It's probably a good thing FC Cincinnati fans couldn't attend this one.
The Columbus Crew took the bragging rights in the Hell is Real derby on Saturday with a 4-0 obliteration of their Ohioan rivals.
Zelarayan bent a sublime pass to the toes of Zardes for the third goal. Youness Mokhtar was then rewarded for a fine performance with a neat strike into the bottom corner.
FC Cincinnati started brightly but the Crew soon took control of the contest. Mokhtar filled in well for Pedro Santos while Zardes and Zelarayan showed signs of a devastating attacking tandem and Darlington Nagbe bossed the match from the base of midfield as usual.
Zelarayan, the playmaker who joined from Tigres last December, was lively from the outset but made his first telling contribution via a dead-ball situation. His free-kick was near perfection, sailing around the wall and kissing the post as it passed a helpless Przemyslaw Tyton.
Zardes had an easy finish when he was picked out by Mokhtar's pass for the second, though Waston faced criticism for his positioning and languid defending.
For the third goal, Zelarayan steadied himself on the edge of his attacking third before bending an impeccable pass behind Cincinnati's defense. The job of Zardes - who was found to have been onside following a VAR review - was straightforward given the quality of the delivery.
FC Cincinnati seemed to have given up for their foes' fourth goal. Mokhtar was afforded time to turn in the 18-yard box before potting a tidy shot into the far corner.
Both teams return to action next Thursday. The Crew face the New York Red Bulls while Cincinnati will try to revive its campaign against Atlanta United.