The hosts began sharply but they were soon pegged back by the visitors who kept pushing and probing incessantly. Inevitably, the breakthrough came in the 29th minute when Pronay Halder finished off a flowing move.
14 minutes later, Michael Soosairaj caressed the ball into the back of the net from the left edge of the penalty area as ATK went into the break with a two-goal cushion firmly in their bag.
After the restart, the Islanders threw everything they had at the visitors but they weren’t able to breach a stubborn defence as Antonio Habas’ troops kept them at bay and recorded another clean sheet.
Here is a look at the reasons why ATK won the encounter.
#3 ATK rip Mumbai City FC to shreds in a breath-taking first half
ATK began the encounter slightly on the back foot as the hosts started in the ascendancy and carved out a couple of presentable openings. However, the Islanders failed to make the net ripple, meaning that they handed the visitors the initiative as the half progressed.
Subsequently, ATK started winning each tussle in midfield and also looked extremely bright in transition situations. Jayesh Rane and Mandi broke up play efficiently whereas Javi Hernandez formed the requisite link between midfield and attack.
Up front, Mumbai failed to cope with David Williams and Roy Krishna’s movement throughout the opening 45 minutes as the pair fashioned numerous chances for their teammates.
Additionally, ATK’s build-up play was immensely slick as the pinged the ball from side to side and rarely took an extra touch on the ball.
Consequently, the Islanders were forced to throw extra bodies forward in search of a goal, thereby leaving gaps at the back, spaces that were duly exploited by ATK.
For the first goal, Krishna won the ball in between the lines and turned before picking out Williams expertly. The Australian then ran clear of Pratik, before he squared the ball for the onrushing Halder. The Indian did the rest and slotted the ball into the back of the net.
A few minutes later, Krishna again got the better of the defenders from an aerial ball and headed it into the path of Soosairaj. The latter cut inside his marker and subtly placed the ball into the far corner, leaving Amrinder Singh with no chance.
Thus, through the course of the first period, the visitors had showcased the cutting edge that has helped them scale the upper peaks of the ISL table. And, while they performed brilliantly after the break too, they set the tone for a positive result early in the encounter.