The game in 100 words (or less): New York City FC spent 78 minutes at a man disadvantage, fewer than 72 hours after drawing MLS-leading Toronto FC midweek, against the second-place Chicago Fire on Saturday. It the end, this week shall go down as the back-to-back which put to bed any lingering questions regarding NYCFC’s MLS Cup-contending credentials. Four points from two games against the league’s top-two teams — Patrick Vieira’s side (37 points) now sits a single point back of Chicago, two back of Toronto. As is typically the case, David Villa’s fingerprints were all over Saturday’s win at Yankee Stadium, as the reigning MVP scored the opening goal (in typically stunning fashion) before so nearly setting up one or two more as the back-and-forth, frantic second half wore on. Frederic Brilliant scored what turned out to be the winner just three minutes later, as David Accam canceled out Villa’s opener to make it three goals scored in seven minutes.
Three Four Five moments that mattered
4′ — Kappelhof slides through Herrera, no penalty given — Maybe VAR will be good?
12′ — Herrera sees yellow again, and he’s gone — Herrera’s first yellow was questionable, but there’s no doubt about the second, just four minutes later.
47′ — Villa smashes on the full volley for 1-0 — This is approximately the 197th time I’ve written the phrase, “David Villa, take a bow,” since Spain’s all-time leading scorer came to MLS.
50′ — Brilliant heads home in traffic for 2-0 — It takes guts to put your head into a sea of flying feet the Brilliant does here. Fortunately, his face is intact and the Frenchman was duly rewarded.
54′ — Accam hits and prays, makes it 2-1 — Don’t think; just hit it. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.
Man of the match: David Villa
Goalscorers: Villa (47′), Brilliant (50′), Accam (54′)