Mumbai City FC put in another stellar attacking display against Bengaluru FC at home in the 2022/23 Indian Super League season, as they beat them 4-0 in a match that was dominated by the Islanders.
Des Buckingham named one change to his starting eleven from the game against Chennaiyin FC. Vignesh got his first start of the season in the league as he replaced Mandar Rao Dessai in the starting lineup. Phurba started in goal; Mehtab Singh partnered Rostyn Griffiths in central defence. They were flanked by Rahul Bheke and Vignesh. Apuia Ralte was partnered with the creative Ahmed Jahouh and the dynamic Greg Stewart in midfield. Jorge Pereyra Diaz was leading the line for the Islanders. He was flanked by Lallianzuala Chhangte on the right and Bipin Singh on the left wing of the Mumbai City FC attack.
The Islanders started the game on the front foot as they looked to score from the first play of the game right from kick-off. In the 2nd minute of the game, Bipin was released by Greg Stewart on the left flank into space, who returned the ball back to the Scotsman after gaining some yards. Stewart then played the ball to Apuia right outside the box in space, but his subsequent shot from outside the box went just past the near post of the Bengaluru FC goal.
The next chance of the game came the way of the Blues in the 5th minute of the game. Bhutia tried playing in Roy Krishna from the right flank to find his smart run. But Rostyn Griffiths intercepted the ball before it could reach the Bengaluru FC attacker.
Both teams were looking to take the lead early on in the game and were playing some excellent attacking football in the opening moments of the match. The Islanders and the Blues were passing the ball around expertly looking to penetrate the opposition’s defence.
The game was brought to an abrupt standstill however in the 11th minute due to a floodlight’s failure at the Mumbai Football Arena. The technical difficulties were resolved swiftly and the floodlights were back on after an abrupt 10-minute break.
Soon after the lights came back on Mumbai City FC took the lead through Jorge Pereyra Diaz who has been in great form recently.
The Islanders number 30 scored his third goal of the 2022/23 ISL season in the 14th minute of the game. Diaz stole the ball off Costa deep in the Bengaluru FC half, whose touch let him down and Diaz pounced on the opportunity to steal the ball off him. He then darted towards the Bengaluru FC goal with the ball while holding off Costa, after getting into the box Diaz calmly slotted the ball past Gurpreet into the left bottom corner of the goal to make it 1-0 in favour of the Islanders.
The game was turning into a midfield battle as both teams were keeping the ball well and looking to use the wings to stretch each other’s defences.
In the 26th minute of the game, a chance broke the way of Bengaluru FC. Bhutia latched on to a loose ball outside the Islanders penalty box. The Blues full-back tried his luck from distance but his shot was right at Lachenpa who punched the ball up in the air. The ball fell for Danish in the Islanders box, but the Kashmiri midfielder could not keep his following shot on target, as he was unable to equalise for the Blues. The scores still read 1-0 in favour of the Islanders.
The Islanders scored from their next attack in the 32nd minute to double their lead, thanks to a composed finish by Apuia. A superb diagonal ball from Bheke found Greg Stewart in space on the right wing. He cut the ball back for an on-rushing Bipin, who was pushed off the ball by a Blues defender but the ball broke for Apuia in the box and he calmly slotted the ball past Gurpreet to make it 2-0 for the Islanders.
After the restart, Mumbai City FC were controlling the ball well and pushing Bengaluru FC back into their own half. It seemed like the Blues players were waiting for the half-time break to disrupt the rhythm of the Islanders.
The referee soon blew for the half-time break as the scores read 2-0 in favour of the Islanders who had put on a stellar display of attacking possession football in the first half.
After the half-time break the Islanders’, players were brimming with confidence and looked certain to score more goals.
In the 58th minute, the Islanders scored one more goal to make it 3-0. Diaz beat the Blues offside trap and found himself in acres of space behind the Bengaluru FC backline with the ball at his feet. The Argentine striker then bore down on the Blues goal and played in an unmarked on-rushing Bipin, who slotted the ball into an empty net to make it 3-0 for the Islanders.
Simon Grayson soon after the Islanders’ third goal looked to change things up and inject some energy into his team. He brought on the iconic Sunil Chettri for Danish in the 63rd minute of the game.
Buckingham responded with a substitution of his own in the 70th minute as he brought on Vinit Rai for the goal scorer Apuia. The fresh legs of Vinit injected some more energy into the Islanders midfield, which allowed Greg and Jahouh to push further up the field as they were looking for their fourth goal of the game.
In the 74th minute the Islanders scored their fourth goal of the game thanks to a superb finish by Chhangte. Jahouh won the ball back in midfield and played in Jorge Pereyra Diaz, who carried the ball forward. He tried playing a cheeky ball into the box but it was deflected and landed at the feet of Chhangte right outside the box. The Islanders’s number 7 connected with the ball sweetly with a half volley and thrashed the ball into the right bottom corner of the Blues’ goal to make it 4-0 for the Islanders.
Immediately after the fourth goal, Grayson made a change in hopes to find a way back into the game. He brought on Rohit for Suresh in the 75th minute.
The Islanders made a triple substitution in the 81st minute of the match to manage the game better in the last 10 minutes. Coach Buckingham brought on Rowlin Borges for Jahouh, Mourtada Fall for Bheke and the creative Noguera for the brilliant Greg Stewart. The Scotsman who has grown into his midfield role over the last four games put in another influential performance in this game against Bengaluru FC.
The Islanders were keeping the ball well in the dying embers of the game as Bengaluru FC had changed their tactic and started playing long balls into their strikers but to no avail. The Islanders looked comfortable with their 4-0 lead and were not allowing the Blues a way back into the game.
Coach Buckingham made one final substitution in the 84th minute in the hopes to exploit the space behind the Blues defence as Bengaluru FC had thrown men forward in the hopes to find a way back into the game. The Scottish coach brought on Vikram Partap Singh for Chhangte as his final substitution of the match.
Soon after the referee blew the final whistle of the game and brought it to a close. After the narrow defeat to Bengaluru FC in the 2022 Durand Cup final, the Islanders recorded a stellar 4-0 win against the Blues to make sure their unbeaten streak in the league continues.
Mumbai City FC will travel to the North East for their next 2022/23 ISL game against NorthEast United FC on Friday, November 25.