MLS New England Revolution

Match Report: NYCFC 2, Revolution 0 — Unbeaten streak snapped at seven in the league as Pigeons roost

Everything you need to know about the Revolution’s 2-0 loss to New York City FC Wednesday night in quickie form, complete with Bay State Soccer Sentinel insight and analysis:

THE SKINNY

The streak, she is over: After seven consecutive matches of earning a result, win or draw, the Revolution could not pull out a W at home against New York City FC. A relatively sloppy performance overall for New England, which only had three shots on-target in the second half and for the match, with only 41 percent of the ball. The loss drops the Revolution to 2-2-5 (2-3-5 in all competitions), as well as to eighth place in the Eastern Conference.

Heber part of both Pigeons goals: We mentioned it in Mid-Week Kick, and we’ll say it again — NYCFC likes to make spirited and intent-filled off-the-ball runs, and that was the case at the hour mark as Anton Tinnerholm motored around Alexander Büttner and found a hard charging Heber, who just barely beat Michael Mancienne to the 6-yard box. Mancienne’s slide, in an effort to slow the ball, put the ball beyond Matt Turner for the first goal. Twelve minutes later, Heber got on the score sheet for the first time in 2020 as his header off the Bronx Blues’ 11th corner of the match pinged the woodwork and in. And while the Revolution tried to get something going in the latter stages for the second consecutive match, they could not beat Sean Johnson.

A sloppy first half: New England had difficulty in keeping a hold of the ball in the first 45, as New York City was relentless in its attack. Turner had to come up with a couple of big saves in the early goings, as NYC had upward of 67 percent of the ball. The Revs did find their footing and had five shots, but three were blocked and Cristian Penilla skied an opportunity off great build-up, one that NASA is still tracking. New England had 69 percent passing accuracy, too. Not great.

Four changes: We expected some heavy changes for the Revolution on Wednesday, and we certainly got that as DeJuan Jones replaced Büttner, Mancienne replaced Andrew Farrell, Kelyn Rowe returned in place of Diego Fagundez, and Tommy McNamara replaced Adam Buksa in the XI. In addition, Bruce Arena — he who sends beers to Bertrand and Zo, but not to me — returned to the technical area following his extended suspension. Fagundez made his 250th appearance in a Revs jersey, and Kekuta Manneh made his Revs debut.

WHO’S HOT

No outfield players: We’ll be fair and note that this was New England’s fourth match in two weeks, so there might be some exhaustion as Arena made only four changes to an XI that has been pretty much unchanged in that time. But even so, the Revs were thoroughly disjointed, losing possession a tad too easily.

Matt Turner: We’ll also be fair and credit Turner for being absolutely gobsmacked in his defenders’ play Wednesday. Neither of the goals were on him. Three saves for the Garden State product.

WHO’S NOT

Matt Polster: He had four giveaways in the first quarter hour of the match, and it didn’t get better. He only went 45.

Cristian Penilla: I’ve held back on downing Penilla, hoping that he will break out of whatever slump he’s been in, but that “shot” late in the first half was dreadful. He had a shot into the Lighthouse Tunnel over the weekend that was just poor, too. He needs to use more care in his shot selection.

LET’S TALK ABOUT STATS, BABY

A grand total of 40.9 percent possession.

73 percent passing accuracy. 60 percent in the attacking half, 67 percent in the final third.

The Revs connected on 30 percent of their crosses. And they had 27 of them.

NYCFC had 13 corners on the night to the Revs’ 9.

The Revs’ shots were blocked seven times.

The Revs had two successful open-field crosses, both by Büttner in the second half.

WHAT SWEENS REALLY THINKS RIGHT NOW

If there’s anything I liked out of the Revolution Wednesday night, it was the intensity with which they used in their pressing — in quite possibly the first 10 minutes of the match. Go back and watch that incredibly high line of contention of Gustavo Bou, Teal Bunbury — and he got beat up quite a bit in that first segment, went overboard on one particular move — and Penilla, and look how they made NYCFC uncomfortable and pushed them practically into the Optum Lounge. But once that period ended and New York City started getting the ball forward and caused problems in the midfield, that spelled disaster for New England. Everything else? Burn the film.

ON TAP

Stop me if you’ve already heard this before, but the Revolution have a quick turnaround! That’s right, and it’s a visit to the Windy City to take on Chicago Fire at Soldier Field. That’s coming Sunday night at 7:30 p.m. We’ll see you then.