Mumbai City FC cemented their position at the top of the table as they beat ATK Mohun Bagan 1-0 in their 2020-21 Indian Super League (ISL) encounter at the Fatorda Stadium in Margao. With this win, the Islanders sit comfortably at the summit with 25 points from 10 matches at the halfway mark of the tournament.
Bartholomew Ogbeche scored for Mumbai City FC in the 69th minute when he struck a venomous shot into the far post. It turned out to be the only goal of the match.
Here are 4 things we learned from this game:
#4 ATK Mohun Bagan produce a dogged defensive display in the first half
ATK Mohun Bagan played extremely defensively in the first half as the Mariners didn't register a single shot. Mumbai City FC, on the other hand, took four shots but couldn't score a single goal.
Antonio Lopez Habas lined up his team in a 5-4-1 formation in the first half. Manvir Singh doubled up as an extra defender for his team to stop the runs of Mandar Rao Dessai and Bipin Singh. Tiri came up with excellent headed clearances.
However, Habas changed it to an attacking 3-5-2 formation at half-time. They created some good chances but left spaces behind for Mumbai City FC to exploit. The Islanders took advantage of it and scored from a counter-attack.
#3 Hugo Boumous fills Ahmed Jahouh's boots
Ahmed Jahouh was suspended as he picked up a red card in his previous match. However, Hugo Boumous didn't let his absence affect Mumbai City FC. He dropped deep to collect balls and troubled ATK Mohun Bagan with his off-the-ball movement.
In the 69th minute, Boumous received a pass in his own half and made a darting run with the ball. He played a one-two pass with Hernan Santana before laying it for Bartholomew Ogbeche in the left flank. The Nigerian placed the ball into the far post with a perfectly-angled shot to score the only goal of the match.
Boumous had to cover more ground in Jahouh's absence but fulfilled his duty with aplomb. Mumbai City FC paid a hefty transfer fee to acquire him from FC Goa before the season, and Boumous has proved himself to be worthy of it.
#2 ATK Mohun Bagan miss the services of Carl McHugh in the midfield
Carl McHugh has played a vital role in ATK Mohun Bagan's counter-attacking system so far. However, he suffered an injury before the match, and the Mariners missed his services badly.
Javi Hernandez regained his fitness, but couldn't replicate the performance of the Irishman. Glan Martins mistimed his tackles and was taken off at half-time. Without McHugh, the Mariners struggled to win second balls and looked disjointed while pressing.
As a result, Roy Krishna was left isolated up front and finished the match without taking a single shot. McHugh's absence affected ATK Mohun Bagan both defensively as well as offensively.
#1 Mumbai City FC prove that attack is the best form of defense
ATK Mohun Bagan took a more cautious approach in the game. But, it was Mumbai City FC who ended the game with a clean sheet and more importantly, the victory.
The Islanders had 61% of the ball possession and played more than double the number of passes than their opponents. Apart from Mourtada Fall, Rowllin Borges, and Hernan Santana, all the Mumbai City FC players occupied spaces in the opposition half.
Fall was rock-solid behind and came up strong every time he was called into action. He finished the match with 2 blocks, 7 clearances, and 1 tackle. Amrinder Singh had only one shot to save in the entire match.Published 11 Jan 2021, 22:46 IST