The away side left the match happy with a point after the Mariners caused real problems for their defence.

Mohun Bagan played out a thrilling 1-1 draw to hold Chennai City in yesterday’s I-League match at the Salt Lake Stadium on Saturday. The Mariners took the lead in the second half through Sony Norde’s fantastic effort, after which the league-leaders pegged them back to equalize through Nestor Gordillo.

While Chennai will feel robbed after two of their late attempts struck the post, they will be happy with a point after the Mariners caused real problems for their defence. Here are our talking points from the game:

5. Anchor Anandraj keeps Chennai City’s midfield from sinking

Charles Anandraj has been Chennai City’s assured midfielder throughout the season and ravished another game, anchoring his midfield. He showed discipline with his movement and intelligently tracked the Mariners’ attacks to make crucial tackles and interceptions.

Anandraj bailed Chennai out of trouble on many occasions and despite the Mariners threatening with their packed midfield, he kept Chennai from being overrun.  He showed tireless energy to track back and win back possession, while also distributing the ball to create promising chances for his side.

4. The Norde-Kisekka combo works wonders

Haitian Norde formed a good chemistry with Kisekka

Henry Kisekka started his first game for the Mariners as the sole striker and ravished his role in the middle. He used his physicality to his advantage to keep Gaurav Bora behind him and showed impressive hold-up play. He linked-up well with his wingers.

Norde and Kisekka linked-up really well, especially in the second half when he played more balls to the winger. Kisekka showed impressive awareness to set Norde free before the Haitian magician dribbled past two defenders to score a beauty. Their impressive chemistry proved why Mohun Bagan should play with Kisekka as a sole striker more often against tougher opposition.

3. Debutant Nauzet Santana’s brilliance saves Chennai from humiliation

Spaniard Nauzet Santana started his first game for Chennai City against Mohun Bagan and proved why he’s a big upgrade over Kabir. Despite drawing the game, Nauzet was a bright spark for Chennai and saved them from trouble on multiple occasions.

In the first half, he saved Pintu Mahata’s shot superbly and later another one to keep his side level. He continued his brilliance in the second, making a stunning save off Norde. He later saved another shot which got deflected, but he dived well to hold onto it.


2. Sankarlal Chakraborty’s poor substitutions costs him

Mohun Bagan looked a completely different side against Chennai CIty, defending much better and moving forward with vigour. Sankarlal Chakraborty got his tactics correct in making multiple changes, but it was his indecisive substitutions which came back to bite him. Bringing in Amey Ranawade for Mahata proved to be a disastrous move, as the full-back looked uneasy in his position and missed a sitter in the second half.

Getting on Shilton D’Silva to park the bus late on backfired as he did nothing to contain the opposition’s midfielders and failed to help his defence. Asier Dipanda Dicka was useless after coming on in the end and it was Sankarlal’s poorly-judged substitutions which cost the Mariners two more precious points.

1. Clinical Nestor saves the day for Chennai City

The Spaniard didn’t have the best of games, but it was his superb goal which kept Chennai’s unbeaten streak intact

Nestor Gordillo had a relatively frustrating game by his standards. He was neutralized by Arijit Bagui and the Mariners midfielders, who didn’t allow him to get into space and create chances for his side. While Bagan stopped his flow for a big chunk of the game, Nestor’s clinical nature prevailed in the end.

He showed impressive determination to get Eslava’s brilliant long-ball, taking it well and hitting a sweet attempt which blazed into the net. The Spaniard didn’t have the best of games, but it was his superb goal which kept Chennai’s unbeaten streak intact.