From Mumbai City FC’s attack to Odisha FC’s comeback: Takeaways from Matchweek 7

The Hero Indian Super League (ISL) table witnessed quite a few changes in Matchweek 7, with plenty of surprising results on display. 18 goals were scored across five games in Matchweek seven and four of the five wins were registered in comprehensive fashion, with three or more goals being scored.

Mumbai City FC closed the gap on leaders Hyderabad FC with a thumping 4-0 victory against Bengaluru FC while Odisha FC stunned East Bengal FC with a comeback win. Meanwhile, Saturday’s double header saw Chennaiyin FC ease past Jamshedpur FC and later on, Kerala Blasters recorded a gritty win over Hyderabad FC. FC Goa were in full flow in the last fixture of Matchweek seven, beating ATK Mohun Bagan convincingly.

With yet another Matchweek coming to a close, here are the key takeaways from the matchweek gone by:

Another ruthless attacking display from Mumbai City FC

Mumbai City FC have scored the highest goals this season and it comes as no surprise, with their free-flowing attack firing on all cylinders. It was yet another ruthless attacking display from the Islanders as they put four past Bengaluru FC.

With Hyderabad FC going down to Kerala Blasters this matchweek, Mumbai City FC remain the only unbeaten team this season. While MCFC registered their third clean sheet of the season after a dominant win against the Blues, their attack propelled them to their fourth win of the season. The Islanders have netted 20 goals this season, seven more than Kerala Blasters, who are second in the list of the highest goals scored this season. Goals have come from all ends of the pitch for MCFC, with ten different players being involved.

Mumbai City FC have the momentum in hand and with their attack making the difference in games, they are emerging as the team to beat this season.

Comeback kings Odisha FC

If there’s one thing we have learnt this season, it is to never count out Odisha FC, at least, till the final whistle. The Kalinga Warriors registered yet another comeback win, as they got the better of East Bengal FC in Kolkata. Odisha FC head coach Josep Gombau took a gamble at half-time, bringing on four players, and it paid off with three of his four substitutes being involved in the four goals they scored in the second half.

Out of the four matches won by Odisha FC this season, the team has come from behind to on three occasions, showcasing their fighting spirit. Odisha have picked up nine points from losing positions in Hero ISL this season, more than any other team. This is also the best start Odisha have had to a Hero ISL season after six matches.

“We have the mentality to fight till the last minute,” said Gombau. “Until the full-time whistle and when the game is over, I want my team to give their all on the field. We have bounced back in three games out of four, which shows the strong mentality that we have.”

Abdenasser El Khayati’s magic inspires Chennaiyin FC

Chennaiyin FC were in search of inspiration when Ishan Pandita equalised against the run of play for Jamshedpur FC in the latter stages of the game. Moments later, they brought on El Khayati, and their nimble-footed attacking midfielder single-handedly changed the game.

The Dutchman provided the assist for Vincy Barretto, and moments later produced a moment of magic when he scored the winner. He made his way into the box and sat the keeper and his marker down with a brilliant piece of skill.

Chennaiyin FC might be without creative midfielder Rafael Crivellaro in their squad this season, but El Khayati might just the replacement they need to fill the Brazilian’s boots.

Kerala Blasters FC end Hyderabad FC’s unbeaten run

This was arguably the most surprising result of the week. In what was a rematch of last season’s final, Kerala Blasters inflicted Hyderabad FC’s first defeat of the season and the Blasters did so by beating the defending champions in their own den.

The GMC Balayogi Stadium was turning out to be a fortress of sorts for Hyderabad FC this season, with Manolo Marquez’s side winning all their three matches at home so far. But Kerala Blasters put up a team performance, defending their hearts out and nullifying Hyderabad FC’s attack in crucial moments to nick out the three points.

The Blasters may have dropped six points from winning positions from this season, but didn’t let that happen against Hyderabad FC, where they defended resolutely after taking the lead. The result sees Kerala Blasters move up into fourth place, just four points behind leaders Hyderabad FC.

FC Goa end ATK Mohun Bagan hoodoo

FC Goa and ATK Mohun Bagan had clashed on four occasions in the past, but luck always evaded the Gaurs, who drew once and suffered three defeats against the Mariners. But that changed on Sunday, as FC Goa not only ended their winless streak against the ATKMB, but did that in some style.

Staying true to their philosophy of playing on the front foot, the hosts attacked ATKMB from the word go, and never lost hope. Aiban Dohling’s strike early on in the second half opened the floodgates, and FC Goa never let the opposition get back in the game after that as substitutes Fares Arnaout and Noah Sadaoui put the game beyond their reach. With this win, FC Goa have now registered a win against all opponents in the Hero ISL.

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