ISL 2020-21 Podcast: Kolkata derby preview, Gerard Nus' impressive debut, Chennaiyin FC's attacking start, and more
In the latest edition of More Than A Game, we continue with our coverage of ISL 2020-21, previewing the first-ever Kolkata Derby of the league. We also discuss Kerala Blasters' playing style under new manager Kibu Vicuna, Jamshedpur FC's unimposing start under Owen Coyle, and more.
In the sporting spectrum of India, there's hardly anything that can come close to the aura of the Kolkata Derby. The two Kolkata giants — Mohun Bagan and East Bengal — first clashed in 1921 during the Cooch Behar Cup and since then it has been the most-anticipated fixture on the Indian sporting calendar, across all sports.
Always an emotional roller-coaster, the Indian Super League (ISL) will be hosting its first Kolkata Derby on 27 November. Mohun Bagan and East Bengal, who both were part of the I-League till last season, have joined the ISL from the 2020-21 edition. Mohun Bagan have merged with last year's champions ATK and are participating as ATK Mohun Bagan.
Firstpost's Anish Anand and Ujwal Singh are joined by football journalist Arka Bhattacharya as they preview the mega clash and take a look at its history.
They also discuss the major talking points from Matchday 1 of ISL 2020-21 season which saw NorthEast United FC stunning Sergio Lobera's Mumbai City FC. NorthEast's new coach Gerard Nus impressed with his tactical astuteness on the night as his team secured a vital 1-0 win.
Kerala Blasters took part in the first game of the season, and while they lost to ATK Mohun Bagan, Kibu Vicuna's men gave an exhibition of what we can expect from them going forward. For a club like Blasters, who have regularly enjoyed tremendous support from the state of Kerala, the lack of identity in their playing style was a major concern. Vicuna's team on the opening night preferred to build from the back and stressed on playing a possession-based passing game.
FC Goa, now coached by Juan Ferrando, came back from being two goals down to play out a 2-2- draw against a solid-looking Bengaluru FC. They have not beaten Bengaluru since 2017, but with the comeback in the match that helped them secure a point, Goa showed that they are going to be more than a team known for eye-pleasing football.
Hyderabad FC won their match against Odisha FC and in the process also secured their first clean sheet in the league. Chennaiyin FC defeated former manager Owen Coyle's Jamshedpur FC in their first match, playing some eye-catching attacking football.
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ATK Mohun Bagan has dropped five points in their last two games.
The Kolkata giants displayed a fine passing game, played with intent but a momentary lapse in defence in the 27th minute cost them three points at the Tilak Maidan Stadium.
Ferrando’s men conceded the first goal in 8 out of their 10 matches. Lapses in concentration are not doing justice to their defense which, overall, has performed decently.