David Villa helps NYC keep MLS East lead with win over Impact
Former Chelsea teammates Lampard and Drogba face off for first time
The big guns came through in another road victory for New York City FC.
David Villa and Frank Lampard each had goals as first-place New York City downed the Montreal Impact 3-1 on Sunday.
Montreal's star striker Didier Drogba, back after missing three games with a thigh injury, had plenty of chances and didn't score, although he played a key part in Harry Shipp's second-half goal on an otherwise frustrating night for the home side. Montreal (6-5-8) ended a six-game unbeaten streak.
The Impact had most of the chances, especially in the first half, but Villa and Jack Harrison pounced on defensive errors to give the visitors a lead the Impact could not erase.
"We controlled the first half," said Montreal coach Mauro Biello. "There was no danger.
"We had the ball. We created chances. Then we made an individual error that cost us. The second goal also."
Lampard, with his fifth goal in six games, added the clinching goal for NYC (9-6-6), which was coming off a loss in Kansas City. NYC has won five of its last six matches and is 6-3-1 in road games this season.
Impact leaving points on pitch
The Impact's concern is letting too many points slip away at home. They are 4-2-3 in Montreal, but two wins were at Olympic Stadium early in the season. They are 2-2-3 at Saputo Stadium and Biello said "we need to make this a fortress again."
Goalkeeper Evan Bush agreed.
"When goals don't come as easily as we think they should we get frustrated and impatient and then our shape gets thrown out of whack and we give up easy chances," he said. "That has to change at home.
"We have to be aggressive and take advantage of our opportunities for sure, but we need to be a little more pessimistic when it comes to defending and transition."
A full house of 20,801 at Saputo Stadium saw former Chelsea teammates Lampard and Drogba play against one another for the first time, with NYC's Villa and Andrea Pirlo in the match as a bonus.
Drogba said of facing Lampard. "I told him after his goal, 'same old thing."'
Drogba was sent in on the right side in the opening minute but goalie Josh Saunders got a leg on his blast. He had another chance on a free kick from just over 20 yards in the 39th. He curled it over the wall only to see Saunders leap up to palm it wide.
Villa scored in the 35th, beating Victor Cabrera to a pass at the edge of the 18-yard box and scoring with a low shot. It was the Spaniard's league-leading 13th and his fifth in as many games against Montreal over two seasons.
Harrison struck in first-half injury time, dribbling past Ambroise Oyongo inside the area and scoring inside the far post.
Shipp got one back in the 55th on a pass from the left side into the six-yard box intended for Drogba, but the Ivorian let it go and the ball bounced past Saunders inside the far post.
Wandrille Lefevre tried to break up a three-on-one NYC break but his kick went off Lampard and into the net.
The Impact were without their scoring leader Ignacio Piatti, who sat out a one-game suspension, and top defender Laurent Ciman, who is out up to two weeks with a sprained ankle.
Newly signed forward Matteo Mancosu saw his first action when he went in for Shipp in the 64th minute.
The Impact remain home to face Philadelphia on Saturday. NYC face the rival New York Red Bulls next Sunday.
Real Madrid was due in Sunday. The Spanish giant will use the Impact's training centre as its base while playing a pre-season tournament in the U.S.