Bipin, Stewart, Chhangte: Mumbai City FC’s menacing front three
Very few Hero Indian Super League (ISL) sides can boast of a deadly front three as that of Mumbai City FC’s Bipin Singh, Greg Stewart and Lallianzuala Chhangte. The trio have spearheaded Mumbai City FC’s attack with aplomb this season, inspiring the Islanders to an unbeaten run in Hero ISL 2022-23 so far.
The trio’s attacking prowess has helped MCFC pump in 10 goals across five games this season. Only ATK Mohun Bagan have bettered that tally with 12 goals this season. MCFC are also one of the two sides apart from league leaders Hyderabad FC who are yet to face a defeat this season. In Hero ISL history, the Islanders have never remained unbeaten in the first five matches, and the forward line of Singh, Stewart and Chhangte have had a big role to play in this.
Making the difference
Mumbai City FC’s attacking trio have been involved in four of the eight individual goals that MCFC have scored so far. Singh is currently Mumbai City’s joint-highest goal scorer in Hero ISL history alongside Modou Sougou, and the Manipur winger has already opened his account for the season. Chhangte has grown in confidence following a terrific Durand Cup 2022 campaign, finding the net on two occasions already.
Singh and Chhangte have been unstoppable on the wings, not only making use of their pace and delivering dangerous crosses into the box, but have also displayed the tendency to arrive in promising positions and score goals. The two Indian forwards have also shown the versatility to play on either flanks. “With them switching positions on either side, it keeps the defenders guessing. They have the freedom to do that if they want,” Mumbai City FC head coach Des Buckingham said earlier.
On the other hand, new signing Stewart has been the creative lynchpin for the Islanders. Under Buckingham, he has taken a free and creative role upfront, picking out pockets of spaces, linking up play, and drifting wide to deliver crosses when needed. He also has the most goal contributions for the Islanders this season (4).
The Scotsman has proved the cutting edge in their attack, leading the way with a goal and three assists. In fact, Singh (1) and Chhangte (2) have been on the receiving end of Stewart’s assists, highlighting how the trio have already formed a good understanding in a short space of time.
Threat from out wide
The Islanders have massively benefitted with the pace and trickery of Singh and Chhangte on the wings, who have left no stone unturned in whipping in those crosses. Mumbai City FC have netted on four occasions from crosses this season, the joint-most by any team alongside Kerala Blasters. The Islanders have scored from crosses in four out of their five games.
Singh and Chhangte, in particular, have accounted for more than half of the crosses delivered by MCFC this season, providing 17 and 13 crosses into the box respectively. Stewart has also played a vital role for his side in this aspect, given his ability to drift out wide and pick out his teammates. The playmaker has the joint-most successful crosses (5) this season and it comes as no surprise that he has been leading the assist charts for MCFC.
Although Mumbai City have registered three draws so far, their attack has shone this season, with the trio of Singh, Chhangte and Stewart leading their way. It is just what the Islanders need as they look to bounce back from last season and go all the way.