"The Roar of the Mariners"- Mohun Bagan versus Jamshedpur FC review

Pic Courtesy : Saurit Chatterjee

“There's an abstract sense of beauty, when he scores in these colours. It's as if he always belonged to the maroon and green. It's Petratos once again” -Pulasta Dhar on Dimi Petratos' Goal

What is a perfect game of football? Well, there's no perfection in this world, but let's try to think of it. The team keeps the ball, they play good passing football, they win the duels, the win the ball back, they attack and defend as a team. These are just some of the traits that Antonio Habas's Mohun Bagan team showed on Friday night. Another big game in the quest to win the maiden ISL League Shield in the club's history, Bagan were on song and at times, almost too hot to handle for an uninspiring Jamshedpur FC. But how did the mariners put to rest the ambitions of the giant killing red miners? Read on to know more.

Mohun Bagan Gallery Yesterday.

Let's start from the beginning. Habas went with his usual choices as far as the starting line up is considered. Vishal Kaith in goal, Subhasish Bose, Hector Yuste and Anwar Ali forming the astute three man defense. In the midfield were Deepak Tangri, Abhishek Suryavanshi and Joni Kauko. Manvir and Liston started on the wings while upfront we had Jason Cummings back alongside the ever dependable Dimi Petratos.

The game was a must win for Bagan, and they started it with a bang. 7th minute of the game, Kauko unlocked the run of Manvir down the right with a beautiful through ball. Manvir received the ball out wide and made no mistake in firing it in low. The result was that it was met with the right boot of a certain Dimi Petratos, whose pinpoint accuracy meant Bagan lead Jamshedpur 1-0 within the first 10 minutes itself. A well orchestrated move, a great finish. The euphoria of the goal didn't stop there, for Dimi did the unthinkable. The "sten gun" celebration, made famous by our very own legend Sony Norde was back at the VYBK. A momentous occasion, almost too good to be believable for the Bagan faithful. The DimiGod had arrived early, and it was going to be a long night for the red miners.

Jamshedpur however didn't give up, and had a number of scoring opportunities. They would have levelled the game in the 19th minute itself, if only Bagan didn't have the ever dependable Vishal Kaith in goal. A long and powerful shot from Imran Khan was clawed away by Vishal in superb fashion. He has his work cut out again when Chima and Siverio combined well and Chima had a shot on goal, only to be parried away by the number one of Mohun Bagan. Bagan had opportunities to extend the lead too, notably via Liston Colaco whose shot was saved by the keeper. Both the flanks were extremely actve throughout the game putting in the hard yards that's expected of them at this club. Manvir especially was flying past the defenders at will and wrecked havoc on the right wing.

Pic Courtesy : ISL Media

If the first half was good, the second half was even better. There's this beauty about Khalid Jamil's teams. They just don't give up. They try and try and try. And Jamshedpur did just that. Be it Ricky or Sanan, they had a go. Slowly and steadily they tried to get back into the game with every pass. Bagan however were in no mood to give up the lead either. Jason Cummings came very close to doubling the lead in the 64th minute but his shot hit the post. The rebound was off target from Manvir Singh.

But Cummings did redeem himself few minutes later. Manvir drifted inside from the right and passed it to Kauko. Kauko used his physicality well to shield the ball and make a return pass to Manvir who made a first time assist, almost placing the ball on a plate for Cummings to score. Another goal for Jason Cummings. Another assist for the "assist king" Manvir Singh. The fans were happy and dancing with joy. The " Joker" celebration came out. The game looked well over. But there was one more event to come.

When Dimi got a goal, Cummings got a goal, how could Sadiku keep quiet? Dimi's pass on the left saw Manvir latching on to the ball, and he laid it yet again for Sadiku to put in a simple finish. It was the fifth goal of this season for the Albanian hero, and it was sound to say that the game was fully done and dusted. There was no way back for this Jamshedpur side. They had been beaten all ends up in every department. Khalid Jamil's unbeaten start to his tenure as the coach of the red miners was over. And they can say that they lost to a better team.

At full time, it was another victory for Antonio Habas. Slowly but steadily he is making his mark with this team. Sure his appointment is only temporary as of now, but the discipline and the togetherness he has brought into this team is commendable. His hard and disciplinarian ways may make some people scared, but he's all for that. This is not the defensive Habas of the yester years, this is the new Antonio Habas. he has an all star team, but he is making his own stars too. Young Abhishek started ahead of Anirudh Thapa, and boy did he play well. Calm, composed, collected. No unnecessary rash tackles, good ground passing and a cool calm temperament that is extremely rare at this age. We can only pray for him to grow as a player under Habas and play for India in the near future too.

As for the league is concerned, Bagan is only 2 points off the top of the table with a game in hand. But the real struggle begins from here on. The Derby is next, followed by a trip to Kerala. Big game against Mumbai City FC is also in the deciding fixtures that will determine who wins the crown of being the best team in India. Can Bagan do it? With Habas at the helm, sky is the limit for this side. And long may that continue.


Welcome to the MBFT Stats Zone! So let's quickly look into all the interesting stats from our last game.

Pic Courtesy : Totalf0otball via Twitter

Bagan used the wings brilliantly. The beauty of this 3-5-2 is that we can play with two wide winger who can stretch the play to create gaps at the back of the opposition defense. And Bagan did just that. Look at the pass map carefully, you'll find a link. The job of the defenders is to win the ball back and distribute it to the midfield. The midfield then finds the suitable player forward and releases the ball. It's a stepwise phenomenon and not a single step long ball fiasco that is common in Indian football. The link up between Kauko and Manvir is extremely important as they combined to create two goals last night. Manvir was the star of the show with a hattrick of assists. Though the link up with Liston was weaker on the left, Manvir more than compensated for it. Liston likes to take the risk of shooting more than putting in an assist, and hence you will see more crosses and passes down the right.

Pic Courtesy : Totalf0otball via Twitter (Mohun Bagan represented in Maroon and Jamshedpur represented in White)

Bagan's shot map also tells a story of the precision of this Bagan attack. We had 15 shots on goal with a shot on target percentage of almost 47%. That is particularly impressive as it is four times that of Jamshedpur FC. Not only that, Bagan's shooting positions tell a story that most people tend to overlook. Most of the shots Bagan took were from inside the penalty box of Jamshedpur FC. That is in complete contrast of what JFC did. The arc of shots taken is bigger for JFC, meaning more shots from outside the box. Credit must be given to the Bagan defense as they were successful in making sure that the JFC players couldn't penetrate much. Bagan accumulated an xG of 1.38 and overperformed it with 3 beautiful goals.

Petratos and Manvir were almost too good, scoring and creating goals respectively. Both of them accumulated the highest xT through open play last night. Jamshedpur did try to get back into the game on several occasions, but that bite was missing. The difference in quality was almost too evident at times. They squandered all the chances they got as well.

All in all, Bagan had 55% of the possession, with a PPDA and field tilt of 15 and 46% respectively. Jamshedpur had more corners, but all that matters at the end of the day are the goals. Bagan scored three. Jamshedpur scored none. That's the simple outcome of the game. Three points in the bag, and next up the big game.


Vishal Kaith - 8
Subhasish Bose - 8
Hector Yuste - 7.5
Anwar Ali - 8
Deepak Tangri - 6.5
Abhishek Suryavanshi - 8
Joni Kauko - 7
Manvir Singh - 9
Liston Colaco - 7
Dimitri Petratos - 8
Jason Cummings - 8


Anirudh Thapa - 6.5
Armando Sadiku - 7
Ashish Rai - 6.5
Lalrinliana Hnamte - 6
Kiyan Nassiri - 6

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