ATK Mohun Bagan took the top spot in the points table yet again with a 2-0 win over NorthEast United FC in the 46th match of the 2020-21 Indian Super League (ISL). Roy Krishna opened the scoring for ATK Mohun Bagan while an own goal from Benjamin Lambot sealed the victory for the Mariners.
ATK Mohun Bagan did start quickly with Roy Krishna coming up with a low cross to Prabir Das. Featuring in an advanced role, Prabir went for the bicycle kick but he missed the shot. ATK Mohun Bagan continued to dominate the possession as they won the midfield battle with a consistent pressing game.
The Mariners chose to especially target Provat Lakra who was playing as a left-back, despite being right-footed. Lakra struggled quite a bit and even swung his foot in thin air on a few occasions while looking to clear the ball.
Unfortunately for ATK Mohun Bagan, the best half-chances in the first half fell on Prabir Das. He got a decent cross from Subhasish Bose but the header was wide. At the other end, Federico Gallego came up with some inviting balls from set-pieces but Dylan Fox couldn’t trouble the opposition goalkeeper. By and large, the first half didn’t see any clear-cut chances as both the sides cancelled each other out with good organization.
As soon as the second half kicked off, NorthEast United FC started conceding set-pieces. It proved fatal as Tiri deflected Edu Garcia’s corner-kick to the far post where Roy Krishna dived to head the ball past Gurmeet Singh.
Just a few minutes later, the Mariners doubled their lead through yet another corner-kick. Even though Tiri missed the delivery from Edu Garcia, Sandesh Jhingan challenged for the stray ball and forced an own goal from Benjamin Lambot. The ball took off a deflection from Lambot before it took another deviation off VP Suhair on the goal-line. The goal could have easily been ruled out as Jhingan seemed to have pulled down Lambot.
Just like the first half, the Highlanders got a few half-chances but the likes of Rochharzela and Idrissa Sylla failed to take them. Talismanic midfielder Gallego came close with a brilliant free-kick but even that struck the cross-bar.
Sticking to his philosophy, ATK Mohun Bagan coach Antonio Lopez Habas shifted to a five-man back-line. He also brought in the duo of Pronay Haldar and Glan Martins to close out the match. With NorthEast United FC fighting to make a comeback, David Williams got some chances but the Australian couldn’t keep his shots on target.
In the end, ATK Mohun Bagan sealed yet another clean-sheet to pip Mumbai City FC to the top of the points table.
ISL 2020-21, ATKMB vs NEUFC: Who was the Hero of the Match
Striker Roy Krishna was named the ‘Hero of the Match’ for his goal. As usual, the Fijian pressed hard from the beginning to force mistakes from the opposition.
A look at Krishna’s heat-map post the match would tell how many areas of the field he covered to link up with his teammates. When a half-chance popped up, Krishna dived in like a poacher to put ATK Mohun Bagan in the lead.
By the end of the game, Krishna was back defending when NorthEast United FC looked to force a comeback and this tells how much of a team man he is.Published 04 Jan 2021, 00:11 IST