Everything you need to know about the Revolution’s scoreless draw with New York City FC Saturday afternoon in quickie form:
Revs, Pigeons share the points: A much better performance by the Revolution at Gillette Stadium than the last time New York City FC came here 17 days ago. Instead of sloppy, stretched, uninspired play, a touch more verve — and from these eyes, a bit more hunger to gain three points at home for the first time in 2020. Alas, it was not to be, as the Revs and Pigeons battled to a scoreless draw. With each gaining a point, both sides are two points apart, the Revolution seventh in the Eastern Conference.
New England peckish offensively: The Revolution looked incredibly hungry to score, and maybe too hungry: a couple of offside calls — including one that came after Gustavo Bou put the baby to bed in the 35th minute — thwarted New England, but not only that, Sean Johnson made seven saves as the Revs put shot after shot on target; a rarity in 2020. And Kekuta Manneh will want his blast in second-half stoppage time back, especially if he took two more steps in on Johnson and slotted.
Four changes: With no Matt Polster in the XI due to his suspension, Bruce Arena made four changes to the lineup, moving to a 4-2-3-1. Matt Turner and the defensive back line was unchanged, but Tommy McNamara teamed up with Scott Caldwell at the Nos. 8 and 6, while Lee Nguyen made his first start in a Revs jersey since Oct. 2017, replacing Cristian Penilla — but playing more as the No. 10, and looking pretty good in his old haunt. Tajon Buchanan also started in place of Adam Buksa. Bou also returned to the XI following his off-the-bench performance last weekend.
Tajon Buchanan: Strikers like to play with confidence, and Buchanan, playing more as the No. 11 out on the right, had himself his best performance in a New England shirt one week after opening his scoring account. He made things happen, often while being double-teamed. He found himself open for free headers (straight at Johnson), and let’s not forget the way he tracked back and provided help in the defending third. Really outstanding for the Syracuse product, and something to build off of moving forward.
Clock management late: If there’s anything in my eyes to criticize — and there really wasn’t — it was the way the Revs saw this one out. New England did not necessarily go for the three points after Turner made the save on NYCFC’s free kick at the end; it lollygagged a bit before sending it forward just as the full time white blew. We’d like to see the Revs be a touch more cutthroat and get the three points. And sure, they had the point wrapped up, but still… they need full points at home. Being more cutthroat would do it.
LET’S TALK ABOUT STATS, BABY
New England had 53.6 percent possession and 81 percent passing accuracy.
Both teams were at 78 percent passing accuracy in the first 45 minutes.
The Revs were only successful on 13 percent of their crosses.
WHAT SWEENS REALLY THINKS RIGHT NOW
I’m sure there will be some out there who are disappointed with the result, and that’s fair, but can I tell you something? That might have been the best the Revolution have played at home this season. It was a point, sure. But I think this was a baby step — an important baby step — in making this team better. I was really impressed with how tenacious this team was Saturday. Obviously they didn’t score, and that has been a problem since 2015… but that final touch will come.
THEY SAID IT
“It’s a more complete performance by out team than we’ve seen over the last couple of weeks. I think for 90 minutes we had a good understanding of what we’re trying to do. I think defensively we were solid; obviously (NYCFC) got some chances. We had some as well. They’re very good team. I think a lot of the things we’ve talked about as a team to get better at, we showed today.” — Bruce Arena on Revolution Postgame Live
“I think it’s just about being clean in front of goal; they’re creating the chances. They just can’t get that finishing touch down.” — Charlie Davies on Revolution Postgame Live
It’s a quick turnaround, and an even earlier kick-off Wednesday afternoon as the Revolution host Montreal at 5 p.m. That is to accommodate NBC Sports Boston and the Celtics’ Game 4 later in the evening.