Montreal Impact reassured after massive win over New York Red Bulls

MONTREAL — Montreal Impact defenders Rod Fanni and Bacary Sagna proved a formidable French Connection on both sides of the ball in a huge win against the New York Red Bulls on Saturday.

Fanni and Sagna each scored their first MLS goal in the first half to give Montreal a two-goal lead. Ignacio Piatti scored in added time to seal the Impact’s 3-0 win against the Supporters’ Shield leaders before an enthusiastic crowd at Stade Saputo.

“It’s a very good performance and we have to continue because sometimes when we win against a very good team we start to be lazy and something like that, and it’s the worst for us, it’s a trap,” Fanni said. “That’s why we have to concentrate for the future if we hope to stay in the race for the playoffs.”

Fanni scored 30 minutes in when he headed Saphir Taider’s corner kick inside the far post. Sagna also scored on a header in the box to make it 2-0 in the 38th minute when he volleyed Jukka Raitala’s header across the goalmouth on a free kick by Daniel Lovitz.

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“We are very happy because we work a lot and sometimes it’s difficult,” Fanni said. “Sagna was the man of the match the game before at home and he played a good game in Toronto, and now he scored. I’m very happy for him because he’s really a very good teammate and a friend, that’s why I hope a lot of goals for him and for us. He’s a very good help for us because he plays very good with his feet and a good head also, that’s why it’s a good force for the team.”

Sagna's goal came in just his third MLS appearance after signing with the club on Aug. 8. Piatti's capper in the 93rd minute provided some relief for the Argentinian after a previous goal was ruled offside after Video Review. The 33-year-old continually tore up the Red Bulls' defense to the tune of six dribbles completed.

Montreal (28-11-14) improved its hold on the sixth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with 36 points, six points ahead of New England, who have two games in hand on Montreal.

“It was something that we needed to reassure ourselves that we can be a good team,” Montreal coach Remi Garde said. “It’s a sprint now. We are within the last games and we need to perform very well. And I really liked the team spirit today, the togetherness we showed was very important.

“I insisted before the game that without that we couldn’t compete against this team because I watched them Wednesday playing and they were very impressive with that. I think that for them playing the fifth game in a row in 15 days would make them a little bit tired despite the rotation, but we knew that we had to be at our best level to perform well today and to win and they did very well. I’m very happy for the players.”