ISL: Defending champions Mumbai City FC thrash mighty ATK Mohun Bagan 5-1

Vikram Pratap Singh scored a brace while Igor Angulo, Mourtada Fall and Bipin Singh got on the score sheet for Mumbai City FC before David Williams pulled one back for ATK Mohun Bagan.

Mumbai City FC beat ATK Mohun Bagan 5-1; Credit: Twitter/@IndSuperLeague

Defending champions Mumbai City FC thrashed the mighty ATK Mohun Bagan 5-1 in the Indian Super League (ISL) fixture at Fatorda stadium on Wednesday. Vikram Pratap singh scored a brace before the half-hour mark and then Igor Angulo made it 3-0 for Mumbai going into the break. Meanwhile ATK Mohun Bagan’s hopes of a comeback were shattered when Deepak Tangri was sent off early in the second half. Mourtada Fall got on the scores heet from the resulting free-kick before Bipin singh completed the drubbing with Mumbai’s fifth of the night. David Williams scored a consolation goal on the hour mark.

ATK Mohun Bagan came into the match on the back of an impressive derby win against SC East Bengal whereas Mumbai suffered a surprise defeat against Hyderabad FC in their previous game. However, on the night, Mumbai displayed a tactical masterclass to produce a five star performance against the team that finished second to them in the ISL last season.

Mumbai City FC’s new boss Des Buckingham brought in 19-year-old Vikram on the right wing to instill a bit more pace to their attack and the youngster made full use of the rare start he got. The India U-23 player opened the scoring within four minutes of kick-off. Cassinho released Bipin down the left flank and the winger delivered a brilliant low cross for Vikram to slot in at the far post.

The Islanders doubled the lead in the 24th minute. Once again it was the same combination of Cassinho, Bipin and Vikram. Cassinho showed great skill to get past Lenny Rodrigues and feed the ball to Bipin. The Indian international once again delivered a similar kind of cross for Vikram, whose initial attempt was blocked by goalkeeper Amrinder Singh but scored off the rebound. TV replays showed the ball ricocheted off his hand and went in.

However, referee Sreekrishna CR stood by his decision to award the goal, despite protests from the ATK Mohun Bagan players.  Mumbai City striker Angulo got on the score sheet in the 38th minute. Left-back Mandar Rao Desai’s deep cross was headed across the goal by Fall for Angulo to tap in from close range. Meanwhile the Mariners failed to register a single shot on target in the first half.

A minute into the second half, Tangri was sent off. The defensive midfielder, while clearing the ball deliberately followed up with his hand on Vikram’s face. The referee rightly showed a straight red card. Fall headed home from the resulting free-kick to make the score 4-0.

Tactical brilliance from Des Buckingham

Five minutes later, Lenny gave the ball away to Bipin who played a give-and-go with Angulo before firing home from inside the box. It was a brilliant performance from the 26-year-old as he registered two assists and got on the score sheet.

Mumbai continued to play positively and right- back Amey Ranawade tested Amrinder with a low drive from close range. Antonio Habas’ side managed to get on the score sheet as substitute Williams’ low and hard drive from outside the box, ended up at the bottom corner.

It was a tactical brilliance from Mumbai boss Buckingham as his pacey wingers Bipin and Vikram raided the opposition defence effectively. Angulo, who often stepped back and pulled defenders towards him, produced space for Vikram and Bipin and they made full use of it.

Meanwhile Habas’ side played without a proper central defender in their side, although the makeshift centre-back’s did a fine job in the previous games, against quality opposition they seem to struggle. Mumbai’s midfeielder’s Apuia and Ahmed Jahouh did a fine job to keep Hugo Boumous and Joni Kauko quiet. Boumous was substituted at half time.

The Islanders had the bulk of the ball possession, pressed high up the pitch and didn’t allow the opposition to get into the game. The win helped Mumbai to top of the points table with 6 points from 3 games. While ATK Mohun Bagan slipped to fourth spot having the same number of points but having a goal difference of just one compared to Mumbai’s five.

Sportslumo Desk

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