in the 42nd minute. Tommy McNamara, who leads the team in assists, confected a variety of stepovers, mesmerising his defender, before feeding Taylor, who slotted home.
New York’s substitute manager, spelling the suspended Patrick Vieira, brought on new acquisition Maxime Chanot at halftime for Jefferson Mena. Chanot immediately solidified the back line with his physical presence. In the 66th minute, he made twin substitutions of Andrea Pirlo and Tony Taylor with Mikey Lopez and Steven Mendoza.
Mendoza made an immediate impact. In the 75th minute, he dispossessed a Colorado defender, deked another, then finally shot and scored to make it 3-0. Finally, in the 81st and 84th minutes, Lampard scored a penalty and a breakaway goal to make the score 4-0, then 5-0.
The Rapids managed to notch a solitary goal off a deflection on a free kick in stoppage time.
Next up for the Blues: a cross-country road trip to San Jose’s Avaya Stadium, site of the MLS All-Star Game, to play the Earthquakes next Friday. Game time is 11:00 p.m.