TORONTO — Federico Bernardeschi returned from a red-card suspension to post the second hat trick in the history of the Canadian Classique in Toronto FC’s 5-1 romp over CF Montreal on Saturday night.

Bernardeschi, who missed Wednesday’s 2-0 loss to Nashville while serving a one-match suspension for a red card he received in a 3-2 loss to New York City FC on May 11, joins Toronto’s Ayo Akinola, who accomplished the feat on July 16, 2020. It was also the first hat trick by a Toronto player since Akinola’s effort.

Toronto (7-6-1) jumped in front in the 6th minute when rookie Matty Longstaff used assists from rookie Tyrese Spicer and Lorenzo Insigne to score his second goal of the season. It was the second assist for Spicer, who also has two goals in his first season.

Toronto took a two-goal lead just six minutes later on a goal by Bernardeschi. Deybi Flores notched his first career assist. Flores, in his first season with the club, did not have a hand in a goal in six starts and 10 appearances for the Vancouver Whitecaps from 2015-18.

Insigne notched another assist — his third this season — in the 19th minute on a goal by Prince Owusu and Toronto took a commanding 3-0 lead. Owusu has six goals (no assists) in his second season. He had no goal contributions in three starts and six appearances last season.

Bernardeschi completed his hat trick and gave Toronto a 5-0 lead with goals in the 58th and 60th minutes. Alonso Coello notched an assist on Bernardeschi’s first score and the second was unassisted. Bernardeschi has six goals this season.

Montreal (3-7-3) avoided a shutout when Sunusi Ibrahim used an assist from defender George Campbell in the 67th minute to find the net for a second time this season.

Toronto FC forward Federico Bernardeschi (10) scores as CF Montreal forward Ariel Lassiter (11) and defender Joel Waterman (16) defend during the first half an MLS soccer game, Saturday, May 18, 2024 in Toronto. Credit: AP/Chris Katsarov

Sean Johnson finished with four saves for Toronto. Jonathan Sirois turned away five shots for Montreal.

Toronto takes a 15-14-5 lead in the evenly matched series and improves to 7-5-4 against Montreal at home. The club is 5-2-0 at home in its first season under John Herdman. Toronto has amassed 22 points this season, matching it total for all last season.

Montreal had posted a 6-0-1 record in the last seven meetings.

Montreal returns home to play Nashville SC on Saturday. Toronto will host FC Cincinnati on Saturday.

CF Montreal goalkeeper Jonathan Sirois (40) attempts to make a save against Toronto during the first half an MLS soccer game, Saturday, May 18, 2024 in Toronto Credit: AP/Chris Katsarov



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