We have just two games to go in the regular season and New York City are edging towards winning the Eastern title. They are six points ahead of their only remaining rival, Philadelphia, after a very impressive 4-1 victory over a team that can no longer catch them in the standings now, Atlanta United.
The only thing that can stop NYCFC now is two defeats in their final two games and two wins for Philadelphia, as well as an 11 goal swing in the goal difference records that the clubs have. While it is not confirmed, things are almost assured for the club, who will then head to the playoffs looking to continue their good form.
What winning the East means is that NYCFC will have home field advantage throughout the eastern playoffs, something which we have seen be very valuable in the past to clubs.
NYCFC Defeat Atlanta 4-1
The actual victory on the night for New York City was a very impressive one, beating Atlanta 4-1. It was all thanks to one player and his fantastic performance in the first half, and that was Alexandru Mitrita. He scored a hat trick early on to give NYCFC full control of this game, and after that they never really looked in any danger.
It took Mitrita just 21 minutes to score his three goals, he was fantastic and the Atlanta United defence didn’t really know what to do with him throughout the game.
The second half wasn’t much of an event, with a goal for both teams giving us the end result of 4-1 to the home side. This was a very controlled performance from NYCFC, they took the game to their opponents early and bagged three goals before happily controlling things in the second half and watching the game come to a close.
Although not full confirmed, it is only a matter of time before they are crowned Eastern Conference winners.
Atlanta Struggle Without Martinez
We expected Atlanta to struggle without their star man Josef Martinez and that was certainly the case here. Of course this was a big game for them, but they looked completely devoid of ideas in attack, clearly missing the man that makes them tick.
We are awaiting news of how long he will be out for, but based on what happened last night, the club will be hoping that he can return at some point in the playoffs and give them the boost they need.
This will be a tough end to the season for Atlanta, who cannot finish any lower than third in the standings but wouldn’t want to go into the playoffs on the back of three defeats from their final three games.
Martinez is clearly an important cog, one they may not have for much longer due to interest from Europe, but you feel that if they are to have any chance of doing something in the playoffs, he needs to be back fit and firing for them.