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FC Pune City 3-1 Mumbai City FC: 5 Talking Points

Tuncay was clinical in front of goal, scoring two goals(Photo courtesy: ISL)
Kaushal Shukla

FC Pune City players appreciating the support of the home fans (Photo courtesy: ISL)FC Pune City got their campaign off to a perfect start as they saw off local rivals Mumbai City FC 3-1 in their opening game at Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Balewadi, Pune. A brace from Turkish recruit Tuncay Sanli and a solitary goal from Israil Gurung were enough to punish a wasteful Mumbai City FC side.David Platt endured a tough evening with Mumbai City calling most of the shots, but the Orange & Blue army rose to the occasion when it was needed, and sent their local rivals back home empty handed.A game which threw plenty of fodder for the pundits to chew on, we take a look at five talking points which this season’s first Maharashtra derby threw up.

#1 Tuncay Sanli, FC Pune City\'s fox in the box

Tuncay was clinical in front of goal, scoring two goals(Photo courtesy: ISL)

Good strikers come alive inside the box and Tuncay Sanli once again proved his pedigree with two brilliant headed goals, both of which came very much against the play. The former Middlesborough and Stoke City striker proved that he has not lost any of his goalscoring touch. His precise and sharp movement for both the goals proved to be too hot to handle for the Mumbai City FC rearguard.

FC Pune City saw quite less of the ball and had very few chances in the game, but Tuncay was there at the right place and the right time to convert whatever FC Pune City created.

It will be interesting to see how many goals Tuncay is able to get this season, but there is no doubt that Tuncays quality upfront is a great asset for David Platts men going ahead into the season and his goals could just make the difference for FC Pune City in the end.

#2 Mumbai City FC made to pay for their poor finishing

Mumbai City strikers failed to take the chances that came their way(Photo courtesy: ISL)

Mumbai City FC would be wondering how they managed to come out of this game with nothing to show for it. Having bossed the game from minute one, Nicolas Anelkas men responded well after falling behind early in the contest. But the Mumbaikars missed chance after chance in the latter stages of the first half. The finishing failed to improve even after the interval and Mumbai City FC left the door open for the hosts who eventually punished them and left them reeling at 3-1 down.

Nicolas Anelka and Co. will now have to go back to the drawing board and work on the things which went wrong. There were plenty of positives for Mumbai City FC in the game, but losing the game after playing so well would hurt the French player-manager. Mumbai City FC now travel to last years runners-up Kerala Blasters and will be looking to work on their finishing before they head down south.

#3 Israil Gurung ensured FC Pune City didn\'t miss Lyngdoh & Jackichand

Israil Gurung was deservedly recognised for the contribution to his teams win(Photo courtesy: ISL)

Before the game there was a lot of talk about the missing Indian players who are away on international duty, playing for India. FC Pune City seemed to be the team to be worst hit due to that, with David Platts men losing Eugensen Lyngdoh, Jackichand Singh, Bikash Jairu and Pritam Kotal. But Lyngdoh and Jackichand were certainly not missed, thanks to an inspired performance from winger Israil Gurung who fed Tuncay Sanli for both the goals, before scoring a third which sealed the win for the Punekars.

Gurung terrorised Keegan Pereira all evening long and the full back couldnt handlehim. It will be interesting to seewhat David Platt does, when he has Lyngdoh and Jackichand at his disposal, with Israil Gurung. The twenty six year old has more than made a strong case for himself and has given David Platt a real headache. But thats a headache he wont mind having.

#4 Did Mumbai City FC miss their Indian trio?

Mumbai City missed their star foward Sunil Chhetri

Israil Gurung stepped for FC Pune City in the absence of their Indian stars, but the same did not quite happen for Mumbai City FC. Mumbai City FC were without striker Sunil Chhetri, goalkeeper Subrata Pal and left full back Lalchhuanmawia Fanai. While Albino Gomes did alright in goal, Mumbai did miss their talismanic forward Sunil Chhetri.

Last year’s hat-trick hero against FC Pune City, Andre Moritz looked horribly out of range and missed some important chances that fell his way. Had Chhetri been available, he would have most probably played in his place and would have provided just that cutting edge which would have helped the Mumbaikars come away with all three points.

Keegan Pereira had an evening to forget in the left back position against a rampant Israil Gurung. Looking at their pre-season games, Nicolas Anelka had usually preferred Fanai over Keegan Pereira at left back, and the Bengaluru FC player did repay his coach’s faith in him with some top performances. But his absence meant Anelka was forced to play Keegan Pereira, who failed to take his chance as his destroyer on the evening did so well.

#5 Did Nicolas Anelka leave it too late to bring himself on?

Anelka might have brought himself on a bit too late (Photo courtesy: ISL)

Mumbai City FC’s player-manager Nicolas Anelka decided against starting himself against FC Pune City and that decision seems to have backfired in the end. Moreover he waited until the 75th minute to bring himself on and the game was already lost by then.

Had Anelka come on at half time, he would probably have been at the end of one of those chances which went begging for the visitors. Anelka’s track record over the years suggests he needs just a clear sight of goal to make the opposition pay and that’s where his team faltered.

So his decision to delay his entry into the foray will raise a few questions at his strategy. With another away game on the horizon, it will be interesting to see if how he uses himself. Nicolas Anelka doesn’t just bring the goals, but his presence is certain to lift the spirit of his side and after a disappointing end to what looked like a promising evening, his side will need that lift when they take on the Blasters from Kerala in their next game.

Edited by Staff Editor

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