Kolkata Derby – East Bengal vs ATK Mohun Bagan
The Kolkata Derby is one of the oldest rivalries in world football, and the game did not disappoint as the two teams fought brilliantly in an entertaining encounter.
These two sides have played each other 160 times in the Kolkata Derby and East Bengal have managed to pick up the most number of wins with 53. Mohun Bagan have 47 wins to their name, and they will be hoping to close the gap within the next few years.
The two teams have been at each other’s throats since 1921, and the derby has always been a crowd-puller over the years. However, the Coronavirus crisis has forced teams to play behind closed doors, and the high octane atmosphere was missing as the two teams battled it out at the Tilak Maidan today.
The the usual roar from Red-and-Gold and Green-Maroon forces in thousands, was missing.
Goals from Roy Krishna, Manvir
Both teams started with an aggressive approach, and they managed to create chances right from the start.
Mohun Bagan took the lead on the 49th minute through Roy Krishna, and then Manvir Singh wrapped up the three points with his outstanding solo effort in the 85th minute.
Roy Krishna’s goal was of a poacher, who scored from just outside of penalty area, with a powerful left-footer. Whereas Manvir had a solo run along right flank after he overcame a challenge from Narayan Das, and latched a powerful left-footer to the top of the net.
The likes of Anthony Pilkington and Balwant Singh came close to scoring for East Bengal, but Mohun Bagan defines managed to stay organized at the back and grind out the points eventually.
The Red and Gold showed promise throughout the game, but Robbie Fowler’s side will have to find some craft and imagination in the attack. They failed to break down Mohun Bagan’s deep defence today despite having the ball.
The win today takes Mohun Bagan to the top of the table, and they will have gained immense confidence after today’s performance. It will be interesting to see if the Mariners can build on this and put together a winning run now.
Derby games can often define the season for teams, and it will be interesting to see how East Bengal bounce back from this.
Fowler might have to adjust his tactics from now on as well. The East Bengal manager was forced to switch to a four defenders after Mohun Bagan’s first goal, and his side managed to get a foothold in the game after that.
It will be interesting to see if the East Bengal manager decides to persist with the system in the next game.
As for Mohun Bagan, they must look to play on the front foot more often. They decided to sit back after taking the lead today, and it could have easily cost them on another day. East Bengal had the chances to get back into the game, but the likes of Balwant Singh and Pilkington made poor decisions in the end.
Mohun Bagan have the quality to dominate games and outscore teams. They should look to rely on Roy Krishna, David Williams and later Manvir Singh to wrap up the match. This is incredible for Habas side, as they lost two attacking Indian first team players Michael Soosairaj and Jobby Justin to injury.