ATK Mohun Bagan completed the double over arch-rivals SC East Bengal with a comprehensive 3-1 victory in the 99th match of the 2020-21 Indian Super League (ISL). MVP Roy Krishna helped his side ATK Mohun Bagan dominate the game from start to finish and in the process build a five-point lead over Mumbai City FC.
ATK Mohun Bagan started the game well with David Williams and Subhasish Bose going for shots but their efforts were blocked. SC East Bengal survived again when Roy Krishna’s strike was blocked by Raju Gaikwad. Subhasish got the loose ball and delivered a cross to Krishna who couldn’t generate enough power in his header. The ball rolled beyond the far post but even a dive couldn’t help Manvir deflect the ball into the net.
SC East Bengal showed signs of a comeback but it was the Mariners who took the lead in the 15th minute. It was an unbelievable long ball from Tiri that found Krishna and the Fijian used his pace to good effect before rounding Subrata Paul. Krishna then tapped the ball into an empty net to provide the best possible start for his side.
Aussie David Williams produced a fantastic through ball for Marcelinho but Subrata came up trumps with a fine low save. At the other end, Narayan Das delivered a testing cross but no SC East Bengal player managed to get hold of the ball. Then, Narayan was involved in a free-kick which saw Daniel Fox’s glancing header go wide of the target.
Fox also had to be alert and intervene when Marcelinho attempted a cross to Krishna. Krishna continued to be in the hunt for a brace and raced into the box but his powerful strike only hit the side netting.
Against the run of play, SC East Bengal equalized through an own goal from Tiri. Having been tested by throw-ins throughout the half, the ATK Mohun Bagan center-back diverted one of them into his own net. Manvir Singh looked for a quick reply but his shot only found the stands.
Even in the second-half, ATK Mohun Bagan looked to sieze the initiative very early on but Williams’ shot from outside the area went wide off the target. The duo of Marcelinho and Manvir attempted low crosses but the SC East Bengal defense stood tall during that period.
ATK Mohun Bagan threatened once again but Roy Krishna’s strike off a Subhasish Bose cross was blocked while McHugh smashed his out of play during the second phase of that move. SC East Bengal depends a lot on Bright Enobakhare and the Nigerian glided past a number of opposition players. However, Matti Steinman’s chipped pass went out of play after he was fed by Bright.
Some clumsy defending by SC East Bengal saw the ball land kindly for Krishna but he struck it wide of the target. Krishna then intercepted a pass from Daniel Fox and squared it to David Williams who curled the ball around Subrata Paul to retake the lead.
With just a few minutes left in regular time, the magical Bright raced to the by-line but his shot from an acute angle was pushed away quite easily by Arindam Bhattacharja.
The day had not yet ended for Krishnawho ran to the right flank and produced an inch-perfect cross for Javi Hernandez and the Spaniard didn’t disappoint with a clinical header to make it 3-1. In the end, ATK Mohun Bagan wrapped up a comfortable victory and extended their lead at the top.
Who was the Hero of the Match?
It came as no surprise that Roy Krishna was named as the ‘Hero of the Match’. One of the best signings in ISL history, Krishna came to the party in this crucial Kolkata Derby match. Apart from opening the scoring for ATK Mohun Bagan, Krishna also went onto bag two assists in what was a sensational performance.
The 33-year-old’s hard work was aptly highlighted by the way he set up David Williams in the second half. As usual, he also tracked back and defended whenever necessary and helped ATK Mohun Bagan hold their shape.