The Islanders retained their place at the top of the table thanks to Rahul Bheke’s late winner.

Mumbai City added another jewel to their crown with a slender 1-0 victory against Chennaiyin FC, making it five wins out of six in the Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22 on Wednesday. Their fourth successive win also ensured that they kept their spot as league leaders with 15 points.

Chennaiyin started off well, showing glimpses of brilliance and indicating that they wouldn’t allow Mumbai to play their natural possession-based game. However, Mumbai quickly regained the ball and kept getting the ball into dangerous positions through Ahmed Jahouh and Cassinho. The best chance of the first half came when Vishal Kaith misjudged Amey Ranawade’s cross and left the goal empty, only for Igor Angulo to head it onto the post. The next opening was another peach of an opportunity missed by Angulo, when he couldn’t volley Cassinho’s first time flicked pass into the far corner.

Mumbai City finally got their breakthrough in the 86th minute. as a deep set-piece delivery from Jahouh found its way to Rahul Bheke marvelously. Bheke headed it goalwards and Vishal Kaith’s disappointing evening reached it’s climax, as he misjudged the ball once again and conceded the only goal of the evening. On that note, let’s take a look at Khel Now’s player ratings from the Mumbai City FC – Chennaiyin FC match:

Mumbai City FC (By Riddhiman Sarkar)

Mohammad Nawaz- 7.0

Skewed two clearances but didn’t have to do much as he generated only two saves for the entirety of the match.

Amey Ranawade- 7.5

Kept marauding up and down the right flank, as he contributed to attack and defence equally, making five interceptions and three crosses into the box.

Mourtada Fall- 7.5

Partnered well with Bheke at the heart of defence to keep Chennaiyin attackers at bay and won six out of his seven aerial duels.

Rahul Bheke- 8.0

Vigilant at the back, stepping in to make important interceptions in the nick of time, as he made five clearances. Made his best contribution to the match by heading home Jahouh’s delivery. Overall, a great outing from the athletic defender.

Mandar Rao Dessai- 7.0

Partnered up well with Bipin and Gurkirat to keep the left wing under wraps and attempted seven crosses.

Apuia Ralte- 7.0

Looked comfortable in possession and kept things flowing for Mumbai. Had the best chance from his only shot on target, but it was turned out following a brilliant reaction save from Kaith at point-blank range.

Ahmed Jahouh- 7.5

Noticeable presence in the middle of the park with his stretched tackles and laser-guided passing. Completed a good 79% of his passes. Great delivery from the captain to get his assist and tee up Bheke for the lone goal of the match.

Raynier Fernandes- 6.5

Tame display from the Mumbai City playmaker, as he completed only one of his two take-ons against Chennaiyin. Substituted for Vikram Singh in the 68th minute.

Cassinho- 6.5

Great link-up play and twinkle toes from the Brazilian got him the first chance of the match for Mumbai. Kept dropping into the hole between Chennaiyin’s midfield and defence as he completed 83% of his passes.

Bipin Singh- 6.5

Commendable work-rate from the winger, as he tracked back to help the defence and led a few breakaways in attack. Substituted for Gurkirat Singh in the 85th minute, as none of his five crosses found the target.

Igor Angulo- 6.5

Couldn’t capitalize on Ranawade’s cross as Kamaljit rushed out and had another shot off target from Cassinho’s flicked-on pass. A quiet evening for the Spaniard, as he was subbed off for Catatau in the 68th minute with two shots off target to his name.

Substitutes

Vikram Pratap Singh- 6.5

Kept Chennaiyin occupied on the flanks with his active running and did what he was expected to do while boasting 100% passing accuracy.

Gurkirat Singh- 6.5

Subbed on in the 85th minute for more defensive stability to see out the win and won his only aerial duel.

Ygor Catatau- 6.5

Tried his best and was active in attack, as he continuously bullied Chennaiyin defenders with his strength and intelligent movement across the pitch. Completed 60% of his passes.

Chennaiyin FC (by Kaushik Viswanath)

ISL 2021-22 M​30​ Highlights: Mumbai City Vs Chennaiyin FC

Vishal Kaith- 6.0 

The goalkeeper once again erred in his decision-making and let another goal in, this time the winner. Made five saves and yet was guilty of some shoddy goalkeeping that ultimately cost his side. 

Reagan Singh- 7.5 

Put in a great shift at right-back with five clearances and interceptions respectively. Completed 65% of his passes and made 50 touches, the second-highest by any CFC player on the night. 

Slavko Damjanovic- 8.0

Once again he was a rock at the back for the Marina Machans. Made a monstrous seven clearances, two interceptions and blocked two shots. Pity he had to end on the losing side. 

Narayan Das- 7.5 

Combined well with Damjanovic once again. Matched the Serbian’s seven clearances, made one interception and one successful tackle. Also completed 73% of his passes. 

Jerry Lalrinzuala- 7.5 

Gave it everything on the pitch. Covered the left flank brilliantly to contribute in the attack and also keep Raynier Fernandes and Amey Ranawade at bay. Possibly the best player for Chennaiyin FC on the night, he also made two successful tackles and interceptions and one clearance against Mumbai City.

Ariel Borysiuk- 6.0

Tucked in well at the back when the full-backs pressed higher. Contributed with five clearances, four successful interceptions and one blocked shot. Completed 100% of his tackles as well. Helped Reagan to keep Bipin Singh quiet on Mumbai’s left wing. 

Vladimir Koman- 7.0

Once again the midfield metronome for Chennaiyin FC. Had the most touches of any CFC player on the night (61). Completed 73% of his passes, three crosses and also created two chances. 

Also contributed at the defensive end with four successful tackles, two clearances and four interceptions. Put in an all-round performance once again. Made the third-highest number of sprints with 29. 

Edwin Vanspaul- 5.5 

Couldn’t contribute a lot at the offensive end but still completed 74% of his passes and two crosses. Completed three successful tackles, one clearance and two interceptions. He was taken off in the 68th minute for Rahim Ali. 

Anirudh Thapa- 7.0

Made the second-highest number of sprints with 31 and pressed high and well to give some openings for Chennaiyin FC. Made two successful tackles and interceptions respectively. Also completed 70% of his passes. Another committed performance from the captain. 

Lallianzuala Chhangte- 5.5 

Didn’t get a lot of chances to impose himself on the game. Completed only eight of his 14 attempted passes at an accuracy rate of 57%. Made one successful tackle and interception, but his attacking game was rather sporadic and uneventful, contrary to expectations. 

Lukasz Gikiewicz-  5.5 

Once again, he could not contribute a lot to the game. Tried to play on the shoulder of Mourtada Fall but didn’t receive a lot of service. He did receive one guilt-edged chance at the start of the second half, which he couldn’t convert. Finished 64% of his passes and made two clearances to show for his work.

Substitutes

Rahim Ali- 5.0 

Came on in the 81st minute and didn’t have a lot to contribute in the attack. Completed three of his four attempted passes, which says a lot about him not being able to press and impose himself despite his fresh legs. 

Mirlan Murzaev- 5.0

Came on in the 81st minute. Didn’t contribute a lot as it became evident that Chennaiyin FC were playing for the draw, something that eventually didn’t happen. 

Germanpreet Singh- 4.0

Came on in the 68th minute and had nothing to contribute in the game other than blocking a solitary shot. Didn’t even attempt or complete one pass, says a lot about the night he had.

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