ATK Mohun Bagan's hopes to regain their summit position in the 2020-21 Indian Super League (ISL) points table suffered a massive blow as table-toppers Mumbai City FC defeated them 1-0 at the Fatorda Stadium in Margao. The Kolkata-based side remain at the second spot with 20 points from 10 matches.
ATK Mohun Bagan were pinned to their own half in the opening forty-five minutes and didn't create a single chance before the change of sides. Manvir Singh rarely got the opportunity to foray forward as he was busy marking the likes of Mandar Rao Dessai and Bipin Singh on the right flank.
Antonio Lopez Habas was distraught with the performance of ATK Mohun Bagan players in the first half. Speaking to the media after the match, the two-time ISL winning coach expressed his displeasure. However, he maintained there wasn't much difference between ATK Mohun Bagan and Mumbai City FC.
"I don't see much difference. What was the difference between ATK (Mohun Bagan) and Mumbai (City FC) today? There was 2 chances for them and 2 chances for us. Maybe, the difference was that they finished a good chance. But, I am very angry with the performance in the first 45 minutes because the team didn't find space to play. After that, in the second half we improved and also had the possibility to score and draw the match," Habas said.
ATK Mohun Bagan conceded from open-play for the first time this season. The previous three goals that the team conceded were from set-pieces. Seeing this defensive record broken, Habas said:
"We have only conceded one goal from moving play. We conceded three goals from set-pieces. I have to recover the players immediately and think about the next match against FC Goa."
ATK Mohun Bagan didn't press from the first minute: Antonio Lopez Habas
ATK Mohun Bagan missed the services of Carl McHugh in the center of the park. The Irishman usually takes up pressing responsibilities and wins second balls to launch counter-attacks. However, the team struggled in his absence.
"The idea was not to play defensive. The thing they don't understand is the press from the first minute. We have the idea of high press but the thing is there was no high pressure. The team doesn't play well like this, and I don't think we created one chance for the opponent in the first half," Habas concluded.
Habas' men need to recuperate from this loss quickly as ATK Mohun Bagan face FC Goa at the same venue on Saturday.Published 12 Jan 2021, 10:00 IST