Chennaiyin lost 0-1 at home to Mumbai City on Saturday evening in front of a quiet Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium crowd, keeping their winless run intact. Senegal striker Modou Sougou scored the solitary goal, with other players from both teams proving shot-shy.
Mumbai now climb to the fifth spot after the narrow win in the sloppy game, while the result leaves the Marina Machans rooted to the bottom of the Indian Super League standings after six games.
John Gregory's Chennai now have a mountain to climb with one-third of the season already over, and they need to do that without help from Dhanapal Ganesh, Henrique Sereno and Bikramjit Singh, three players who played key roles in their title-winning season in 2017-18. Mumbai, on the other hand, could still go all the way, with a few tweaks to their playing style.
Even though the game didn't have major moments, save for coaching staffers from either team constantly yelling at the linesmen and the home fans hurling abuses at the referees at every opportunity, one could make several major observations, and here are the five major ones.
#5 High-profile absentees
John Gregory stuck with his preferred eleven, benching Jeje Lalpekhlua, Gregory Nelson and Mailson Alves again. With Andrea Orlandi spraying passes to Thoi Singh and Isaac Vanmalsawma and Carlos Salom proving more well-rounded than his Indian counterpart, one can see why the high-profile players found themselves starting from the bench even though the former two had immense influence after coming on.
With his new contingent failing to produce results, however, one would have thought the English manager would bring them back into the fold. However, it’s unlikely he butchers his line-up having claimed a change of personnel isn’t the answer to their problems.