Mumbai City managed to break more than one league record as they extended the lead at the top of the ISL table…
There were more than five defenders in front of the midfielder but he still managed to get into the box, make a turn and find Bartholomew Ogbeche to his left. What happens when defenders leave Ogbeche unmarked and provide him space and time to pick his spot? He scores. And that goal separated the two teams on Monday.
The Mariners took close to an hour to complete 100 passes on the field out of the 164 they managed to complete succesfully. And that was because Mumbai City, at no point, decided to relinquish control of the game.
Bagan did what they have done really well so far this season. They formed an organized defence and camped in their own half, hoping to break away when an opportunity arrives. But such instances were few and far between.
Lobera’s men registered more than twice the number of passes than ATK Mohan Bagan did (513 vs 253) and held 75 per cent possession in the first half which is the highest percentage a team has achieved in the first 45 minutes since the 2015 ISL season.
9 – @MumbaiCityFC have equalled their record of remaining unbeaten in nine games (W8 D1) in the #ISL which they also achieved previously in the 2018-19 season. Streak. #ATKMBMCFC #HeroISL #LetsFootball pic.twitter.com/jiW2qXQlO0
— OptaJeev (@OptaJeev) January 11, 2021
Habas’ team had just seven touches in the opposition box against Mumbai City, the fewest in a game this season. It was absolute control.
Ogbeche scored the all-important goal but it was Hugo Boumous who ran the show from the midfield for the Islanders. The absence of Ahmed Jahouh meant Boumous had to drop deeper multiple times in the game but he was a delight to watch whenever he got on the ball and the opponents had no answer to his technical prowess.
Habas will have wished he had a midfield presence like Carl McHugh in there to keep Boumous in check because McHugh, who has been stellar this season, were their best bet against such a silky smooth talent.
Boumous now has five assists this season, the most by any player and has extended his overall assists tally to a total of 22, currently the most by any player in the league. He has quickly become Mumbai’s marvel.
Roy Krishna and David Williams need to quickly regain the chemistry that propelled ATK to the trophy last season if Bagan are to catch the Islanders at the top of the table. They have an excellent defence but without enough firepower up front. If Krishna and Williams have an off-day, the Mariners would be stuck.
And it’s going to be difficult to catch Lobera’s team who not only have a good starting lineup but also a strong bench. They had Adam Le Fondre coming on as a substitute in the second-half against Bagan!
Mumbai City now have amassed 25 points from their first 10 games and in doing so, they have beaten the record set by Bengaluru during the 2018-19 season wherein the Blues had 24 points in the first 10 matches.
Bengaluru finished the league stages on top of the table and went on to win the title. Will Mumbai City take the same route?
All stats used in this article are from @OptaJeev.