Frank Lampard continued his stellar play on Wednesday night, as he scored the lone goal of the match to lift New York City Football Club to a 1-0 win against the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium.
Lampard broke the scoreless stalemate in the 58th minute, as he scored his third goal of the season from the edge of the six-yard box.
Andrea Pirlo received a ball from Andoni Iraola and chipped a well-weighted ball into the box where Tommy McNamara latched on. McNamara played a cross to Lampard, who stepped back outside the six-yard box at a perfect time and was able to put the ball in off his knee.
NYCFC won its fourth consecutive game for the first time in franchise history and registered a third consecutive clean sheet, also a club record.
NYC FC improved to 8-5-6, 30 points, in first place in the Eastern Conference, four points ahead of the Philadelphia Union. Their road record is now 5-2-1, the best in the MLS.
“I think tonight we were really strong, really solid, and going back to New York with the three points was really important for us,” NYC FC head coach Patrick Vieira said. “I think the players really deserve the win today.
“I think we can always improve and having four wins on the road, that gives us confidence and a happy camp to keep working and keep doing what we believe. I think coming here wasn’t an easy place to take the three points…I think we showed a lot of personality. We stick to our principles. We managed to play from the back. We create so many chances, we create so many situations, we really had control of the game.”
A big reason NYC FC has won four straight is their three European stars – Pirlo, Lampard, and David Villa – are playing superbly.
“Fantastic. We are doing well, of course, because of those three players, four players that you mentioned, and a really good period,” Vieira said of their influence. “They are playing really good. They are dictating the tempo of our game and I think the way we want to play suits them really well and, of course, you need element players to perform. When you look at our goalkeeper Josh [Saunders], the way he performed today, outside back…We look solid in every position and I think if you come here, you need your 11 players to perform and tonight everyone was on the field to perform and perform well for the team.”
Vieira started all three of them on Wednesday night in New England, just three days after a hard-fought win over New York City. That is no small achievement considering Lampard is 38 and has battled injuries since he arrived in New York, Pirlo is 37, and Villa is 34.
“I think the only question I asked them was how they were feeling after the [New York] Red Bull game and every one of them was feeling good,” said Vieira of playing them in the midweek game. “They wanted to play. We are in a really good period and there wasn’t any doubt in our mind about astro grass (referring to the artificial surface in New England). It was just about how they were feeling after the game and when they told me that they were feeling good, there wasn’t any doubt in my mind that they should start.
“But it’s not just the three of them, it’s even the other players. When you look at the way we played in the last four games, they make it really difficult for me to drop any of them and I think this is why we are doing well. It’s because people are doing well, people want to play, and they are challenging the other ones and I think that’s what we need.”
“I think from an organizational standpoint and a pure work ethic standpoint we have done really well,” McNamara said of things are coming together for NYC FC after their fourth straight win. “As a result of that, we have made it difficult on other teams and created a lot of chances to get goals. The more clean sheets we have is exactly what we want and what we need because we have some good players in and around the goal that we feel wouldn’t be able to create more chances and wouldn’t be able to take one, two, three touches or whatever it is that game.”