It almost seems like every day a team at the foot of table is playing. This actually shows the competitiveness of the Indian Super League because teams at the foot of the table are constantly winning and moving up the table. FC Goa did it, Delhi Dynamos FC did it, Northeast United FC did it, and now its Delhi’s chance to do it again.
Freddie Ljungberg Starts!
One win for Delhi Dynamos FC will take them to the 6th spot, while Mumbai City FC can go 5th. 5th for Delhi Dynamos FC and 4th for Mumbai City is a real possibility too. Both teams made huge changes to their starting line-ups as was expected before the match but the biggest change still comes from Mumbai City.
Freddie Ljungberg has received his first start for his team and would look to show what he’s capable of. He’s been more or less poor in this league till now mainly because of injuries. He has to make up for the absences of Nicolas Anelka and Andre Moritz both.
Delhi Dynamos FC again started without Alessandro Del Pierro. He, reportedly, has come down with something. In any case, Delhi Dynamos FC should’ve gotten used to his absence by now.
Delhi Dynamos FC & Mumbai City FC Serve up a Very Poor First Half
Delhi Dynamos FC started the game much better than Mumbai City FC with Gustavo Marmentini Dos Santos especially doing well.
Delhi even managed to get a goal line clearance from the Mumbai City right back. While Delhi did play well, they were dominating mainly because Mumbai City weren’t playing that well.
There was a strange sluggishness to Mumbai’s game play and their players looked a little disinterested in pressing. Ljungberg was especially culpable of this. Without pressing, Delhi Dynamos could stroke the ball around and get off great balls.
Delhi Dynamos FC Score Right at the End
Mumbai City did claw their way back into the game during the middle of the half but they couldn’t really do anything with it. Just before half time, Delhi Dynamos FC attacked from their right flank with a cross.
Mumbai City’s defenders failed to clear it and Hans Mulder* put his foot through the ball and into the net. A great finish that one. Delhi Dynamos FC 1 – 0 Mumbai City FC.
Barring that one goal just before the half time and the last couple of minutes, the whole half was quite dead and boring. There is one clear sign for me that a game of football is bad. You know the game is going badly if you see both the teams playing head tennis with the football. There were at least 3 of those in this half.
This was two bad teams playing badly. I’m sorry but the first half was so bad that I’d rather have watched my nails grow or even my grandmother knitting me a sweater. No wonder, Delhi Dynamos’ stadium is empty all the time.
A More Encouraging Opening to the Second Half
Within 5 minutes of the second half, Delhi Dynamos FC stretched their lead further.
Dos Santos provided smart pass to Mads Junker who was making a run between Mumbai City’s defenders into the box. Junker took it on and passed the ball into the net. Delhi Dynamos FC 2 – 0 Mumbai City FC.
As you can tell from the goal, the second half was a little more creative especially from Delhi Dynamos who created many more chances. Delhi further turned on the style with a third goal. This time it was Dos Santos. Dos Santos started the move by sending the ball into the right flank to Francis Fernandes and continued his run into the box.
Delhi Dynamos FC Score Another
Francis Fernandes dropped in a wonderful cross right on his head. With the pace on the ball, all that Dos Santos had to do was guide the ball and he did that to perfection.
That was a header into the top right corner provided effortlessly. Game over and league over for Mumbai City. Delhi Dynamos FC 3 – 0 Mumbai City FC.
That goal took Delhi Dynamos FC to the 5th spot in the league and over Northeast United FC. In case you’re wondering what happened to Ljungberg, Peter Reid took him off in the halftime period along with Lalrindika Ralte to bring on Nadong Bhutia and Francisco Javier Fernandez Luque.
Mumbai City FC Get A Consolation Goal
Deep into the second half I think Delhi Dynamos FC got complacent and lazy because Mumbai City FC seemed to grow in stature.
They were more attacking, more motivated, and simply looked more likely to score.
In fact, they did get one consolation goal from Abhishek Yadav. The cross came in from the left and found Yadav who finished very well.
It wasn’t an easy chance but Yadav pulled it off with aplomb! Delhi Dynamos FC 3 – 1 Mumbai City FC.
Delhi Dynamos FC Wake Up and Put the Game beyond Mumbai City FC
Because of that goal, Delhi lost their 5th position in the table and dropped back to 6th. However, they made made up for it with another goal.
The cross came in from the touchline from Dias, Subrata Paul got a hand on it. The ball fell to another Delhi player and he saved again before Manish Bhargav put it into the net. Delhi Dynamos FC 4 – 1 Mumbai City FC.
It was a poor game from Mumbai City and on the evidence of their current points tally and performance, you might say that they should give up on the qualification spots but you shouldn’t. The reason is that they’re now only 3 points off Kerala Blasters FC in the 4th spot.
The problem for Mumbai City will be their goals scored and conceded tally. Their GD right now is -8 and they’ve only scored 9 goals. They still have 3 games left. If they win them all then they may still make it into the 4th position.
In any case, a match that was so dull in the first half turned into a goal fest in the second. The quality of football was still a little below the standards of other games in the ISL but we did get goals, so that keeps the newer fans happy.
*A cross between the guy from X files and the guy from Star Wars.