One of the most awaited fixtures of the Indian Super League season turned into a one-sided affair, with Mumbai City FC decimating Kerala Blasters 4-0 at the Mumbai Football Arena on Sunday.
Riding on an engrossing first half performance - where the Des Buckingham-coached Mumbai outfit scored all four goals - the home team remained undefeated in the tournament and went up to 33 points to top the table and halted Blasters’ eight-match unbeaten streak.
As its co-owner, Ranbir Kapoor watched the proceedings from the stands, along with his wife and Bollywood superstar Alia Bhatt, Mumbai took an early lead in the fourth minute. Jorge Pereyra Diaz put the ball into the back of the net following a deflection off Blasters goalkeeper Prabhsukhan Singh Gill.
Six minutes later, the Islanders doubled its lead with a brilliant header by the seasoned Greg Stewart.
With the Blasters defence struggling, Bipin Singh made it 3-0 in the 16th minute. Defender Mehtab Singh sent a long ball to Diaz, who controlled the ball inside the box and passed it on to Bipin, who found the net.
When the two teams met the last time in October last year, Mumbai had defeated Blasters 2-0. At home, the Islanders kept the momentum going as Jorge Diaz scored his second in the 22nd minute to take an unassailable lead. Making the most of a brilliant ball from Ahmed Jahaouh, a calm and composed Diaz found the net.
Heading into the half-time trailing 0-4, the Kerala Blasters fans, who turned up in large numbers, expected the team to bounce back, but that did not happen. The visiting side made a slew of changes but failed to change its fortunes.
With this victory, Mumbai City FC created a new ISL record of eight wins in a row, going past Jamshedpur FC’s seven-match winning streak last year.
Mumbai City FC 4 (Pereyra Diaz 4’, 22’, Greg Stewart 10’, Bipin Singh 16’) bt Kerala Blasters 0.