The previous week also witnessed setbacks for top teams.
The ISL 2021-22 gameweek 7 began with a clash of heavyweights as ATK Mohun Bagan and Bengaluru FC locked horns and the feisty encounter saw both teams share the spoils with three goals apiece. In the last match of the week, Kerala Blasters put in a near-perfect performance and dispatched Mumbai City FC 3-0.
It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that it was one of the best performances from the Kerala-based side since the league began in 2014. A brilliant defensive performance coupled with some delicious volleys summed up the night for Ivan Vukomanović’s men, which was their second victory of the campaign. So who excelled in gameweek 7? Let’s take a look at the ISL 2021-22 Team of the Week.
Goalkeeper: Mirshad Michu (NorthEast United)
Michu has slowly yet steadily been making a mark at NorthEast United. After a couple of average performances that were littered with some brilliant saves and positioning, Michu came into his own against East Bengal, making three point-blank saves and keeping a clean sheet as well. Subhasish Roy Chowdhury has a challenger!
Right Back: Reagan Singh (Chennaiyin FC)
Another ISL 2021-22 game week, and yet another clean output from Reagan Singh. Chennaiyin’s FC 2-1 win against Odisha FC was a characteristic team performance, with every player playing out of their skins. As a wing-back, Reagan rightfully owned the right side of the pitch, surging forward with ease. His 90% passing rate shows how effective he was in possession.
Centre Back: Hormipam Ruivah (Kerala Blasters)
Debut against the defending champions and current leaders gives you nerves? Hormipam Ruivah thinks otherwise. Making his ISL debut against Mumbai City FC, the 20-year-old from Manipur made seven clearances, five interceptions, five tackles and won every ground duel he participated in. Statement debut!
Centre Back: Slavko Damjanovic (Chennaiyin FC)
Keeping his team in the top-four in ISL 2021-22, Damjanovic has ensured calmness at the back with a sense of authority. Playing centrally in a back three, he was the best defender for the Marina Machans on the evening. Winning six clearances, one key interception, and all aerial duels ensured Chennaiyin attackers could go ahead throughout the game and keep up the ante.
Left Back: Subhasish Bose (ATK Mohun Bagan)
In a high-scoring game against Bengaluru FC, left-back Bose put in an inspired display that reminded fans of his abilities. He opened the scoring with a sweet, low finish, beating Gurpreet Singh Sandhu. He kept the left side of the pitch blocked for the JSW side, thwarting Jayesh Rane and Prince Ibarra regularly. When he’s on form, Bose is a delight for any coach.
Right Midfielder: Sahal Abdul Samad (Kerala Blasters)
The second-best player on the pitch against defending champions Mumbai City FC the other night, Sahal Abdul Samad has always been talented; now, he’s making full use of it. He opened the scoring with a neatly-connected volley in the 27th minute and played a key role in another goal. The performance would bring a lot of confidence to him, helping the club with some brilliant creativity on the pitch.
Central Midfield: Jeakson Singh (Kerala Blasters)
Boy, has he aged well! In a league of Amarjits and Sureshs — Jeakson Singh is finally holding onto his own. In a composed display against the likes of Apuia and Ahmed Jahouh, Singh recycled the ball brilliantly at the center of the pitch and kept breaking up opposition play, winning 100% of his aerial duels. The victory over Mumbai City FC could be a major turning point for both the club and the player.
Central Midfield: Danish Farooq (Bengaluru FC)
Replacing Sunil Chhetri in any lineup is no mean responsibility, but Farooq was up for it. His link-up play with Cleiton Silva was no short of brilliant, and the swivel of his neck to find the back of the nets was world-class. He was also combative in the center of the park, making three interceptions and winning 50% of all duels.
Left Midfielder: VP Suhair (NorthEast United)
Suhair always puts in a shift, no matter who the opposition is. Against East Bengal, he wasn’t just instrumental in helping Gurjinder Kumar against Antonio Perosevic, but also opened the scoring with a near-post finish in the 60th minute. Minutes earlier, he had created a key chance for Imran Khan to score as well!
Striker: Jorge Pereyra Diaz (Kerala Blasters)
What an outing this left-footed Argentinean had. Hunting in a pack with Sahal and Alvaro Vazquez, Diaz earned a sweet assist with Sahal’s brilliant volley and earned a well-deserved goal for himself in the 51st minute from the spot to kill all hopes of a comeback for Mumbai City FC. His tenacious running and deft touches kept opening up the Mumbai City FC defense with regularity.
Striker: Cleiton Silva (Bengaluru FC)
In a season that has been forgettable for the JSW club, this man has been a shimmer of hope. He was on target and was the origin of the sweet corner that was dispatched in the back of the net by Danish Farooq. Silva also tried a majestic swivel kick to score another, but it went inches wide. He’s a workhorse as well, and if the club has to turn the season around, Silva will need to continue his form.