It took Mumbai City three matches to play the football their coach Sergio Lobera was hoping for and they have finally done so with a thumping win over East Bengal in an Indian Super League (ISL) clash on Tuesday evening.
A new-look Mumbai did not have the ideal start as they lost to NorthEast United in their opening tie. In the following match, even though, they picked up a win against 10-men FC Goa, Mumbai were unconvincing and it was definitely not the way Lobera would have hoped to get the three points.
But against East Bengal, the Islanders were a changed side. They dominated, kept possession and tore down the opposition in quick and nifty counter-attacks, exactly how we were used to seeing FC Goa play under Sergio Lobera in the last three seasons.
Lobera’s sides are a treat to watch especially because they play eye-catching football. The Spanish coach has one of the most balanced squads in the ISL at his disposal and so it was just a matter of time that the players would start firing.ISL
Mumbai had paid a record transfer fee for French midfielder Hugo Boumous who was the best player of the league last season while being at FC Goa. After a rusty start to his new journey, the Frenchman was back to his old self against East Bengal. Boumous assisted twice in the match and was all over the pitch, tormenting the men in Red and Gold.
Along with Boumous, Lobera has managed to bring another former pupil from FC Goa, Ahmed Jahouh. We are all familiar with Moroccan midfielder and the kind of presence he generally has on the pitch. Jahouh’s towering presence at the centre of the park and his distribution meant the attackers had plenty of service.
The midfielder oozed confidence throughout the game, be it nutmegging opposition strikers in his own penalty box or taking an outrageous free-kick with the outside of his foot which found Boumous inside the East Bengal box which led to the third goal.
Even Rowllin Borges was very good, partnering Borges with a lot of confidence and showed his passing range as well.ISL
The Spanish boss once again kept Bartholomew Ogbeche out of action in the beginning and trusted Adam Le Fondre upfront. The English forward is slowly finding his form with each passing game and if he continues to do so, Lobera will find it difficult to slot in the Nigerian forward in the starting lineup.
But as Lobera very right said after the match that he has an ‘amazing problem’ at hand and that is to choose a lineup among players like Bartholomew Ogbeche, Hugo Boumous and Adam Le Fondre. It is a headache every coach in ISL would love to have.