Patrick Vieira:  “The way we went into the game wasn’t the right way and in the end we got punished.” (FrontRowSoccer.com Photo)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Patrick Vieira knew what plagued New York City FC in its 2-1 road defeat to D.C. United Saturday.

The City head coach felt his team was way too passive at RFK Stadium almost a month after the squad recorded a 4-0 home win over the very same club.

“We knew what to expect, we knew that they would be tough, physical and put us under pressure,” Vieira said at a postgame press conference. “I’m a little bit disappointed because we didn’t answer that well. I think we were a little bit passive, especially in the first half. The way we went into the game wasn’t the right way and in the end we got punished.”

Punished by former Red Bulls midfielder Lloyd Sam and by Luciano Acosta, who gave United a two-goal advantage before David Villa sliced the lead in half with his third goal of the season.

“There’s a lot of frustration and disappointment because we didn’t play at the level we played the last few games,” Vieira said.

NYC FC possessed the ball well at times in the first half, but did not take advantage of the possession.

“We had the possession of the ball, but I’m not sure we created enough chances to really say we should have taken the lead,” Vieira said. “I think in the first 15, 20 minutes of the half they put us under pressure and they created the best chances. Going back to the dressing room at halftime with it being nil-nil was a fair result.”