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ISL 2020-21 Mumbai City FC vs Bengaluru FC: Mumbai City reclaim top spot with win over Bengaluru
The Islanders registered a comfortable win over Bengaluru FC. Mumbai City FC defeated Bengaluru FC by 3-1 on Wednesday night at the Fatorda Stadium in Goa.
Goals from Mourtada Fall, Bipin Singh and Bartholomew Ogbeche helped the Islanders go back to the top of the table with the win.
Bengaluru FC had an early chance to take the lead when Kristian Opseth played a ball to Deshorn Brown which he took it through with only the keeper to beat but the latter missed the target.
They had another shy at the goal when a brilliant set-piece from Sunil Chhetri was cleared on the line by the defence.
Mumbai City FC took the lead in the 9th minute when Hernan Santana headed the ball towards the far post. Mourtada Fall rose over others to put the ball into the back of the net.
In the 15th minute, the Islanders doubled the lead when Bipin Singh slotted the ball home after Adam le Fondre volleyed a ball towards Mandar Rao Desai who whipped in a cross for Manipuri who timed his run to perfection to slot the ball home.
The rest of the half turned out to be a game in the midfield as both sides tussled hard to breach the other's defence.
The scoreline remained 2-0 in the favour of the visitors at the break.
Bengaluru toiled hard in search of a goal but they lacked the cutting edge. But they finally managed to reduce the deficit in the 79th minute when a tackle on Kristian Opseth by Mourtada Fall eqs adjudged foul inside the box and the resulting penalty was calmly put into the back of the net by Sunil Chhetri.
The match was however put to bed by Bartholomew Ogbeche just five minutes later. In the 84th minute, the Nigerian's header was horribly mishandled by Gurpreet Singh Sandhu as the ball trickled into the back of the net.
Mumbai City FC head coach Sergio Lobera was happy with the outcome, "I am very happy because playing against Bengaluru is always difficult, they are competitive and difficult. We played very well in the first half and took our chances and I am very happy.
The most important thing is balance. We are playing attacking football and want to score goals but balance is important in defence. We try to recover the ball quickly and try to press the opponents. I am very happy with all the players and we are working in this way to achieve this balance.
We need to work on a lot of things and improve but the team is working very well. I have a very good squad, we have a good first XI and players are scoring for me even from the bench."
Bengaluru FC head coach Sergio Lobera said that the team needs to improve and they are in progress, although their strategy didn't work out against Mumbai, "It's three consecutive losses but two of them have been against Mumbai and ATK, who are consistent. We have to improve a lot but this is what we are training for. We had planned to counter attack. We missed chances and set pieces, they benefited with Eric not being there. It's football, it happens.
We had the plan to make things difficult for them. They are a team if you go for high pressure, it will be trouble. So we tried to stay compact. We have always had close games against Lobera. But they got the first goal and got comfortable and got 2-0 then. I am very happy with the attitude of my players though, we have to improve tactics and decisions. They came back with a goal and at least tried to get a point.
Udanta was great in the first season when we became champions. He was giving assists and it was him and Chhetri together that worked for us. But Indian football has got better and even for Sunil, it's not easy as before. Also, I have to say, Udanta and Fran arrived in this game with some muscle problems. Udanta has to try and get the confidence back because we have people in the box.
Like Lobera said football is about balance and if we had gone with 4-4-2, we might have problems with Boumous and Jahouh. Our plan had worked with Goa previously with these two in that team. It didn't work today."