An inspired Chennaiyin FC crushed Mumbai City FC 5-1 in the Hero ISL to move themselves to Second spot in the points table. The star of the show once again was their Brazilian superstar Elano. Elano two of the 5 five goals and has taken his personal goal tally to 5 from 4 games. The double makes Elano the current top scorer in the competition and by far has looked the most impressive marquee player.
All eyes before the kick-off were on the teamsheet as Nicolas Anelka was available for selection for Mumbai after his 3 match suspension. And the Mumbai fans were not disappointed as Anelka was given his first start for Mumbai city FC. But that was the only happy news the Mumbai fans had throughout the game.
With both teams coming off defeats in the previous matches, changes were certain in both camps. And Chennaiyin FC made their own headlines too with their player-manger Marco Materazzi handing himself his first start for the southern outfit. And another change was made upfront as Balwant Singh was replaced by Mendoza and both the changes had their own influence on the game.
Both teams were off their blocks but Chennaiyin FC looked the more penetrating. And once again, they had their chance early in the game as the quick legs of Mendoza drew a foul off Manuel Friedrich in the box to win a penalty for Chennaiyin FC. And Elano impressively knocked in his 4th goal in 4 games as Mumbai were down by a goal in the 9th minute. Though the visitors had their chance to equalize straight away, Chennaiyin FC managed to deepen their hold in the game. And Mumbai found themselves in further trouble as Elano knocked in a beautiful ball through to Jeje who beat the offside trap to increase Chennai’s lead in the 26th minute.
Mumbai City FC were playing with a high line of defence and the pace of Mendoza and Jeje were constantly giving trouble. And despite having more of the possession Mumbai were thrown out of the game before half time as Mendoza scored twice in 3 minutes to give Chennaiyin FC a 4-0 lead at the break. An Elano freekick was spilled by Subrata Pal and Mendoza was first to mop up the rebound to score Chennai’s 3rd. And the lackluster Mumbai defence was split apart by the pace of Mendoza who chipped past the goalkeeper for Chennai’s 4th.
Peter Reid and Mumbai City knew that a 4 goal deficit was too much for them to make up as Chennai started the second half strong too. Mumbai City had enough possession over their opponents but were not able to break down the solid Chennai defense. Meanwhile, the more direct nature of football by Chennaiyin FC along with the pace of their frontmen were too much for Mumbai’s high line defense to handle. And Elano made the night even more special for him as his thunderous freekick across the goal failed to get any touches and went in for Chennai’s 5th goal. This was Elano’s 5th goal in 4 matches and is now the leading scorer in the Hero ISL.
Though Syed Rahim Nabi scored one right at the end for Mumbai City FC, this would be a game that they would like to forget in a hurry. The match stats and the final scoreline may give the look of two entirely different football games, but Peter Reid and his Mumbai unit would know that they had failed miserably in the number that mattered the most. Whereas for Chennai, the win and the manner in which it came was important as they were humbled by Delhi in their previous match. Marco Materrazi has almost a week off for his team before they take on the high flying Atletico de Kolkata in what looks likely to be a top of the table clash.