While FC Mumbai City came back home to the DY Patil Stadium after a stinging 3-0 loss to Atletico De Kolkata, FC Pune City came for their next away game after a goalless draw against the Delhi Dynamos. Dubbed the Maharashtra Derby, it was slated to be a battle of equals for the two teams. Little did the visiting team realise that it was to be hugely different. Mumbai went on to thrash Pune 5-0, which also saw the first hat-trick of the Indian Super League being scored at the DY Patil stadium on Saturday.While the chinks in Pune's armour were exploited to the hilt by Mumbai, Pune failed to capitalise on chances thereby leading to the debacle. Here are the talking points of the game.
#1 Andre Moritz was the showstopper
Save for the opening ten minutes of the game where FC Pune City created chances and tested the back line of FC Mumbai City, there was little cheer for them. The primary reason for that being Brazilian Andre Moritz, who hammered in two goals in the first half and one in the second. His goals came in the 12th, 27th and 71st minutes of the game.
While the first was a beauty born out of a counter-attack, the second saw him being opportunistic at a corner, and the last one was a lovely dribble through the Pune defence to drill past the hapless Emanuele Bellardi.
It was understandable that the Brazilian was given his first start of the season, after having shown spark after coming on as a substitute against Kolkata in the opening game of the ISL. He was ably supported by Lalrindika ‘Didika’ Ralte and Subhash Singh. Moritz was eventually substituted in the 81st minute after having sealed off the victory for his team.
#2 Mumbai City\'s gameplay
Mumbai in the initial minutes of the game rallied behind to get its defensive tactics in place, however from the 11th minute onwards it began launching a series of counter-attacks which yielded results almost instantly. While Moritz scored in the 12th minute itself, they began exploiting weaknesses in the Pune mid-field and started to run riot in the Pune half. By the end of the first half however, the counter-attacks had given way to full fledged attacks which FC Pune City was reduced to thwarting away.
The second half battle was largely limited to the mid-field with both the teams trying very hard to wrangle ball possession, Mumbai settled down comfortably into the game by the middle of the second half. It showed in their game play as they went on to score two more goals to seal the game. Peter Reid, the Mumbai City FC head coach definitely got his tactics right this time around and it showed in the positive approach of the players on the field.
#3 FC Pune City\'s listless defence and mid-field
In the first game that Pune played against Delhi, even though it failed to capitalise on chances, the defence stood up to salvos from Alessandro Del Piero's side. Emanuele Belardi was the saving grace for the squad then having made some excellent saves. All the heroics however, played no part in the game against Mumbai as neither the defence stood up nor could Bellardi alone hold fort against the attacks which after a while Mumbai were effortlessly piling up.
Coach Franco Columba got the three man defence which he was playing wrong, as the attacks against them did not cease. Not just that but the overall game play for Pune looked listless, with the team trying to defend more. Continuing from the first game, even though they showed signs of promise in the opening minutes of the game, and when they were a goal down, they could do little thereafter.
Passes ended up in blind alleys or even worse, to opposition players, while the few chances that were created were missed. The fact that they had just one shot on target goes to show what a dismal game they had.
#4 FC Pune City\'s foreign imports still not clicking
For some reason outside goalkeeper Emanuele Bellardi, none of the team's high profile foreign players have managed to click for Pune. Neither has David Trezeguet made an impact, (save for the bicycle kick that ricocheted off Subrata Paul's crossbar) nor has the Greek Kostas Kostouranis been able to make any headway.
The only thing that can be said in their defence is that they are still looking to fit into the system. Bruno Cirillo's poor form continued from the previous game, which suggests that the players are still trying to get into the groove and the taxing Indian conditions.
Kwang Park however, has been the only standout, with him working hard on the left flank to ensure that the ball is being passed regularly and that the game is not stagnant. Even after coming in as a substitute in the second half he was constantly trying to up the tempo of an otherwise listless team.
#5 Indians on both sides impressive
While Lenny Rodrigues and Ashutosh Mehta were good for FC Pune City, it was Subhash Singh and Lalrindika ‘Didika’ Ralte for Mumbai who impressed for Mumbai. Even though Rodrigues and Mehta ended up on the losing side, Mehta continuously kept feeding the ball to Dudu and Trezeguet from the right wing while Rodrigues continued his fine, hardworking form from the first game and was always trying to speed up the tempo of the game.
On the other hand, between them the duo of Singh and Didika they shared three goals, with Singh scoring one and Didika feeding the ball to Moritz for the other two. Not only did they play exceptionally well, but were, on most occasions, able to completely outrun Pune's defenders. Singh in particular came very close to scoring his second in the first half, while Didika continued to attack right till the very end of the game.