Bradley Wright-Phillips scored twice to inspire New York Red Bulls to a 4-1 thrashing in Sunday’s derby against New York City.
The hosts moved within two points of the MLS Eastern Conference leaders after running riot at Red Bull Arena, with the home side moving ahead 3-0 by the 41st minute.
To compound matters on a disappointing day for City, head coach Patrick Vieira was dismissed to the stands in the first half for an angry reaction to a refereeing decision, while Ethan White was sent off for a second bookable offence in the closing stages.
It could have been a different story had David Villa not dragged wide when one-on-one with the score at 0-0, and Wright-Phillips showed more composure at the other end to coolly finish past Josh Saunders to round off a fine Red Bull move in the 20th minute.
Ronald Zubar powered home Sacha Kljestan’s corner three minutes later and the latter made it 3-0 from the penalty spot after Frederic Brillant fouled Alex Muyl in the area.
Thomas McNamara’s fine long-range effort two minutes before the break gave City brief hope of a second-half comeback and then struck the woodwork with another effort from distance shortly before the hour.
But Red Bull quelled the threat and 20 minutes from time talisman Wright-Phillips reached Muyl’s flick on to round Saunders and slide into the bottom corner.
In the Western Conference, Sporting Kansas City moved into the play-off positions with a 3-0 win over Seattle Sounders at Children’s Mercy Park.
Dom Dwyer scored in either half, while Jacob Peterson netted in first half injury time.