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ISL 2018-19: Edu Bedia - FC Goa's chief architect in midfield

04:05 EAT 14/03/2019
Edu Bedia FC Goa Delhi Dynamos ISL 5
The Spanish midfielder has undergone a complete transformation since the departure of Manuel Lanzarote to ATK....

Having stumbled at the play-off hurdle last season, FC Goa have come bouncing back in the 2018-19 Indian Super League (ISL) with Sergio Lobera’s men setting up a tantalising final against Bengaluru FC.

For the second season in a row, the Gaurs have topped the goal-scoring tables with 36 of them from their 18 clashes. They were irresistible in the first leg of the play-off tie against Mumbai City FC where they put five past the opposition’s defence in their own backyard.

Prior to the start of the campaign, a certain uncertainty prevailed over whether Goa would be able to maintain their prolific output in front of goal following the departure of Manuel Lanzarote to ATK.

The Spaniard had been pivotal to Goa’s excellent run last season with his partnership with compatriot Ferran Corominas proving to be an electrifying one. Together, the pair scored 31 goals and delivered 11 assists between themselves.

Lanzarote’s own contribution was a healthy 13 goals and six assists. Buying another attacking midfielder from Europe would have been an option for Goa to fill the void.

After employing him primarily as a box-to-box midfielder last season, Lobera has pushed Edu Bedia further forward and it is a move which has worked wonders for Goa.

The goal-scoring consistency has been maintained with Bedia, Jackichand Singh and Brandon Fernandes all chipping in with their fair share but it has been the Spaniard who has been the revelation.

The former Racing Santander midfielder has contributed with seven goals and five assists in the ongoing campaign and has linked up seamlessly with Corominas. Last season, Bedia’s output was just the solitary goal and two assists. With Lanzarote being the creative force up front, Bedia was deployed in a holding role in midfield.

With the shackles taken off this season, the 29-year-old has flourished in the final third with his technical ability on the ball and excellent vision coming to the fore.

His prolific output has made Goa barely feel the absence of Lanzarote while Corominas on course to level, if not better his tally from last season.

It’s not that Bedia has not been mindful of his defensive duties anymore with the Spaniard making a total of 67 tackles so far over the course of the season. He has been one of Lobera’s most trusted enforcers on the pitch and has emerged as a real leader as well. The midfielder’s discipline on the pitch has also been better with only two yellow cards so far compared to the five he collected last season.

All in all, it has been some transformation from the Spanish midfielder and he now has a chance to add the cherry on the top as Bengaluru lie in wait.