Villa, Lampard and Pirlo score as NYCFC defeat the Union

Philadelphia Union – 2

Match recap …
Frank Lampard, David Villa and Andrea Pirlo each scored a goal to lift New York City FC to a 3-2 win over the Philadelphia Union at Yankee Stadium Saturday afternoon.
The win ended a four-match winless streak for NYCFC, which moved into second place in the Eastern Conference, two points behind the Union, who had an eight-match MLS unbeaten streak snapped.
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Lampard made the most of his first start of the season, scoring his first goal of the campaign on eight minutes.
R.J. Allen continued a strong run down the right flank before crossing to the top of the 18-yard box. Tommy McNamara’s shot deflected off a Union defender and Lampard pounced on the rebound, scoring with his left from eight yards out.

After putting a shot from nearly 50 yards out off the crossbar, Villa netted his league-leading 11th goal of the year in the 21st minute. Josh Saunders corralled a Tranquillo Barnetta corner kick and quickly sent an outlet pass to Villa.

The captain momentarily lost possession, but Harrison gained it back quickly and charged up the middle of the field and into the Union 18-yard box. With two Philadelphia defenders converging, Harrison cleverly sent a back pass to Villa, who fired low first time to the left of Union goalkeeper Andre Blake.
Photos: New York City FC vs. Philadelphia Union

Pirlo scored his first Major League Soccer goal in the 50th minute, slipping a 20-yard free kick around the Union wall and past a flat-footed Blake to give NYCFC (5-5-6) a 3-0 lead.

The Union (6-4-5) pulled a goal back five minutes later when Ronald Alberg scored from the penalty spot.
NYCFC played the final five minutes of regulation with 10 men after Jason Hernandez was sent off for his second bookable offense.
An own goal two minutes from full time cut the NYCFC lead to 3-2, but NYCFC held on to claim three massive points.

Photo of the Match...

How they lined up …
Patrick Vieira went with an entirely changed starting XI from Wednesday night’s fourth round U.S. Open Cup loss to the New York Cosmos.
For the first time this season, all three Designated Players started the match with David Villa playing up front with Tommy McNamara and Jack Harrison in Vieira’s front three and Frank Lampard and Andrea Pirlo playing in the midfield in front of Andoni Iraola.
Jason Hernandez partnered with Frederic Brillant in the center of defense with Ronald Matarrita on the left and R.J. Allen on the right of the back four in front of Josh Saunders.

Ethan White came on in the 64th minute for Tommy McNamara as Vieira switched to five in the back.

With a quarter hour remaining, Mikey Lopez replaced Lampard and Kwadwo Poku stepped on the field for Harrison in the 81st minute.

Key moment …

David Villa’s league-leading 11th goal of the year was a thing of beauty. Villa put the finishing touches on a quick counter that started with an outlet Josh Saunders following a Philadelphia corner kick and including a brilliant run at the heart of the Union defense from Jack Harrison. Villa received the sublime back heel from Harrison and put his first-time shot to the left of Union goalkeeper Andre Blake to double NYCFC’s first-half lead.

Man of the Match …
Frank Lampard
The veteran midfielder made his presence known immediately, scoring his first goal of the season in the eighth minute of his first start of the year. Lampard pounced on a deflected shot by Tommy McNamara and put a low left-footed shot into the net from just outside the six-yard box to set the tone for NYCFC.

Quote of the Match....

Stats and milestones …

  • Frank Lampard made his first start of the season.
  • David Villa scored his MLS-leading 11th goal of the year.
  • Andrea Pirlo scored his first MLS goal in the 50th minute.

What it means …
NYCFC heads to CenturyLink Field to take on Seattle Sounders FC next Saturday at 5 p.m. before returning home to meet the rival New York Red Bulls at Yankee Stadium July 3 at Noon.

Instagram of the Match....