David Villa scored his first career MLS hat trick and also earned the penalty kick that decided New York City FC's enthralling 3-2 victory over the New York Red Bulls at Yankee Stadium on Sunday evening.
Villa enjoyed by far his best performance in this rivalry fixture, having scored just once in seven previous New York Derby encounters. The Spanish superstar's feat outshined a brace from the Red Bulls' Bradley Wright-Phillips, a regular thorn in City's side, and moved him into first place in the MLS Golden Boot race with 17 goals on the season, one ahead of Chicago's Nemanja Nikolic.
After Villa's 72nd-minute equalizer and 75th-minute penalty, the home side saw off the final minutes to earn a second consecutive victory over the Red Bulls for the first time in club history and remain in third place in the Eastern Conference.
Wright-Phillips scored his ninth and 10th goals against NYCFC and now has 13 on the season, but it wasn't enough to secure a win that would've taken the Red Bulls into third themselves. Coach Jesse Marsch's men also saw a four-match winning streak snapped, while losing Daniel Royer to an early injury and Sal Zizzo to a late red card.
Daniel Royer had x-rays on his knee which came back negative. Red Bulls hoping it's just hyperextended #RBNY— Brian Lewis (@NYPost_Lewis) August 7, 2017
- NYC: David Villa's 1st MLS hat trick lifts New York City FC to bounceback win
- NY: New York Red Bulls' boss Jesse Marsch hammers referee after derby defeat
- 28' - NYC - David Villa Watch
- 41' - NY - Bradley Wright-Phillips Watch
- 64' - NY - Bradley Wright-Phillips Watch
- 72' - NYC - David Villa Watch
- 75' - NYC - David Villa (PK) Watch
- WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?: Wright-Phillips might've had his first hat trick in more than a year if not for a stunning defensive play by Villa inside his own 6-yard box early in the second half. Following a corner kick, the ball fell to Wright-Phillips right at the six, where he lashed an effort toward goal. Villa launched his legs airborne, getting firm enough contact to redirect the shot away from danger.
- SAVING THE BEST FOR MIDDLE: If there was one moment that embodied Villa's effort, it was his stunning equalizer from a sequence that began from a seemingly innocent position on the right near midfield. Rather than pass the ball off, Villa ran at the defense, made a belief-defying pullback to evade Aaron Long, and then hammered a finish between Luis Robles and the near post.
- THREE AT LAST: Not only did Villa contribute his first multi-goal performance in New York derby history, but he also helped NYCFC score three goals for the first time in a match against the Red Bulls. The Red Bulls still lead 20-10 in goals scored over the teams' eight-match history, though at 3-5-0, New York City have a better record than that goal difference suggests.
They Said It
"VAR can’t correct the ability to like see the game clearly and make all the little plays right. It can help with the big plays. But then we need refs who can understand how to ref the rest of the game." -- Red Bulls coach Jesse Marsch on the performance of referee Baldomero Toledo.