Mumbai City FC opened up a five-point lead at the top of the Indian Super League (ISL 2020-21) by beating ATK Mohun Bagan 1-0 in their clash at the Fatorda Stadium on Monday.
The triumph saw Sergio Lobera's side cruise to its fourth win on the trot and extend its unbeaten run to nine games. The club has not lost since its opening game against NorthEast United FC.
ATK Mohun Bagan, on the other hand, slipped to its second loss of the season and has dropped four points in its last three games.
From Bartholomew Ogbeche's stunning goal to Roy Krishna cutting a sorry figure up front, here are the talking points from the Mumbai City FC vs ATK Mohun Bagan clash.
Ogbeche repays Lobera's faith
Mumbai City coach Lobera awarded Ogbeche just his fourth start in 10 games and the Nigerian striker grabbed the opportunity by scoring the match-winner. The 36-year-old, who has been jostling with Adam le Fondre for a spot in the starting XI, has scored all three of his goals in the games he has started.
ATKMB vs MCFC Highlights|
His goal on Monday was a worldie. Ogbeche received a deft back-heel pass from Hugo Boumous in the box and nestled the ball into the top-corner with a sublime finish off his right boot.
When asked about a lack of starts this season, here's what Ogbeche had said after the last game (against Bengaluru FC): "It is tough to be fair. Adam and I are important players and the coach makes the decision. What is paramount is for team to be on top. Being less visible does not make me less of a leader. When I am called upon you can bet I will answer the bell. Hopefully things will change and I get more gametime. I try to be positive because being pessimistic is corrosive. We push each other and at the end of the day we want the team to win."
Shambolic defending leads to goal
ATK Mohun Bagan, which had the best defensive record this season by virtue of conceding only three goals until this game, was undone by some sloppy work at the back.
The move began when Edu Garcia, on the attack, went to ground without any contact from an opposition player. Mumbai City launched the counter as Hernan Santana strode ahead before passing it to Boumous.
Pronay Halder, who came on at the start of the second half, gave up on the ball far too easily to allow Boumous to continue his run and play a give and go with Santana, followed by the cheeky backheel for Ogbeche. The Nigerian striker was completely unmarked on the far post.
ATK Mohun Bagan had six defenders at the back to deal with three Mumbai City players, but failed to do so. This is also the first time the side has conceded from open play this season.
Krishna struggles for service
Last season's joint top-scorer and ATK Mohun Bagan's leading goal-scorer this campaign, Krishna struggled to create an impact against Mumbai City.
The Fijian striker cut a sorry figure for large parts of the game and managed only 17 touches and completed only six passes in the 90 minutes he played. Surprisingly, he did not have a single shot.
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Krishna, Manvir Singh and David Williams have been lethal in ISL 2020-21, but the trio found it hard to get past the Mumbai defence. Manvir had a disappointing opening half and was taken off at half-time, while Williams also had a subdued game.
Krishna made a strong start to the season by scoring five times in the opening six games, but has endured a dip in form since. His work-rate has remained phenomenal as always, but the goals have been hard to come by. He has found the back of the net only once in the last four games.
A game of two halves
As seen many times this season, Antonio Habas' side barely showed any attacking intent in the opening half. ATK Mohun Bagan had just the one off-target shot and less than 30 per cent of possession in the opening 45.
In sharp contrast, Mumbai City came close to scoring on multiple occasions, had a chance cleared off the goal-line, and had 227 touches in the opposition box - more than twice of what ATK Mohun Bagan managed.
However, true to their unique stat of scoring 90 per cent of their goals in the seconds half, Habas' men began the second half with a lot more vigour. The opening 15 minutes of the second period saw them pile the pressure on Mumbai City 'keeper Amrinder Singh.
Garcia had a golden opportunity in the 58th minute when he ran in between two defenders and beat the 'keeper, but he had his shot deflected off the post. The side looked a lot better in the second 45 but was unable to find a way back into the game after Ogbeche's winner.
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