Bengaluru FC 1-3 Mumbai City: Report, Ratings & Reaction as the Islanders Breeze Past the Brazen Blues

The headline clash of matchday 10 of the Indian Super League saw 5th-placed Bengaluru FC face 2nd-placed Mumbai City. Carles Cuadrat’s side had lost their last two matches and were keen to bounce back, but the Islanders were unbeaten since matchday 1 and had only dropped points once in that run, so they would be no pushovers. A battle of epic proportions was set to commence, and here’s what we made of it:


Bengaluru FC had a presentable chance within two minutes as Cleiton Silva slipped Deshorn Brown through on the right following a bit of a mistake from Ahmed Jahouh, but the Jamaican striker skied his effort. Mumbai City took the lead in the 9th minute, though, as Hernán Santana headed the ball across the face of goal from a corner, leaving Mourtada Fall to power it home from close range. Under a minute later, Bipin Singh squared the ball to a free Adam le Fondre in the box after being found advanced on the left by Hugo Boumous, but the striker had his effort deflected away for a corner. Mumbai City doubled their advantage in the 15th minute when Mandar Rao Dessai delivered a pinpoint cross for Bipin Singh, who cushioned it home with his first-time volley. Bengaluru FC’s next notable chance came in the 41st minute when Cleiton Silva took a free-kick from the edge of the box and cleared the wall, but his shot was pushed away by Amrinder Singh. There was a big twist in the tale in the 77th minute, when Mourtada Fall seemingly cleanly tackled Cleiton Silva in the box, but the referee awarded a penalty. Sunil Chhetri stepped up to take it and he smashed it home. Mumbai nearly restored their two-goal cushion in the 82nd minute when Bartholomew Ogbeche flicked an Ahmed Jahouh free-kick on with his head, but it came back out off the post. The Nigerian forward got his just rewards two minutes later when he headed a corner right at Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, but the keeper fumbled the ball when he hit the ground and it rolled in. It was not all smooth sailing for the Islanders, though, as Ahmed Jahouh saw a second yellow card in the 86th minute for a rather silly challenge, so they had to finish the match with one man less. That didn’t matter in this match’s result, though, as Mumbai City eased to a 3-1 victory.


Key Talking Point

Problems Galore

Ever since Ashique Kuruniyan suffered that unfortunate facial injury, Bengaluru FC have not looked the same. Tonight, they were without the suspended Erik Paartalu, so Carles Cuadrat deployed Kristian Opseth and Deshorn Brown together for the first time this season instead of substituting one for the other as he usually has been doing. However, the system he opted for – a 4-2-3-1 – only accommodated one man up front, so Brown had to play on the right flank, and that didn’t work too well. After looking bright at the very start of the match, the Blues conceded from another set-piece (for the third time this season) to undo their good work, and soon let another one in following some horrendous defending. After that, they looked quite clueless as they neither pressed nor sat off, so they should have considered themselves lucky to just be two down at the break. They were gifted a lifeline of a penalty in the second half too, but the home side squandered that as well through Gurpreet Singh Sandhu’s error. This was yet another disappointing defeat for Bengaluru FC, and if things keep going this way, Carles Cuadrat will surely be in a spot of bother.

Player Ratings

Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (3), Harmanjot Khabra (5), Pratik Chaudhari (5), Juanan (5.5), Rahul Bheke (5), Suresh Wangjam (5), Dimas Delgado (5.5), Deshorn Brown (4.5), Cleiton Silva (6), Sunil Chhetri (6*), Kristian Opseth (5) Subs: Udanta Singh (5), Ajith Kumar (5.5), Fran González (5), Semboi Haokip (N/A)


Key Talking Point

Near-Perfect Preparation

Mumbai City knew pre-match that a win here would mean that they would go into that huge clash against ATK Mohun Bagan on a three-match winning streak, so that’s exactly what they wanted to do. Although the Islanders didn’t start too well and were hemmed in for the first few minutes, they bounced back emphatically and went two goals up within 15 minutes for the second time in their last two matches. They played some of the best possession football we have seen all season thereafter, and their lead looked as intact as it possibly could going into half-time. There was another parallel to the Kerala Blasters match, as the Islanders’ intensity dropped in the second half and they didn’t look as silky as they did in the first period. Their defence was sound, though, and bar one (incorrect) penalty decision, Amrinder Singh didn’t have too much work to do in the match as he watched his side coast to another routine victory, especially after that deserved third goal. Mumbai City came away with yet another bundle of three points from this match, which surely was the perfect way to prepare for the big match next week. The only problem is that Ahmed Jahouh saw red, so he will be suspended for that match.

Player Ratings

Amrinder Singh (6.5), Amey Ranawade (6), Mourtada Fall (8.5*), Hernán Santana (7), Mandar Rao Dessai (8), Rowllin Borges (7), Ahmed Jahouh (4), Raynier Fernandes (6), Hugo Boumous (6.5), Bipin Singh (8), Adam le Fondre (5.5) Subs: Bartholomew Ogbeche (7.5), Vignesh Dakshinamurthy (5), Cy Goddard (5), Vikram Pratap Singh (5), Mehtab Singh (N/A)

Mandar Rao Dessai

After starting the season well, Mandar Rao Dessai missed a month’s action following an unfortunate personal loss and the mandatory quarantine that followed. He was back in big business tonight, as he absolutely bossed proceedings on the left flank. Deshorn Brown was in his pocket almost all the time, and when he wasn’t, the Jamaican striker was trying (and failing) to track his marauding runs up the flank. The full-back also got a deserved first assist of the season for Mumbai’s second goal with a perfectly whipped in cross. The 28-year-old Indian international finished the match with 50 touches, a passing accuracy of 90%, 3 crosses, 2 key passes and an assist. A brilliant all-round display on the left.

What This Means:

Bengaluru FC stay in 5th place, while Mumbai City reclaim their spot at the top of the table thanks to Mourtada Fall’s and Bipin Singh’s respective first goals of the season and Bartholomew Ogbeche’s second. The Blues have lost three matches consecutively for the first time in the ISL’s history despite Sunil Chhetri’s second penalty goal of the campaign. Ahmed Jahouh saw red for the second time this year, which was also the eighth sending off of ISL 7 but Sergio Lobera managed to beat Carles Cuadrat for the first time despite that. Bengaluru FC face SC East Bengal next on Saturday, while Mumbai City will be gearing up for a huge clash at the top against ATK Mohun Bagan on Monday. Stats courtesy

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