Mumbai City managed to break more than one league record by extending the lead in the ISL rankings…
In the 69th minute of Mumbai City’s table-top clash against ATK Mohun Bagan, Hugo Boumous picked up the ball in the middle of the pitch and started running for the best defense in the league.
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 the defenders leave Ogbeche unmarked and give him space and time to choose his place? He scores. And that goal separated the two teams on Monday.
The Mariners took almost an hour to complete 100 field passes out of the 164 they managed to successfully complete. And this is because Mumbai City, at no time, has decided to relinquish control of the game.
Bagan has done what he has done very well so far this season. They formed an organized defense and pitched in their own half, hoping to part ways when the opportunity presented itself. But such examples were rare.
Lobera’s men recorded more than twice the number of assists as ATK Mohan Bagan (513 vs. 253) and held 75% first-half possession, which is the highest percentage a team has. achieved in the first 45 minutes since the 2015 ISL season.
9 – @MumbaiCityFC tied their nine-game unbeaten record (W8 D1) in the #ISL which they also performed previously during the 2018-19 season. Trail. #ATKMBMCFC #HeroISL #LetsFootball pic.twitter.com/jiW2qXQlO0
– OptaJeev (@OptaJeev) January 11, 2021
Habas’ side have had just seven touches in the opposing box against Mumbai City, the least in one game this season. It was absolute control.
Ogbeche scored the most important goal, but it was Hugo Boumous who ran the show from midfield for the Islanders. Ahmed Jahouh’s absence meant Boumous had to go deeper several times in the game, but it was a pleasure to watch every time he stepped on the ball and opponents had no response to his technical prowess. .
Habas wished they had a midfield presence like Carl McHugh to keep Boumous in check because McHugh, who has been brilliant this season, was 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 total of assists to 22, currently the most by any player in the league. It quickly became the wonder of Mumbai.
Roy Krishna and David Williams need to quickly regain the chemistry that propelled ATK to the trophy last season if Bagan is to catch the Islanders at the top of the table. They have excellent defense but lack enough firepower up front. If Krishna and Williams had a day off, the Mariners would be stranded.
And it will be difficult to catch Lobera’s side who not only have a good starting lineup but also a solid bench. They brought in Adam Le Fondre as a substitute in the second half against Bagan!
Mumbai City have now amassed 25 points in their first 10 games and in so doing broke the record set by Bengaluru in the 2018-19 season where the Blues had 24 points in the first 10 games.
Bengaluru finished the league stages at the top of the table and won the title. Will Mumbai City take the same path?
All statistics used in this article are from @OptaJeev.