East Bengal 3-5 Mohun Bagan: Mariners Fly In Eight-Goal Kolkata Derby

East Bengal and Mohun Bagan produced an entertainer...
East Bengal 3-5 Mohun Bagan - Lineups/Stats
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In what was one of the most enterprising derbies of all time between the two Kolkata giants, Mohun Bagan and East Bengal played out a thriller at the Salt Lake Stadium with the Green and Maroon part of the city emerging victorious.

Records were shattered on Saturday evening as Mohun Bagan scored five against their arch rivals and thus, avenging the humiliating 5-0 loss back in 1975. Chidi Edeh scored four and thus, broke Bhaichung Bhutia’s record of scoring the only hat-trick in the derby.

The big news of the day was Bhaichung Bhutia had been ruled out of the derby due to hamstring problems and Subhash Bhowmick handed debuts to Abel Hammond and Sreco Mitrovic. Mohun Bagan had Manish Mathani partnering Marcos Pereira in the middle while Snehashish Chakrabarty and James Singh on the flanks.

The high profile game lived up to the billing as both teams didn’t take time to move forward though there wasn’t anything concrete either way. In the fourth corner inside the first ten minutes, Renedy Singh’s perfect curling ball was met by Nirmal Chettri who headed it as Shilton Paul attempted to catch the ball.

The lead lasted for just six minutes as Chidi Edeh slotted the ball after receiving the service from Surkumar Singh who went past three bodies to pull it back for the Nigerian. The Red and Gold’s misery increased when Manish Mathani scored his second in as many games after some poor defending by Bhowmick’s boys.

Snehashish centered the ball for Chidi which produced a poor clearance by the East Bengal players with the ball travelling as far as Manish who did everything right and thus, enjoy his moment.

Around the half hour mark, a Marcos Pereira free-kick saw Barreto and Mondal go for it as Chidi’s attempt to find the back of the net was just about saved by the East Bengal custodian.

Two minutes later, Chidi Edeh did a Nani with a trademark somersault as he knocked in a Barreto cross from the right to send the Bagan bench in ecstasy.

Mohun Bagan’s poor defending was on display as well as a miscommunication between Surkumar and Shilton saw Yakubu get a touch as the ball entered the back of the net.

East Bengal’s midfield woes continued in the game and Bhowmick had to reshuffle his boys with Mehtab and Renedy switching flanks. Renedy Singh produced another moment of magic as his inch perfect delivery from the dead ball saw Mitrovic score on debut and thus restore parity for his side going into the second half.   

Chidi's Somersault

At the break, Bencherifa brought in Samgram Mukherjee for Shilton Paul after the latter’s horrendous goalkeeping in the first half.

East Bengal were found napping in the very first minute after the re-start as Chidi Edeh completed his hat-trick by whacking it in after James Singh headed it across from the far post off a Snehashish cross from the left.

As Mohun Bagan grew their dominance, East Bengal continued to plunge down as their midfield was non-existent which made matters worse for the center-backs, who arguably must have played their worst game ever.

Jose Barreto was forced out in the 50th minute and in came the public favourite Ishfaq Ahmed who added more pace and aggression to the Bagan forward line.

East Bengal defenders seemed to have forgotten the art of defending as they let Chidi head it from a Marcos corner-kick in what eventually turned out to be the final nail in the coffin.

Yusif Yakubu tried to argue his just case for a penalty after he was brought down inside the area by Sangram Mandi but referee Benjamin D’Silva wasn’t interested.

James Singh had an opportunity to add his name to the scoresheet when Chidi found him inside the box but an alert Abhra came out to avert the danger.

The game ended with the same scoreline and certainly, East Bengal find themselves in deep trouble having failed to win a single game in their opening four fixtures which shall certainly put question marks over the future of Subhash Bhowmick as the head coach.

Mohun Bagan fully deserved the three points and the win evens Bencherifa’s personal score against Bhowmick.

Rahul Bali, Goal.com India