Jesus Medina celebrates his first goal for NYCFC. (USA TODAY Photos)

BRONX – FC Cincinnati turned into the perfect tonic for New York City FC Saturday.

In a marked contrast to its season opening loss at D.C. United last week, NYCFC scored early and often, twice aided by the visiting side en route to a 5-0 triumph in front of a limited crowd at Yankee Stadium due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jesus Medina tallied twice, Gudmundur Thorarinsson and Taty Castellanos once for NYCFC as Cincy also placed the ball into its own net. Castellanos’ goal deflected off a Cincinnati player and into the cage.

For the fourth time in five meetings between the teams, City has tallied four goals. It also was the 18th time in the club’s seven-year history that it tallied at least four goals in a game and the fifth time it recorded five in a contest.

It was also the first game NYCFC played in front of its fans sin 577 days, or since the 2019 MLS season.

“I’m of course very proud of their performance,” head coach Ronny Deila said in a postgame Zoom press conference with the media. “I think the boys did really good. It’s tough coming from a disappointing game in the first game of the season. We wanted to show our fans and show everyone we’re a good team.”

Medina, who had the first and last words in scoring, agreed.

“It was a great win,” he said. “I think we played well, we had good possession with the ball, we finished several chances we had, and I think we’re happy to play in front of our fans here at Yankee Stadium. We are happy for the victory and for the way we were able to play.”

Goalkeeper Sean Johnson, who was not tested much early when the game was in the balance, made several vital saves en route to his first clean sheet of the season.

“Big time players make big plays!” said defender and Bronx native Tayvon Gray, who made his professional debut as a second half substitute. “He made a beautiful two saves in a row. That’s just Sean. I just expect that from him. He’s our captain. I feel like he just brings out the best in everyone.”

The hosts enjoyed a sizable possession of the ball when it truly counted and that paid off early.

Medina gave City all the scoring it needed in the seventh minute when he found himself open on the left side of the ball and slotted home a Castellanos feed past goalkeeper Cody Cropper.

In fact, all five City goals were scored off set pieces.

While going up for a corner kick with NYCFC center back Maxime Chanot and with Cropper well out of the goal, defender Mick Hagglund accidentally headed into his own net for a 2-0 lead.

Thorarinsson increased the margin to three goals in the 57th minute as he curled a free kick from distance around a five-man wall.

Castellanos found the range in the 67th minute, firing a shot that deflected off a Cincy player and into the net from the right side of the box for a 4-0 lead.

Jesus curled in a shot from the right side into the upper far corner for a five-goal advantage.

Second-half sub Ismael Tajouri-Shradi almost made eit 6-0 when he smashed a  shot off the left post in the 88th minute.