Pune vanquishes Mumbai in the MAHA DERBY to go level: The Talking Points

Sabari Jagannathan  |  The Derby  |  1 Year Ago

In arguably the biggest fixture in the Indian Super League Mumbai City FC and FC Pune City locked horns today. The stallions did the double over their local rivals and now have one leg in the play off spots. Mumbai were left to rue their missed chances as they suffered fourth straight home loss in a bizarre season. An own goal and a second half strike from Marcelinho was enough for the visitors to deliver the knockout punch to their local rivals.


Here are the top talking points from the match:

Angry Popovic gets the job done 

It doesn't take a genius to figure out that Popovic is an angry character. The gaffer has been receiving bans for fun and doesn't shy away from letting his players and referees know what he thinks of their performance. He was furious with Rohit for taking a bizarre shot even with his side 2 goals up and less than five minutes away from another win. Pune city have tried everything from signing star names to bringing on proven coaches at ISL level to get them to knockouts. Nothing has worked so far and this angry magician from Serbia looks to have figured it out for them. The orange army will have chance to see their team in knockouts unless they have disastrous end to the campaign. Given Popovic's temper there is no way he is going to let his players taper off in the final stages of the league.


Inconsistent Mumbai pay the price

The players wasted a plethora of chances as they lost against their local rivals. Guimaraes would be wondering where it all went wrong for his team. They have simply not been able to deliver consistent performances. Mumbai City have at times looked like a solid unit very much in control but have drifted away far too often in this year's tournament. They looked a pale shadow of their former self from last season when they dominated the league and gave a very good account of themselves in the knock outs. They might now witness their local rivals play their first ever knock out and may have to be content playing for pride in their upcoming games. It is their fourth straight loss at home and that kind of form will be never be enough to secure a play off place. 

Tebar and Adil, the wall of Pune 

It is often the centre back pair that form a soul of any team's defence but the stallions will be thanking their midfield stalwarts for stopping the Mumbai attack. Emana and Thiago are the creative hub of Mumbai and they both like to operate through the centre of the defence. Adil and Tebar blocked their path for most of the match. Though Mumbai looked better in the second half, Pune's midfield worked tirelessly to keep a clean sheet. The rest of the midfield ably supported the duo and were also creating loads of goal scoring chances as well. 



Lack of killer instinct the cause of Mumbai's downfall

Though the hosts looked bereft of ideas in the first half they did get a few half chances. They also had several excellent chances to get back into the game in the second half. Balwant was guilty of missing good chances for the second game running while Thiago inexplicably shot wide with the goal at his mercy. Guimaraes in his prematch press conference urged his players to convert the chances they create but the message clearly didn't get through to the players. Though the visitors themselves missed several chances, the hosts will be wondering what if they had converted the chances in the key moments of the game. 


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