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CFL 2019: Can Alejandro Menendez register a hat-trick of Kolkata Derby wins?

06:00 IST 31/08/2019
Alejandro Menendez Mohun Bagan East Bengal Kolkata DerbyMohun Bagan East Bengal Kolkata Derby
Does Alejandro Menendez’s unblemished derby record make East Bengal favourites against Mohun Bagan on Sunday?

Alejandro Menendez has enjoyed 100 per cent success when it comes to the biggest match of Kolkata and Indian football.

The East Bengal boss had unfortunately missed out on the I-League title by a whisker last season but his record against Mohun Bagan has been impeccable.

The situation wasn’t ideal for the Spanish manager when East Bengal met their arch-rivals in the first phase of the I-League on December 16 last year. The Red and Golds were under immense pressure after dropping nine points in the first six matches.

East Bengal had to win the match against Mohun Bagan and also move up the league table in order to stand a chance to fight for the I-League title. Also the Red and Golds had not won a derby match in the past two and a half years.

Hence the triumph on December 16 was of utmost importance for Alejandro to prove his credentials and the former Real Madrid Castilla coach emerged triumphant as East Bengal beat Mohun Bagan 3-2.

The second phase derby on January 27 was also set on the backdrop of a pressure cooker like situation. The Red and Golds had to win the match in order to remain in the hunt for the league.

Once again the Red and Golds emerged triumphant against Mohun Bagan and it was Alejandro’s shrewd tactics on the day which did the trick for East Bengal.

While Menendez failed to win the title for East Bengal in his debut season, his tactical prowess and most importantly the double derby triumph helped him win the hearts of the club loyalists.

Now a new season is upon us and the Kolkata derby is back. Alejandro Menendez is up against his compatriot Antonio Vicuna who is in charge of rivals Mohun Bagan.

East Bengal look firm favourites against the Mariners in the first derby of the 2019-20 season and Menedez's acumen is a major reason for the same.

Although Menendez himself did not accept that his record in Kolkata derby will play a role in Sunday’s high voltage clash, the fans are surely banking on their favourite coach’s derby 'luck'.