Jo Inge Berget

AP Photo/Julie Jacobson

Three things as NYCFC rolls Real Salt Lake

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It was a Bronx beatdown on the postage stamp pitch of Yankee Stadium on Wednesday, as New York City FC improved to 5W-1T on the season with a 4-0 win over Long Island native Mike Petke’s Real Salt Lake.

[ MORE: Buffon rips referee Oliver ]

NYCFC is good (and short weeks with long trips don’t help beat them)

David Villa and Alexander Ring were sitting on the subs bench, and it became clear within 20 minutes they could stay there if they wanted to rest up for the weekend’s match-up with Atlanta United (Villa did manage 32 minutes in returning from a calf injury, while Ring subbed on for the final 25).

That’s because NYCFC can beat you in so many ways, as evidenced by the quartet of goal scorers on display in the first half. Ismael Tajouri-Shradi is as hot as any non-huge name in the league, Jo Inge Berget as hot as any gigantic beard in the league, and Maxi Moralez is that controlled tornado playmaker so dangerous on our shores. And Ebenezer Ofori, well, maybe you’ve read an article about him or something. Team = Deep.

But as good as Patrick Vieira’s men are this season, the schedule makers predestined this one a bit. Real Salt Lake played Saturday in Utah, then had to skip across the country for a match against rested NYCFC. And given the propensity of road teams to lose in MLS when all other things are equal, well, see ya.

Ismael Tajouri-Shradi is a real talent

Maybe file this under “Things We Are Relearning,” because the Swiss-born Libyan international is impressing at every turn. His goal Wednesday came off a garbage clearing attempt, but the 24-year-old now has four goals and an assist in four MLS starts since arriving from Austria Wien.

Maxi Moralez can win a sly penalty

Justen Glad was on the deck when he stabbed his foot at Moralez in a desperate attempt to get the ball off the Argentine atop the 18.

He missed, and barely caught a piece of leg. That didn’t stop Moralez from going down, and he finished his penalty kick past Nick Rimando (never an easy task).

Rough call, and a 2-0 hole at Yankee Stadium is a tough climb.

UEFA Champions League roundup: Road goals a-plenty as Monaco, Basel behind the 8-ball

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A day after the home squads dominated the first legs of UEFA Champions League play, not a single road team went without a valuable away goal in playoff round action.

Celtic and Basel are in varying degrees of trouble after giving up a pair of goals in their own stadia, though at least the Scottish champions picked up a slim win over Malmo.

[ MORE: Champions League schedule ]

All that and more in your quick recaps:

Valencia 3-1 Monaco
Club record signing Rodrigo scored before the game was five minutes old, but Mario Pasalic leveled things for the Ligue 1 opponents before halftime. But Monaco’s chances at the knockout rounds are in a great deal of danger after Daniel Parejo and Sofiane Feghouli scored in the second half.

Basel 2-2 Maccabi Tel-Aviv
Israel national teamer Eran Zahavi gave Maccabi a 31st minute lead, and then struck for a dramatic road equalizer six minutes into second half stoppage time after Basel had secured its first lead in the 88th minute.

Celtic 3-2 Malmo
Two goals in 10 minutes had the home fans thinking Celtic was on easy street, but the visitors weren’t going to go away that easy. Leigh Griffiths scored in the third minute, then extended Celtic’s lead to 3-1 early in the second half. But Jo Inge Berget finished his brace in the fifth minute of stoppage time to give Malmo a heck of a chance back home in Sweden on Tuesday.

source: AP
Shakhtar celebrates (AP Photo/Hans Punz)

Rapid Wien 0-1 Shakhtar Donetsk
Marlos’ goal just before halftime was enough for the Ukrainian side to feel good about its chances in leg No. 2

Skenderbeu 1-2 GNK Dinamo
Albania’s chances of advancing to the group stage for the first time in national history looked decent after Bledi Shkembi — name of the tournament potential — scored in the 37th minute, but Dinamo netted twice in the second half to give Skenderbeu a heck of a task next Tuesday.

Tuesday’s UCL first legs
Manchester United 3-1 Club Brugge
Lazio 1-0 Bayer Leverkusen
BATE Borisov 1-0 Partizan Belgrade
Astana 1-0 APOEL Nicosia
Sporting Lisbon 2-1 CSKA Moscow