Sensational Mumbai City score six goals in Chennaiyin’s drubbing
Jorge Pereyra Diaz, Greg Stewart, Vinit Rai, Vignesh Dakshinamurthy, Alberto Noguera and Bipin Singh scored six goals for the Islanders, while Petar Sliskovic and Nasser El Khayati were on target for the Marina Machans.
Chennaiyin head coach Thomas Brdaric made one change to the team that defeated East Bengal 1-0. In the absence of the suspended defender Vafa Hakhamaneshi, Julius Duker was moved back to the centre-back position, while El Khayati came in midfield.
Mumbai City head coach Des Buckingham, on a similar note, also made one tweak to his starting XI. Mandar Rao Dessai was reinstated as the left-back, replacing the young Sanjeev Stalin.
The initial phase of the game was not as frantic as the scoreline suggests, but the first goal could easily have come from a moment of madness. The Islanders’ custodian, Phurba Lachanpa ended up giving the ball to Anirudh Thapa in a dangerous position in the 13th minute, but the Chennaiyin skipper failed to utilize the gift.
However, Brdaric’s team eventually got the goal six minutes later. Aakash Sangwan’s corner was dealt with by Buckingham’s defenders, but the ball fell kindly for Rahim Ali, who launched it into the box once again. This time around, Sliskovic was at the right place to meet it with his head and score the opener for his team.
At the half-hour mark, Apuia found himself in a good position to score, but his shot was directed straight at Chennaiyin’s goalkeeper, Debjit Majumder. Against the run of play, the Marina Machans ended up scoring their second in the 32nd minute.
Sliskovic was the creator this time around as he played a pass to El Khayati on the right flank, and while the Dutch midfielder’s first attempt was blocked, he did manage to score from the rebound.
Having conceded twice, Buckingham needed his players to respond and they did so in style, by reducing the deficit in the very next minute. Trickster Stewart launched a delightful cross into the box and Diaz did the rest by ensuring the ball finds the back of the net.
In the 41st minute, centre-back Mehtab Singh had a chance to score the equalizer from Ahmed Jahouh’s corner, but his attempt was not on target. However, it did not mean much as the Islanders scored their second goal in the first half itself.
Majumder brought down Ralte inside the box with a nasty challenge, and being a player of top calibre, Stewart was always expected to score from 12 yards out by sending the goalkeeper the wrong way.
Buckingham’s team had momentum on their side, and using it to perfection, they scored their third goal just four minutes into the second half. After receiving a precise pass from Stewart, Bipin Singh made a darting run before placing it for Vinit, whose shot was too powerful for Majumder to deal with.
The Chennaiyin goalkeeper was needed once again only seven minutes later when Lallianzuala Chhangte had a go at goal, but this time around, the 2016 ISL champion was up to the task.
However, his efforts went in vain as Mumbai City eventually scored their fourth in the 60th minute. Jahouh’s cross into the box was cleared away by a player in dark blue, but it fell for Vignesh, whose shot somehow managed to evade a host of bodies on its way to the goal.
The goals kept on pouring in this fixture, as Buckingham’s side increased their advantage by scoring yet again only five minutes later. Bipin Singh made another darting run down the left flank before playing a pass for Noguera, and while the angle was acute, the Spaniard displayed his flair by placing it perfectly past Majumder’s reach.
The second half was all about the Islanders, but Brdaric’s team had a rare opportunity when substitute Jobby Justin attempted a shot in the 75th minute. However, Phurba put in a great save to deny him a goal.
Three minutes later, Bipin himself went for glory after giving a couple of assists, but it was collected by Debjit. However, just as when it seemed the match would end 5-2 in Mumbai City’s favour, they scored another in stoppage time. Bipin had yet another attempt, and while Majumder managed to save this shot as well, the rebound fell for the winger and the goalkeeper was beaten this time around.
With this victory, Mumbai City has climbed to the second position with 12 points. They will now take on Bengaluru on Thursday, while Chennaiyin, who remain in sixth place, will be up against Jamshedpur on Saturday.