Mumbai City FC have been fairly inconsistent in the inaugural season of the Indian Super League so far, one could actually term their performance as the strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.
After three weeks they have shuffled places from almost at the bottom of the points table to go mid-table with two good wins and two horrible loses.
After their 5-1 loss to Chennaiyin FC, the Mumbai outfit looked vastly different on Sunday, when they edge out Kerala Blasters FC in an engaging encounter at the DY Patil Sports Stadium in Navi Mumbai.
It felt like Mumbai had fielded two completely different teams in these past weeks.
Head coach Peter Reid was in agreement, “In England, we have a term for it -- Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. This evening I was Mr Hyde, Dr Jekyll we left in Chennai.”
The Englishman was delighted with his team’s performance and added, “It was a tactical performance. The players stuck to the game-plan. Once we scored the goal, I always thought we would be a threat in the second half.”
Reid added, “Our main priority of the game was to keep it tight at the back after what happened in Chennai and we did that extremely well.”
The only goal of the match came from the Frechman Nicholas Anekla.
For a Mumbaikar it was a paisal vasool (worth one’s money) moment. The stage was set for Anelka just a minute before halftime and he did not disappoint the Mumbai fans when he slotted past the hapless Kerala custodian Sandip Nandy, who just shook his head in disbelief as the ball rolled past him.
Reid summed that free-kick in one word – “terrific”.
The coach went on to compare Anelka to Samuel Eto’o and Didier Drogba and said, “Anelka is a top quality player and if they (Eto’s and Drogba) can, at their age, play in the Champions League, then even Anelka can do that.”
Frustration grew further for Kerala Blasters and the coach-manager David James could only concede, “That free kick cost us the match.”