Chennaiyin pile more misery on Mumbai City in the Final Game of the Season: The Talking points 

Sabari Jagannathan  |  Indian Super League  |  1 Year Ago

The former champions got the better of the Islanders, courtesy of a second half penalty from Mihelic. Despite making 8 changes to the their first 11, the hosts proved to be too much for the Mumbaikars. There was plenty of drama in the final minutes as Mumbai were denied a clear penalty and Balwant's goal was correctly ruled offside in the added time of the second half. Here are the major talking points from the game:

A dead rubber in every sense

Mumbai city's faltering campaign was brought to an timid end in Chennai. Chennaiyin had already qualified and rested their key players in a bid to keep them fresh for the knockouts. Guimaraes and Gregory made many changes to their starting eleven to give a chance for the players on the bench. There was combined 12 changes to the starting 11 of both the team with the hosts making 8 of them. The game did not get off to a flying start as the lack of context clearly failed to inspire either side. The game gradually picked up pace but it was not exactly the swash buckling thriller that gets you to the edge of your seats. The second half had a slow start but the hosts grew into the game and took a deserving lead through Mihelic's penalty. 

An audition for the outcasts

Gregory used this match to test his bench and the gaffer was constantly tweaking the system. After making eight changes the gaffer lined up his team in a 4-2-3-1 formation with Rafi leading the line. Mihelic started in the left wing and constantly kept swapping wings with Jude. The hosts later switched to their customary 4-4-1-1 and Gavilan played the role Augusto plays so well for the former champions. Gregory constantly gave out information in the bylines and it was clear that the bench players were having their chance to stake claim for a starting spot in the knockouts. Rafi  probably did not do enough to dislodge the out of form Jeje from the starting line up. Jude, Gavilan and Mihelic all impressed in what was a indirect audition prior to the knockouts for the hosts. 



Chennaiyin FC- the dark horses from the top 4

Chennaiyin FC had won only 2 of their last 7 games coming into this match. But they managed to pick up enough points to finish behind Bengaluru.Jeje has blown hot and cold this season and their source of goal has been from all over the pitch. Chennaiyin have had 11 goal scorers which is higher than both Bengaluru and Pune. Chennaiyin have become tough to break down and have made a habit of sneaking in late goals. Three teams from the current top four all have a very high goal difference compared to the former champions. It is unlike the season when Chennaiyin marched their way towards the title on the back of Mendoza's goal feast. Chennaiyin are a gritty side which are capable of defeating any team on their day. Should Goa qualify for the knockouts, 3 teams from the top 4 have 2 top scorers each in the top 7 goal scorers of the tournament. Chennaiyin do not have one but the side from South will be quietly confident to upset the flamboyant sides of the tournament. 

Mumbai City, a lot of flair not enough fire power

Mumbai City were excellent last season but their timid race for the top four was brought to an emphatic end by bottom placed Delhi last week. Guimaraes pointed out that his team has been playing good football and they did play some good quality football but when it mattered the most the Islanders lacked the resilience to see it through. They finish their tournament with 23 points from 18 games. In contrast they finished at the top of the standings last season with the same number of points from 14 games. They did not manage to string a series of wins and their campaign never really got up to the top gear. A combination of injuries and lack of consistency meant that their wait for their maiden crown continues. 


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