There was a lot for Patrick Vieira to like about New York City FC’s 2-0 win over the Philadelphia Union at Talen Energy Stadium Friday night, including David Villa’s stunning volley in the 90th minute to secure all three points.
“I think he’s David. The goal that he scored showed all his talent,” Vieira said in the post-match press conference “It’s one of the best goals in the league so far. It’s good for us because that gives us the three points. It was an important goal and an unbelievable goal.”
Vieira said he wasn’t frustrated at the lack of chances in a scoreless first half because the Union exerted a lot of energy defending NYCFC.
“I think you have to give credit to the opposition team. I think Philly in the first half made it really difficult,” Vieira said. “We tried to play, but the way they were closing us down, they were quite really aggressive and we needed to be patient.”
Because the hosts had to put in so much effort in the opening 45 minutes, Vieira was sure the scoring chances would come after halftime.
“In the second half, we find a bit more space because they ran a lot in the first half,” Vieira said. “We knew in the last half hour we’d create chances because of the way they were working in the first half. That was part of our game plan and I’m glad that it worked.”
Jack Harrison put NYCFC ahead in the 52nd minute, finishing a brilliant pass by Ronald Matarrita with the outside of his left foot.
Vieira lauded Harrison’s effort – tonight, as well as throughout the season.
“I think it was a really good assist for Mata and Jack’s first touch was excellent,” Vieira said. “I’m really glad for him because, not just about the game tonight, in all the games we’ve played so far he’s been working really hard, really well. In D.C. he was working as a right back the majority of the game and never complained, always putting in the shift for the team. When he scored, I’m quite really pleased for him.”
Defensively, NYCFC conceded few chances as Sean Johnson made two first-half saves to earn the clean sheet.
“I think when you look at the back four today, we were really tight on the opposition player, quite really aggressive as well and we won a lot of our duels,” Vieira said. “I think as well when you look at the way Andrea [Pirlo], Maxi [Moralez] and [Alex] Ring work in front of the back four, it makes it a bit easier for them as well.”
All in all, Vieira said there were many more positives to take from the club’s first win away from home in 2017 than in the loss last weekend at RFK Stadium.
“I think we defended well, won a lot of our duels, we were ready to compete and we worked hard for each other,” Vieira said. “I saw a team who really wanted to win the game, we respected our game plan and at the end we get what we deserved.”