Roy Krishna opened the scoring for the three-time champions from the penalty spot after 37 minutes. Seven minutes later loan signing Marcelinho extended their lead from a brilliant free-kick.
The Mariners remain second in the league with 33 points whereas the Blues stay at sixth with 19 points.
Bengaluru FC 0-2 ATK Mohun Bagan Team News
Bengaluru’s interim head coach Naushad Moosa fielded a fairly strong side with added focus in the defence. He started a 4-1-4-1 formation with Gurpreet in goal. Moving forward, their defence had Rahul Bheke, Pratik, Francisco and Ajith Kumar. Then Paartalu acted as a defensive screen.
Suresh and Khabra were the two central midfielders. Then the two wide players were Udanta and captain Sunil Chhetri. Upfront Opseth played as the lone striker.
On the other hand, Habas started with a more fluid formation which involved Marcelinho in a free role. Overall it was a 4-2-3-1 formation. In form Arindam started in goal. Then Prabir, Sandesh, Tiri and Subhasish made up the defence. In front of them, Lenny and returning McHugh played at the heart of midfield. Marcelinho played as a number 10 with David Williams and Manvir as wide attackers. Krishna started as a solitary number 9.
Bengaluru FC 0-2 ATK Mohun Bagan Analysis:
The Mariners started cautiously and allowed the Blues to have the ball. Then slowly they started to go forward. Marcelinho attempted a run from deep and forced a save from Gurpreet. Then a long-distance strike from McHugh was parried away by the Blues’ goalkeeper for a corner.
Then came the first decisive moment of the game. Marcelinho’s through ball was not dealt with by Pratik and Krishna pounced on the loose ball. To rectify his mistake Pratik tried his best to disbalance the striker but eventually gave away a penalty. The Fijian stepped up and converted the spot-kick after 37 minutes.
After only seven minutes, Khabra recklessly fouled Williams at the edge of the box. However, the contact seemed to initiate from just inside of the box but the officials could not spot it. A free-kick was awarded and Mohun Bagan’s new loan signing Marcelinho stepped up and curled his shot into the top corner. Hence, the Mariners led 2-0 at the break.
In the second half, Gurpreet made a few fine saves to keep the margin to two goals. He flew to his right to keep out Sandesh’s low shot. He also stopped Manvir’s shot a few minutes later.
On the other hand, Bengaluru were toothless in attack and could not create any significant chance to reduce the deficit. This led to Moosa withdrawing Opseth and moving Chhetri to the middle. Still, the Indian captain could not conjure anything up magically as Sandesh-Tiri defended well. He still managed to wriggle past players to get a shot on target two minutes from time. This was probably Bengaluru’s best chance all game.
The later stages of the game saw Bengaluru push forward, but Mohun Bagan’s defence held on and kept their ninth clean sheet of the season.
Reactions and Notable Performances:
“I think the team played a fantastic match today. We controlled the match and the play. And I am proud of my players.” – Antonio Habas
“I think it’s always difficult to come back into a game, especially against a team like ATK Mohun Bagan who are strong in defence and have quality players… the way we started was good. We wanted to stay calm and keep the ball, we were doing well. In the second half, we did try but things didn’t work out in our favour.” – Moosa after the game
Marcelinho: The Brazilian joined the Mariners recently and he already cemented his place in the team. He scored a sumptuous free-kick and linked up with the teammates pretty well. It was another stellar performance by him which earned him the man of the match prize.
Suresh Wangjam: The young Bengaluru midfielder worked tirelessly and covered every blade of grass throughout the game. He might have ended up in the losing side, but his performance caught the eye of all.
Next, ATK Mohun Bagan will play Jamshedpur FC next Sunday and Bengaluru will play against table toppers Mumbai City next Monday.
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