New York Red Bulls earned bragging rights with a 2-0 victory over New York City FC in MLS on Sunday, while Los Angeles Galaxy recruit Giovani Dos Santos inflicted more pain on Seattle Sounders.
Not even New York City’s star trio David Villa, Andrea Pirlo and Frank Lampard could prevent defeat in the third instalment of the New York derby, as Bradley Wright-Phillips and Felipe Martins inspired the in-form hosts at Red Bull Arena.
The Red Bulls, who have won all three derbies, are second in the Eastern Conference with 36 points from 22 matches, eight behind leaders DC United amid a five-game unbeaten run.
New York City, meanwhile, are eighth in the East, four points adrift of the sixth and final play-off spot occupied by Montreal Impact.
Villa and Lampard almost combined for the game’s opening goal in the third minute, but the latter flashed his effort just wide of the post.
An unmarked Mix Diskerud wasted a golden opportunity four minutes later after firing his volley straight at goalkeeper Luis Robles and the Red Bulls made New York City pay at the other end.
Wright-Phillips broke the deadlock in the 21st minute, after Kemar Lawrence’s low cross went through the legs of Jefferson Mena and straight to the English striker, who side-footed the ball past Josh Saunders.
New York City continued to test Robles from distance but without reward as Brazilian midfielder Felipe made sure of the win with five minutes remaining, drifting onto his right foot and curling the ball inside the near post.
Reigning MLS Cup champions the Galaxy came from behind as they beat the Sounders 3-1 and condemned the visitors to a fifth consecutive league defeat.
Chad Barrett opened the scoring for the free-falling Sounders inside the first minute but injured his hamstring while celebrating at the Stubhub Center.
Gyasi Zardes restored parity 12 minutes later, with an audacious effort using the outside of his boot.
With David Beckham watching in the stands, former Tottenham team-mates Robbie Keane and Dos Santos starred for the Galaxy in the second half.
Galaxy captain Keane fired the hosts into a 47th-minute lead before Dos Santos capped his league debut with a well-taken goal after beating the offside trap just past the hour-mark.
The Galaxy – second in the Western Conference – are two points behind Vancouver Whitecaps, while the Sounders are sixth.