Mumbai City FC has risen to the top spot of the Indian Super League table, with seven wins, a draw and a loss. Bengaluru FC stays in the fifth spot, with three wins, draws and loses, each. Mumbai is yet to win the title, while Bengaluru is a former champion.
In what turned out to be a one-sided encounter, Mumbai City FC drubbed former champion, Bengaluru FC, in the 2020-21 Indian Super League, at the Fatorda Stadium, in Bengaluru, on Tuesday. The 3-1 win took Mumbai back to the top spot, while Bengaluru stayed on fifth.
Mumbai was ahead in the ninth minute, courtesy Mourtada Sergine Fall's strike, followed by another from Bipin Singh in the 15th minute. While Bengaluru earned one back through Sunil Chhetri's penalty in the 79th minute, Bartholomew Ogbeche's 84th-minute strike sealed it for Mumbai.
Following the game, Mumbai head coach, Sergio Lobera, was all praise for his boys, as he said, "I am very happy with the win because playing against Bengaluru FC is always difficult. They are a competitive team. We played well, especially in the first half. We took our chances and I am very happy to have won three points against a very good team."
"The most important thing in football is balance. We are playing attacking football and trying to score goals, but finally, we have to work in balance. We are working very well in defence, even without the ball to recover the ball and press the opposition," he added.
"We need to work on a lot of things and need to improve, but till now the results are very good. I have a very good squad and I am very happy not only with the starting XI but also with the players coming off the bench as well," he further remarked.
Meanwhile, Bengaluru manager, Carles Cuadrat feels that improvement is needed on a lot of fronts, as he spoke, "It's true that it has been three successive loses for us, but two have been against ATK Mohun Bagan and Mumbai City FC - two teams that have shown lot of consistency. We have to improve a lot in different sections. For today, it was a match plan that we tried to catch them on the counter. We missed the early chance and then they took advantage from the set-piece. Erik [Paartalu] was not playing and he is the one who usually marks [Mourtada] Fall. We had plan to try and make it difficult for them. We saw that in their last games they were winning 2-0 or 3-0...they are a team that has troubles if you go for a high press."
Cuadrat has always had close results against Lobera's sides in the previous games. Speaking on the same, Cuadrat reckoned, "Our previous games against Lobera's teams always saw close results. It's what we were preparing for, but as soon as they got first goal, they got comfortable. They were in a very good dynamic and then easily made it 2-0. It was asking a lot of attention from the players to come back from that. But, the players gave it everything and came back to make it 2-1 and were pushing to try and take a point."
Nonetheless, Cuadrat heaped immense acclaim on Udanta Singh, as he judged, "His best career was when he joined us and we became champions that season. He was helping a lot in that season to make us champions along with Sunil [Chhetri]. I think Indian football has evolved well since. It's not as easy for Sunil and him as it was before. There is no excuse. We have to work on that make the right decisions. Udanta and Fran [Gonzalez] came into the game with muscle problems and that's why they only played in the second half."
Mumbai goal-scorer, Ogbeche, also considered, "We wanted to be back on top and I am delighted we did the job. It's was a good goal, but what matters is the win. We try to be loyal to our style of play, which is dominating. There is room for improvement, but we are working to where we want to be. We could not be happier with a win tonight against a team as strong as BFC. Hopefully, we can keep riding this wave."
Ogbeche has not been a regular started for the side, on which he figured, "It is tough to be fair. I think if we need to get over the finish line we need more than two players. The team objectives are more important than individual objectives. 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 game-time. I try to be positive because being pessimistic is corrosive. The intention to win is what we are all about. We push each other and at the end of the day, we want the team to win. I am happy to have a teammate like him."
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Last Updated Jan 6, 2021, 2:23 PM IST