Habas Masterclass in the derby as Mohun Bagan won 1-3 over East Bengal | Indian Super League Kolkata Derby Match Review |

Courtesy : MBSG & ISL Media

Mohun Bagan registered their 2nd derby win of the season with a empathic 1-3 win over the arch rivals East Bengal FC. Cummings (27’), Liston (37’) and Petratos (45+2’) were on the scoresheet for the Mariners whereas Crespo (53’) scored the only goal for the Red & Gold brigade. This win takes Mohun Bagan to the top of the table, with a match in hand over 2nd and 3rd placed Mumbai City FC and Odisha FC.

When a trophy is in sight and a Antonio Lopez Habas coached side chasing that trophy, theres no side in the league that can match that team and the Derby performance from the Mariners just proved that. The first half was entirely dominated by the Bagan attackers whereas the second half was an example of resilient Mohun Bagan defense. 

Many speculations were before the match regarding the availability of Hector Yuste and Sahal Abdul  Samad, but they were all put to mud as Habas named his starting 11 with them. Vishal Kaith started in goal and the back three consisted of Hector, Subhashish and Anwar, shielding them was the young and consistent boy, Abhisek. Manvir and Liston were given the responsibilities of attacking through right and left flanks respectively , Joni Kauko and Sahal Abdul Samad were given a free role for creating the chances and leading the lines were Jason Cummings and Dimi ‘sten-gun’ Petratos.

The match started a bit clumsily from the Mariners , with little control or creativity on the ball , though they made some attempts but their clumsiness was punished as early as on the 12th minute when Naorem Mahesh Singh delivered a ball in the mariners box for Cleiton silva from the right flank, a miscommunication between Kaith and hector led to a penalty for East Bengal. Cleiton stepped up for the penalty and hit it hard and low to Vishal Kaiths left hand side, but matching to that shot was Vishal Kaiths reflex. The penalty was saved. This penalty save instilled a sense of urgency in the team as they piled on the pressure to get the opening goal. 

Dimi Petratos, who has been enjoying his free role behind the striker comes to rescue once more, as he and Sahal combined to take a shot on goal but shot was saved by EBFC keeper PS Gill, but the save fall directly into Cummings’s feet who made no mistake in putting the ball in from 7 yards out and then comes out the infamous ‘Sten-Gun’ celebration from Cummings and Petratos. 

Pic Courtesy : MBSG & ISL Media

Mohun Bagan was leading 1-0 before the matchs first water break. Mariners, who can now sense another goal, started to put more pressure and take on a more high defense line. We got the reward soon, when Dimi Petratos cut in from the right flank and took a shot, though the shot was saved at first, the rebound again fell to Petratos who calmly places it for Liston Colaco at the far post who also didnt make any mistake to put it in.The Mariners lead 2-0. 

Pic Courtesy : MBSG & ISL Media

It was in the additional time of the first half , Subhasish, Sahal and Liston combined on the left flank, where sahal laid a beautiful pass into the half-space for the onrushing Liston Colaco who was fouled inside the box by Nandha Kumar and a penalty was rewarded to the Mariners. Dimi Petratos who never misses, stepped up and result was same. The Mariners were already 3-0 up at Half-time.

Pic Courtesy : MBSG & ISL Media

Mohun Bagan started the 2nd half well, but was clearly denied a penalty in the 47th minute, where we could have been 4-0 up already. After this moment East Bengal made a cracking start to the second half as they put a goal back through Saul Crespo in the 53’and they continued to pile up the pressure on the Mariners. But, the thing for which Habas’s teams are known, “water-tight defense” and mariners exhibited just that. Anwar, Hector and Subhasish formed up a resilient backline hard to break. After the hour mark, Habas brought in Thapa and Ashish for Cummings and Liston respectively to strengthen the defense and gain control over midfield by recovering and circulating the ball. Besides the defense, Vishal Kaith was on top of his form today and made some very crucial saves including the Penalty save. Vishal showed his brilliance, when he denied cleiton silva from a very close range with an excellent reflex. All this factors resulted in the win for the Mariners. The match ended 3-1 in favour of the Mariners.

The Derby performance was a tactical masterclass from Habas. This team showed, that they can beat anyone. Mohun Bagan have the advantage over other league shield competitors with a game in hand, if they can grind out win in every remaining matches of the league , they will win the league shield irrespective of other teams results.

MBFT Player Ratings :-

Vishal Kaith – 9

Was in peak form today . Saved a penalty , denied cleiton from close range and also distributed the ball well . Probably the best performance of this season from him came today.

Subhasish Bose - 7

Captain Bose was on another level today. He was solid and maintained a steady backline after conceding early in the second half.

Hector Yuste - 7

Hector was in good shape today but miscommunication between him and Vishal led to the penalty incident. His form in the upcoming matches will be very important for us.

Anwar Ali - 7

Anwar was excellent as always with his abilities on the ball, made every challenge count.

Abhishek Suryavanshi - 8

Bossing a midfield in a match like Kolkata Derby is no mean feat and Abhishek has attained just that. He bossed the East Bengal midfield for the entirety of the match.

Joni Kauko - 7

Joni was brilliant in the first half today, be it with his passing or offensive or defensive duties. But was a little bit clumsy in the 2nd half, due to that intense.

Sahal Abdul Samad - 8

Despite injury concerns, Sahal was excellent with his creative passes in the free role behind the strikers. Set up the pass for Liston which ended up being a penalty for Bagan.

Liston Colaco - 8

Scored an all important goal and was an absolute treat to watch down the left flank , was substituted for Ashish in the 2nd half.

Manvir Singh - 7

Troubled East Bengal players down his flanks . Had a great match today.

Dimitrios Petratos - 9

If Vishal was the hero in saving the goals , Dimi was the one scoring and setting up goals upfront. Dimi as always was in a total blast.

Jason Cummings - 8

A great performance from a great player, continued his superb run of scoring goals . Scored a poachers finish today which resembled his growing confidence on the team and the coach.

Substitutes :-

Armando Sadiku – 6

Was brought in late in the game to use the physicality and speed upfront in the later minutes. Good game from him during his tenure on the pitch, could have scored goals but lost balls in the process.

Anirudh Thapa - 6.5

Anirudh was brought in for Jason Cummings to take control over midfield to stop east Bengal attacks and he successfully did it.

Ashish Rai - 6.5

Ashish as brought in place of Liston to provide fresh legs and defensive solidity to the backline. 

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