The NY Derby has become a huge, instant, and real rivalry, transforming into a gold mine for the league in the process. The two sides are going for personal and professional bragging rights as the action on the field and in the stands has been exciting to watch whenever these two sides get together.
Once again the Red Bulls came back in the final tilt to avenge their two two-goal loss earlier in the month at Yankee Stadium. A four to one victory over NYCFC allow the New York Red Bulls to claim for the second consecutive season claim that New York City is Red.
Bradley Wright-Phillips got back on the score sheet today adding to his ever increasing tally against the Hudson River rivals. His first goal came in the 20th minute as he linked up with both Felipe and Sacha Kljestan to open the scoring.
Felipe headed the ball ahead to Kljestan who, with two defenders in front of him, made a sharp pass to Wright-Phillips as he attacked the left and scored to the right, inside the far post beating Josh Saunders for his tenth goal of the season.
His second goal came in the 70th minute as he got a fantastic pass from Alex Muyl inside the area and went one on one with Saunders as the goalie came off his line. A bit of a standoff occurred as both men tried to fake each other out, but it was Wright-Phillips who made a big touch to his left, pushing the ball away from Saunders and slotting it home into an open net for his eleventh of the season.
"I've said this a few times today but, me growing up and watching derby's as an Arsenal fan, you watch Arsenal vs. Tottenham and you saw how important it is to the fans. I kinda grew with that feeling so over here this occasion I feel nervous because it means a lot to me." said Bradley Wright-Phillips "I want to win this game and I want to play well."
The New York Red Bulls' second goal came three minutes after Wright-Phillips' first, as the team earned a corner kick along the far side of the field. Kljestan delivered a great ball into the NYCFC area and French centerback Ronald Zubar headed the ball inside the back post to create the two-goal lead.
A handball was called on NYCFC late in the first half as Frederic Brilliant was forced to defend an Alex Muyl led attack and got his hand up inside his own penalty area. Mark Geiger blew his whistle and pointed to the spot. Sacha Kljestan took the spot kick and scored to his left while Saunders dove the other way.
Even though Tommy McNamara scored a stunner shortly after the penalty, NYCFC had nothing else left in this one, failing to even try and climb back into contention in the game. With today's result, the Red Bulls take the regular season series two games to one and lead five games to one over the course of the last two seasons.
However, there was some animosity coming from the NYCFC side after the game as NYCFC manager Patrick Vieira was not happy about the comments coming from Jesse Marsch in the lead up to the game. He felt Marsch's comments influenced Mark Geiger and his officiating crew.
During the water break in the first half Vieira walked out of his technical area and had words with Mark Geiger as well as some words with Marsch, arguing with both men. He was subsequently ejected and was told to walk back to the visitors locker room in the 34th minute. After the match Vieira informed the media of his displeasure with the whole situation.
"What happened is that the goal is that the coach shouldn't cross the line & I crossed the line and the reason I was sent off. If that was the case then I should be sent off because I came out of my space, the conversation with Jesse was to stop crying and stop complaining and I thought his team was playing well and good, but he looked frustrated."
"When you discuss the referees during the week the game can have an impact and it had an impact on the game today. I feel sorry because we cam here to play a good game and a derby game and sometimes a tackle can be late, but I think the referee was influenced by the comments during the week."
When Marsch entered the conference room and was asked the question of Vieira's comments, he was allowed to respond. "He never said anything to me. That's all I can say, he didn't want to shake my hand in the hallway. I have seen this from him after the game before. I think this game was decided by the players, our players put a big imprint on the game and I thought from the first minute even on a hot day stuck to our game plan and deservedly got the result."
It was a good strategy from Marsch to have Connor Lade go one on one against Jack Harrison as the young Englishman never looked threatening down the right side of the field and made sure he would never give his teammates a chance on frame.
With the win today the Red Bulls pass the Philadelphia Union for second place in the east and are only two points behind NYCFC for first place in the conference. Once again the Red Bulls have established a dominance locally as well as a certain color of lights that will be shining on the Empire State Building. New York, once again, is Red.