Key factors behind Mohun Bagan Super Giant's stellar start in ISL 2023-24
Mohun Bagan SG stand as one of the three unbeaten teams this season and are the sole side with a perfect record after three Matchweeks, achieving this feat for the second time in ISL history.
Their journey began with a resounding victory against Punjab FC on home turf, followed by a hard-fought win against Bengaluru FC in front of their loyal supporters. The Mariners continued their winning streak by defeating Chennaiyin FC on the road. Notably, they stand as one of the three unbeaten teams this season and are the sole side with a perfect record after three Matchweeks, achieving this feat for the second time in ISL history.
While it's still early in the season, Juan Ferrando's squad has kick-started their ISL Cup defense in an impressive manner, establishing significant momentum before the international break. With that, we delve into the primary reasons behind their flawless start to the season.
New attacking duo making an impact
Mohun Bagan SG's newly formed attacking pair, comprising Jason Cummings and Dimitri Petratos, have hit the ground running. Ferrando has paired the Australian duo upfront in all three matches, and remarkably, they've developed a telepathic understanding in a remarkably short time.
Both Cummings and Petratos have notched up two goals and an assist each, playing a pivotal role in Mohun Bagan SG being the highest-scoring team this season. In fact, they have been directly involved in four of the eight goals scored by the team, contributing nearly half of the total. Their performance will be crucial going forward as Mohun Bagan SG aim to become the first team to retain the ISL Cup.
Adaptable tactical system
Mohun Bagan SG has demonstrated tactical flexibility by predominantly employing a three-man backline this season. This flexibility, complemented by a deep squad, allows Ferrando to deploy players in various positions to counter different opponents.
For instance, players like Liston Colaco and Manvir Singh have been effectively utilised in the full-back positions in two of their three games. This adaptable approach has translated into numerous goal-scoring opportunities, with Mohun Bagan SG leading the league tally in chances created.
Scoring seven goals in three games, they have outperformed other teams in terms of goal production while maintaining defensive solidity, conceding only two goals.
A robust defence serves as the cornerstone of any successful team, and Mohun Bagan SG is no exception. They currently rank fourth in expected goals against and have one of the most solid defences in the league.
While they have secured only one clean sheet this season, they have proven their resilience by making it difficult for opponents to score. They've allowed just one goal in each of their victories against Punjab FC and Chennaiyin FC while effectively limiting chances created by both sides. They are joint-second for Expected Goals Against (xGA), trailing only Jamshedpur FC for the fewest goals conceded so far, tied with FC Goa, who have played one game less.
Given their display thus far, it's plausible that Mohun Bagan SG can surpass or at least match their clean sheet tally from last season (12).