Five things we learnt from Mohun Bagan vs Dhaka Abahani Game

After a shocking loss in the Kolkata Derby, Mohun Bagan's senior team have bounced back with back to back two victories against Macchindra FC and Abahani Dhaka Ltd in AFC Cup Preliminary Round. The performance was not pinch perfect, but, coach Juan Ferrando will surely be happy with the performance of his boys put under pressure and emerge victorious.

Here are few positives we have noted from the game against Dhaka Abahani Ltd.

1.Amazing Anwar & The Leader 'You-Stay'

Anwar Ali has been the best performer of the team since his debut, and, yesterday was not a difference. Anwar, playing with Hector Yuste for the first time looked like a real leader at the back and didn't put a foot wrong. Anwar dominated aerially and covered the ground pretty well, which created a solid base for Ashish Rai to join the attack, and Anirudh Thapa as a number 6 had a great game too, courtesy, Anwar's calm presence at the back.

Along with Anwar, Coach Juan partnered Hector Yuste as Brendan Hamill was not available due to injury. Hector reached Kolkata Sunday morning, only had two practice session with the team and Anwar but shown his class on the field, where, he not only played full 94' but delivered in the pitch. At 34, it was known, Yuste is not coming with great pace at his locker, but, he is known for his experience, and he used that to his advantage yesterday. Made few interceptions, the blocks were class, and the biggest quality he introduced was the LEADERSHIP from the back. Vishal Kaith had a unfamiliar day at the office, where he struggled, but, Yuste's leadership quality helped Mohun Bagan to keep the shape maintained, and Abhani, after taking the lead at 17' were not able to disturb the Mohun Bagan deep defence much. Yuste will soon become a fan favourite at this rate and fans should say, Yuste, YOU-STAY!

2. Energetic Ashish Rai

Ashish Rai had a slow start to the season, where he struggled in the Kolkata derby.But, after that, Ashish has got his form back, where he performed pretty well in the last two games. But, the game against Abahani proved why Ashish is so highly rated. Ashish is a modern day full back, who will defend his box, but, in the transition, he can join the attack and act as an winger for the team. Ashish showcased this skillset with perfection last day, where he created multiple goal scoring opportunities from the right flank, and, the highlight will be the Zidan-isk 360° turn, where he sold two Abahani Midfielders, who are probably ashamed to show their face now to their colleagues. 

3. Juan-ball (3-2-3-2) & the main man Thapa

Following the Ashish trend, Anirudh Thapa didn't had a good start to his Mohun Bagan career. He had a okay-ish derby game, following by a better Macchindra encounter, but the performance was not Anirudh-Isk. But, yesterday, Thapa ran the show from the Midfield.
In the Kolkata Derby, we noticed Mohun Bagan to use a FC Barcelona like 2-3-5 shape with the ball. But yesterday we noticed Juan switch back to the 3-2-3-2 formation with the ball, where Anirudh Thapa was deployed as the number 6/deep lying playmaker. Thapa excelled in that role. Mohun Bagan was operating a hybrid defence of 3, with Anwar-Yuste-Bose as the CB's in possession, where sometimes Yuste was joining Thapa in the Midfield and Ashish was becoming the 3rd CB/ Ashish was joining the attack becoming and Hybrid Winger and Hugo was dropping deep to support Thapa in the mid. After conceding quickly, it seemed the match will be tough for Bagan, but Anirudh Thapa from the Midfield orchastrated a fine display for team Mohunbagan. Thapa was everywhere in the Midfield, and his energy and game reading sense was too much for the Abahani team, who struggled to win any Midfield battle, which helped Mohunbagan to comeback from 0-1 down deficit to win the game 3-1.

4. The Liston cola-SHOW

Liston is often criticised for his deep in forms and inconsistent turnouts; but, one thing nobody can question about Liston is his superb form against Bangladeshi opponents, and yesterday was no different. Liston's pace struggled the Right back of Dhaka Abahani who fouled him multiple times in the game. Liston started the game poorly, but grew into it. Liston entered the box and was attempting to play the ball to Cummings, when Abahani's defender fouled him and Mohunbagan got a well deserved penalty. Cummings makes no mistake and made it 1-1.

© Getty Images

In the second half, Liston entered the box and found Sadiku, who made no mistake in making the lead 3-1. Apart from some wayward shots from the Midfield, Liston was class against Abahani, and coach Juan Ferrando will want him to continue this superb from going into the season.

5. The Superstar Jason Cummings

Following the usual script, even THE JASON CUMMINGS had a average start to the season, but a goal against Macchindra showed early promises. Yesterday Cummings had a quiet first half, he mistimed few runs, was late in the box for few crosses, but scored a great goal from the penalty. But, the real Jason Cummings emerged in the second half, where in 45-60' period, Mohun Bagan played the best game of this season so far. Cummings was involved in every good thing Mohun Bagan did on that period. Cummings combined well with Hugo and opened a goal scoring opportunity, where the Abahani defender scored a bizzare own goal to hand Mohun Bagan a 2-1 lead. Cummings combined well with Hugo, Sahal and Sadiku which created nothing but trouble for Abahani, who were visibly struggling. As Cummings himself addressed, the performance was good, but now, it's time to build only this results! 

A article by Probudhya & @Mythfielder 

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