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Mumbai City managed to break more than one league record by extending the lead at the top of the ISL table …
In the 69th minute of Mumbai City’s top-of-the-table clash against ATK Mohun Bagan, Hugo Boumous picked up the ball in midfield and started running in the league’s best defense.
There were more than five defenders in front of the midfielder, but he still managed to get into the box, take a turn and find Bartholomew Ogbeche on his left. What happens when the defenders leave Ogbeche unmarked and give him space and time to choose his spot? He scores. And that goal separated the two teams on Monday.
It took the Mariners about an hour to complete 100 passes to the field of the 164 they managed to complete successfully. And that was because Mumbai City, at no point, decided to give up control of the game.
Bagan did what he has done really well so far this season. They formed an organized defense and camped in their own half, hoping to escape when an opportunity came. But those cases were few and far between.
Lobera’s men registered more than twice as many passes as ATK Mohan Bagan (513 vs 253) and held 75 percent possession in the first half, which is the highest percentage a team has achieved in the first 45 minutes since the 2015 ISL season.
9 – @MumbaiCityFC have equaled their record of being undefeated in nine games (W8 D1) in the #ISL which they also achieved earlier in the 2018-19 season. Streak. #ATKMBMCFC #HeroISL #Soccer pic.twitter.com/jiW2qXQlO0
– OptaJeev (@OptaJeev) January 11, 2021
Habas’ team had just seven touches in the opposition area against Mumbai City, the fewest in a game this season. It was an absolute control.
Ogbeche scored the biggest goal, but it was Hugo Boumous who led the show from midfield for the islanders. Ahmed Jahouh’s absence meant that Boumous had to fall deeper several times in the game, but he was a pleasure to watch every time he took the ball and opponents had no response to his technical prowess.
Habas would have wished he had a midfield presence like Carl McHugh to keep Boumous at bay because McHugh, who has been stellar this season, was his best bet against a silky smooth talent.
Boumous now has five assists this season, the most of any player and has extended his overall assist count to a total of 22, currently the most of any player in the league. It has quickly become 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 up with the Islanders at the top of the table. They have excellent defense but not enough firepower up front. If Krishna and Williams had a bad day, the Mariners would be stuck.
And it’s going to be tough to catch Lobera’s team that not only has a good starting lineup, but also a strong bench. They had Adam Le Fondre come on as a substitute in the second half against Bagan!
Mumbai City has now accumulated 25 points in its first 10 games and, in doing so, has broken the record set by Bengaluru during 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 the city of Mumbai take the same route?
All statistics used in this article are from @OptaJeev.