After the dust settled on the first Hudson River Derby of the year Saturday, two things were quite apparent:
New York is still red and New York City FC is red-faced.
The Red Bulls continued their domination of NYC FC with a stunning 7-0 triumph at Yankee Stadium, putting on a clinic on both sides of the ball, a result that left City behind the eight ball.
“It was a disaster for us,” captain David Villa said. “It was bad. The best thing was that we lost only three points.”
NYC FC head coach Patrick Vieira called the most lopsided result in both teams’ histories “a poor game.” He added: “We didn’t play well in every aspect of the game.”
City (4-4-5, 17 points), which boasts sky blue as its main color, has lost to the Red Bulls in all four meetings since entering the league last year, having been outscored, 14-2.
Both teams played Wednesday night, when Vieira rested seven starters in a 1-1 tie at Toronto that boosted the team in the Eastern Conference lead. The Red Bulls (5-7-1, 16), the 2015 Supporters Shield champions who started the season at 1-6, deployed the same Starting XI as in the 1-0 home win over Chicago. You would think they would have had the more tired legs.
Instead, their pressing style took advantage of City’s build-up from the back, intercepting passes and causing chaos and set pieces.
“Now people will say we are the worst team in the world,” said Villa, who hasn’t scored in any of the derby confrontations. “Two days ago we were the best team performance in MLS. We are embarrassed.”
Bradley Wright-Phillips struck twice, in the 42nd minute and off a spectacular bicycle kick two minutes into stoppage time for a 3-0 halftime advantage.
Red Bulls captain Dax McCarty, who never had a multi-goal game, connected twice off headers, taking advantage of Costa Rican international defender Ronald Matarrita’s poor positioning on Sacha Kljestan corner kicks in the third and 51st minutes.
“I don’t think any of us will be a part of a performance like this again,” McCarty said. “This is a once in lifetime performance, scoring seven goals in a big derby game. “
Vieira didn’t think the Red Bulls were piling it on when three second-half substitutes scored — rookie Alex Muyl (56th minute), Gonzalo Veron (83rd minute) and defender Gideon Baah (89th minute).
“The best way to show respect to the team is to go for it,” he said. “If you can score 10, you have to score 10.”
If there was a positive take for City, Frank Lampard (calf injury) played for the first time this season and rookie midfielder Jack Harrison, the club’s No. 1 draft choice, made his pro debut.
Lampard was welcomed by some boos when he replaced Andrea Pirlo in the 75th minute.
“If I am getting booed for getting injured, there is nothing I can do about that,” he said. “It was a nasty injury.”
For NYC FC, it turned out to be one nasty game.