New York City FC secured a 1-1 draw in the first Hudson River Derby of the season.
Here are Five Points from a feisty night at Red Bull Arena.
Luck Of The Draw
Ronny Deila was keen to choose his words carefully in the post-match press conference and to echo that sentiment, the key calls didn’t go in NYCFC’s favor.
To lose two players and concede a penalty felt harsh on a side that stats show had the better of proceedings and looked largely in control.
The fact NYCFC managed to adapt and even create a good chance when down a man away from home should give the group a boost of confidence as they head into the second derby on Saturday.
The hope now will be that the coin can land in our favor on Saturday.
One of the major reasons NYCFC were able to maintain control in the game was Taty Castellanos.
The striker was the benefactor of several key chances and took his goal with impressive composure. Outside of his goal, Castellanos typified a complete forward with his persistent pressing of opponents and fantastic link-up play.
His ability to win fouls from opponents also helped give NYCFC an outlet ball, and create some dangerous opportunities from freekicks. The 22-year-old thought he had a second from one such opportunity, but Maxime Chanot was deemed to have fouled Kyle Duncan.
Having a player that is so consistently dangerous is vital in games like the Hudson River Derby, and Taty can be proud of his performance.
Both Sean Johnson and Ronny Deila took time out of their press conference to commend the supporters that made the trip to New Jersey.
“To have our fans out in full force tonight supporting us was massive,” Johnson said. “They were loud, we really only heard our fans here in this in this arena. So you know hats off to them and for the energy they brought us.”
To have such a vocal and consistent backing has been a blessing this season, and both Deila and Johnson expressed their excitement at getting to return home on Saturday.
Ronny Deila made a bold decision to start with a back three in this game after enjoying success with 4-2-3-1 recently.
When explaining his decision the NYCFC Head Coach pointed to the club’s trio of talented defenders. Maxime Chanot, Alex Callens, and James Sands complement each other in terms of styles, and that helped limit Red Bulls to only one major opportunity during the 90 minutes.
While Chanot will miss the next game on Saturday, NYCFC should take confidence from how well they controlled the game. The expected goals for the game were in NYCFC’s favor prior to the penalty, and having such a solid foundation was central to that control.
The unique nature of this week meant that regardless of Wednesday’s result it was going to be vital that the team don’t dwell on things.
Complacent, despondent, frustrated, all three possibilities would negatively impact preparations for a big game at Yankee Stadium that can help solidify NYCFC’s playoff position. The players and staff don’t need any reminders of why Saturday is important, and their mentality has been something that Deila has been keen to strengthen this season.
Our focus must now be on the game ahead, and only that, as we prepare for what could be a great night in the Bronx.