After a few days of rest for the turn of the year it was Indian Super League back in action. Runner-up Mumbai City faced ninth-placed Kerala Blasters in a very interesting game, with both sides having a chance to move up the table. The Kibu Vicuña team finally looked in shape after their first win of the season last time, but this was their ultimate test.
A decisive battle was to ensue, and here's what we made of it:
Less than two minutes later, Kerala Blasters initiated a self-destruction when a bad back pass from Vicente Gómez saw Hugo Boumous pounced on the mistake and tried to run through the goal, but a sliding Costa Nhamoinesu prevented him from doing so without taking the ball. Adam le Fondre stepped forward and sent his shot into the center, through to Albino Gomes & # 39; Legs went.
Let's Go Le Frondre
– Kanish Godani (@ kanish2610) January 2, 2021
Mumbai City doubled its lead after another defensive loss by Kerala Blasters in the 11th minute, Ahmed Jahouh Hugo Boumous's free kick from the Mumbai City area was not fouled so he could shove it past the goalkeeper into the lower corner.
– Anoop Nair (@anoop_b) January 2, 2021
The islanders could have made it 3-0 in the 17th minute when Hugo Boumous played the ball way ahead of Mandar Rao Dessai, who started his attempt over the bar.
The first major Kerala Blasters opening came just after half an hour when Sahal Abdul Samad Mourtada expropriated Fall just outside the box after two defenders attempted to beat Amrinder Singh from the center of the box but the goalkeeper was on his way grown.
At halftime, Bipin Singh sat left and left behind the defense of the Kerala Blasters. Placed the ball for Hugo Boumous, who had a whole zip code to himself in the penalty area, but decided to place the ball backwards for Adam le Fondre, whose aborted attempt cleared the bar. A minute later, Bipin and Boumous swapped positions and the Indian winger let fly, but he too missed high.
– BFC_Ultras. (@ Sagar9017291) [19459017291)] January 2, 2021
Kerala Blasters finally got the ball into the net in the 56th minute when Jordan Murray Costa bundled Nhamoinesu's header from a past corner from Amrinder Singh, but it was deemed offside.
Fifteen minutes later, Mumbai City had another penalty when Sandeep Singh brought Hugo Boumous into the box, but he seemed to have hit the ball clearly. The Frenchman might have thought it deserved as he received a yellow card a few minutes earlier for simulation when he went over Sandeep. The Blasters had their last laugh, however, when Albino saved Gomes Boumous' penalty.
– BFC_Ultras (@ sagar17291) January 2, 2021
Kerala Blasters almost pulled one back in the 76th minute when Vicente Gómez dropped a half volley out of range, but it was tipped on the crossbar and back into the game by Amrinder Singh. A few minutes later, Jordan Murray Sahal shoved Abdul Samad behind the defense on the left, but his one-on-one efforts were again saved by the goalkeeper.
Mumbai thus retained City's goal, which won 2-0.
Key Talking Point
Another simple victory
Mumbai City had 12 days off prior to this game so they were quite fresh.
The islanders were also a bit rusty but not tested. Everything in the early stages when Kerala scored two easy goals after some really terrible defenses (more on that soon). After accepting the very late Christmas presents, Mumbai's defense also returned as they played unusually easy from behind at times, but they were not punished.
Towards the end of the first half, Sergio Lobera's team only played with their opponents. They went through enemy defenses several times but failed to take their chances and kept the game alive for the second half. Their defense was again prone to some mistakes, but Amrinder Singh was simply superb and his efforts ensured the Islanders won by one goal.
– Gaurang (@ Gaurang321) January 2, 2021
This wasn't the best representation of the season in Mumbai City but it was certainly a very easy win, albeit with a few minor bumps in the way.
Amrinder Singh ( 8 * ), Amey Ranawade (6), Mourtada Fall (5.5), Hernán Santana (5) , Mandar Rao Dessai (6), Rowllin Borges (7.5), Ahmed Jahouh (8), Raynier Fernandes (5.5), Hugo Boumous (7.5), Bipin Singh (6.5), Adam le Fondre ( 6.5)
Subs: Bartholomäus Ogbeche (5), Vignesh Dakshinamurthy (5.5), Cy Goddard (5), Givson Singh (N / A), Vikram Pratap Singh (N / A )
After Hugo Boumous missed a few games due to an injury, he is finally back in business.
His business started within two minutes tonight when he committed a defensive mistake. Kerala Blasters wins a penalty for his team. He went one step further nine minutes later when he ran between the center-backs and finished in style to open his account for the season. The Frenchman continued to look good in the second period when he won another penalty, but he turned out pissed off as his efforts were saved.
Hugo Boumous from Mumbai is crazy good and absolutely dominates the game. #ISL
– Wear a damn mask (@AStormOfSloths) January 2, 2021
The 25 year old attacking midfielder received 42 touches, did 81% of his passes, and won 7/10 duels and 2 penalties, made 3 key passes, got both shots on goal and committed 5 fouls.
A solid display to mark his return.
Main talking point
Kibu Vicuña made a few changes to his lineup, including picking Costa Nhamoinesu over the formidable Abdul Nediyodath in the second half, but it clearly didn't pay off.
The Tuskers essentially self-destructed early on as they scored two unnecessary goals in just over 10 minutes. The first came on after a loose pass from Vicente Gómez and a mistaken challenge from Costa Nhamoinesu, but the second must have been even more frustrating. A relatively flat long ball from Ahmed Jahouh split the entire Kerala Blasters squad as it hit Hugo Boumous between the center-backs, and then the Frenchman was unstoppable.
Kerala did far better on the first team quarter of the second period, but they just failed to take their risk again. Plus, they were also unlucky with the referee's decisions as Mumbai received some penalties while their appeals were suspended. Most recently, Amrinder Singh has made some absolutely spectacular parades to thwart the Blasters on the rare occasion that they have fired their shots on target.
Not our night, team. Kudos to all the players who played their hearts out. I hope we will iron out individual mistakes.
– thededpill (@thededpill) Jan 2, 2021
After that encouraging ad last time, Kerala Blasters looked very bad again in all respects tonight. and they clearly have a lot of work to do.
Albino Gomes (7), Nishu Kumar (6), Sandeep Singh (4), Costa Nhamoinesu (3.5), Jessel Carneiro (7), Jeakson Thaunaojam (6), Vicente Gómez (6), Lalthathanga Khawlhring (5), Facundo Pereyra (5.5), Sahal Abdul Samad ( 7 * ), Jordan Murray (6.5)
Subs: Rahul KP (5)), Seityasen Singh (N / A), Givson Singh (N / A)
Sahal Abdul Samad
Kibu Vicuña said he and his coaching staff were working on Sahal Abdul Samad to improve it further and their efforts seemed to be bearing some fruit tonight.
The 23-year-old striker finished the game with 2/6 shots on goal, 3/5 dribbles, 2 key passes and 7/13 duels, which were won in an encouraging but unsuccessful performance.
A. Step in the right direction but it still has some work to do on its completion.
What this means:
Mumbai City FC are two points ahead of the top of the table, while Kerala Blasters with the worst defensive record in the league remains in 9th place. Ahmed Jahouh's assistant for the second covered 74.6m – the longest distance this season – while Albino Gomes took his fourth and fifth penalties of the season, took his first and saved the fourth time.
Not yet another rescue of Amrinder.
The defense was bad.
Spectacular parades by Captain !!
– Ninad Chilap (@ninadchilap) January 2, 2021
What this means:
On the next assignment in Mumbai City you will face Bengaluru FC on Tuesday, while Kerala Blasters will face Odisha FC two days later.
Statistics courtesy of Sofascore.com