It was a historic night for the City of Joy as the Kolkata derby was held for the first time in the Indian Super League. The Asia’s biggest rivalry lived up to its billing with ATK Mohun Bagan coming away with the 3 points against SC East Bengal in the latter’s debut in the ISL . A seemingly comfortable 2-0 win takes ATK MB to the top of the table courtesy of goals from Roy Krishna and Manvir Singh.
Both teams started out well and the initial exchanges were lively. The midfield of both teams dominated the play and created a flurry of chances in the first half. Though East Bengal led by Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler had good chances, they couldn’t utilise them as they lacked a quality centre forward.
Balwant Singh was the man upfront for East Bengal and he had a night to forget, missing key chances to take the lead. Both teams playing with a three man defence were able to move the ball around the midfield and looked to break into the final third. It was a tightly congested game which had to be settled by individual spurts of play which exactly happened in the second half.
Antonio Habas’s side found the breakthrough through Roy Krishna, who scored in his second game running from a driven shot outside the box. Later on, substitute Manvir Singh showed some individual brilliance in completing a solo run with a calm finish into the back of the net. East Bengal’s midfield didn’t get its deserved reward and their attacks were spoiled by the ATK MB defence and heroics from goalkeeper Arindam . With this win, ATK MB go right up to the top of the table with 2 wins in as many matches.
Let’s jump into the player ratings!
SC EAST BENGAL
Debjit Majumder – 6.5
The former Mohun Bagan and ATK goalkeeper had a busy evening with shots and crosses coming in from all sides. He did well to parry away a couple of crosses off Prabir Das in the first half. But he was to be questioned in conceding the first goal. He could’ve done better with his positioning to cover the shot from Roy Krishna which was taken from outside the box. He couldn’t have done much with the second goal. Overall a decent performance with some areas to work on.
Scott Neville – 7
The Australian defender fit into the three man defence very well. He covered his side efficiently and had a good understanding with Daniel Fox. He had 2 clearances and blocked a shot . He also had the best passing accuracy of 92% for his team. A good performance to start the season even though being on the losing side.
Daniel Fox – 7.5
Fox was the central man in the defence and was kept busy throughout the match. He had 10 clearances and organised the back three. Though he was tested at times, a decent shift for the Aussie.
Rana Gharami – 6.5
Gharami was the left sided centre back today, and he was quite uncertain at the backline . ATK MB used the right flank to their advantage as Prabir was busy with his overlapping runs. Eventually Rana was taken off for Abhishek Ambekar in the 58th minute.
Narayan Das – 6
Narayan Das played in the left wing back position and he was gullible at times in leaving space for the opponents. He was given a torrid time in the first half by Prabir Das. He himself made some good overlapping runs, but defensively it was a bit disappointing for him. Manvir Singh skipped past him and went on to score to settle the match. He had 4 clearances but his work was shadowed by inconsistent play.
Surchandra Singh – 7
The midfielder had a good match and his work rate was useful for the team. He created 2 chances with 82% passing accuracy. He linked the attack and defence very well and put in a worthy performance.
Ville Steinmann – 7.5
The young German midfielder made his mark in his ISL debut by a steady performance. His passing was good and he was playing as the seasoned box to box midfielder. He completed 51 passes with an accuracy of 73%. He also made 3 interceptions, and 2 successful tackles. He was clearly one of the better players of the match for East Bengal.
Loken Meitei – 7.5
Another note worthy player for East Bengal was midfielder Loken Meitei who put in a good shift. He completed 28 passes with an accuracy of 78%. His work rate and defensive contribution was helpful for the team. He also wasn’t shy of taking shots at goal and overall was one of the better players for East Bengal.
Jacques Maghoma – 7
Maghoma was a threat to the opposition defence with his running and work rate. He completed 31 passes with an accuracy of 70% and created 3 chances. Though the final pass was missing, he could’ve made things work if he had a good striker to work with.
Anthony Pilkington – 8
Pilkington was the best player of the night for East Bengal. The attacking midfielder made numerous efforts in front of goal. His positioning and movement was tricky for the opposition defence. He took 3 shots, with 2 on target and one of them needed a good save from Arindam to be kept out. He had 81% passing accuracy and was the organiser of attacks for the team.
Balwant Singh – 5
It was a lacklustre day for the striker who couldn’t finish the chances that East Bengal got. He took 2 shots none of them hitting the target and had a passing accuracy of just 38% . He was taken off in 65 minutes.
Abhishek Ambekar – 6
He came on for Rana Gharami and didn’t have much to do in the later stages when East Bengal were looking for a goal. However he let Manvir Singh take the shot at goal to score and wasn’t quick enough.
Mohammed Rafique – 6.5
The midfielder came on to replace Balwant Singh. He held his position well preventing further attacks. He had a passing accuracy of 55% and made 3 tackles .
Angousana – unrated