It was hard for New York City FC fans to not have confidence going into Saturday’s derby match with the New York Red Bulls. NYCFC had come off a dominant 3-1 win over the then-unbeaten FC Dallas and were leading both the Eastern Conference and MLS in points.
But the NYCFC team that took the field at Red Bull Arena this weekend showed no semblance of their previous form, as they were found themselves on the wrong end of a 4-0 spanking that looked over within the first ten minutes.
In just the 2nd minute of play, Red Bulls young sensation Kaku easily put home a rebound that came off the hand of goalkeeper Sean Johnson. A little over a minute later, Florian Valot would also get on the scoresheet on a shot that took a heavy deflection off center back Alex Callens and flew over a helpless Johnson. This early flurry put NYCFC in a 2-0 hole in only the 4th minute.
City tried to make adjustments, but the Red Bulls never let up with their signature high press.
In the 32nd minute, Bradley Wright-Phillips almost put the bad guys up three goals following a midfield turnover by Alex Ring. Johnson would come up big and make the save, keeping the game from getting out of hand for the time being.
Unfortunately, just two minutes later, BWP would have his goal by way of a header off a cross by Kaku, giving the Bulls a healthy, insurmountable 3-0 lead going into the lead.
NYCFC came out with a new look in the second half, with manager Patrick Vieira bringing on Ebenezer Ofori and Sebastien Ibeagha and swapping to a 3-5-2 formation.
The change initially brought about positive results, with City starting to look a bit better in transition. In the 47th minute, Jesus Medina found himself at the end of a quality cross from David Villa. The Young DP, however, headed it harmlessly over the bar, allowing the Red Bulls to maintain their 3-0 stranglehold on the game.
From that point on, the Jersey Boys adjusted and continued to snuff out NYCFC’s attack before subsitute Derrick Eteinne Jr. put the game away for good in the 79th minute on a one-on-one chance against Johnson, solidifying NYRB’s 4-0 win.
Next up: NYCFC look to bounce back to winning form in another trip to the west coast to face expansion side Los Angeles FC at Banc of California Stadium on May 13.