Mumbai City FC thrashed Bengaluru FC 4-0 away at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bangalore when the two sides clashed in matchweek 9 of the Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 on Friday. 

Having returned from a disappointing AFC Champions League campaign where they only scored one goal and secured zero points in six matches, the Islanders took to the field in the ISL and bounced back in style. 

Dutch forward Abdenasser El Khayati opened the scoreline in the 11th minute of the match which was then followed by wing-back Akash Mishra doubling their lead with a banger. In the second half, two penalties saw Jorge Pereyra Diaz and Lallianzuala Chhangte enlist their names in the scoresheet, finishing the match 4-0.

El Khayati, while speaking to, shared his feelings on dominating a team as big as Bengaluru FC and also expressed confidence in himself having scored two goals in as many starts since the end of October.

Here are the excerpts:

How do you feel having scored the opener in Mumbai City FC’s domination of a team like Bengaluru FC, who have established themselves as a top team in the league?

We respect the opponent, we analyse them very seriously. Bengaluru FC, it’s a big club with a big history. So we took it seriously and we were very focused from the beginning. We aimed to be on the front foot, only focused on scoring early, as we did, luckily it was me.

It’s just my second start (since the end of October) and in both the games I scored, last game in the (AFC) Champions League and now again, so that’s good. So good for the team, for the club, to have some confidence. We were a long time out, for five-six weeks without ISL.

Obviously, we have fewer games than the rest. Just played our sixth game today, some teams are nine-ten games now. We are just ready to go. And obviously, if you win the first one out of these five games this month, it’s always nice to win it with a big result, especially away.

This was your first goal in the ISL for Mumbai City FC. So how effective do you consider yourself for the team and how did it feel scoring your first league goal for the Islanders?

For Mumbai City FC it’s my second goal. I scored one in the (AFC) Champions League and this is my first in the ISL for Mumbai City FC. It’s good, it’s good, it's one of my habits, one of my qualities to score goals or to give assists, be dangerous around the box and you know, I don’t need a lot of chances to score goals. I think I had only one shot. It was a good game, good going for all of us.

Mumbai City FC finally managed to keep a clean sheet in their sixth match this season in the ISL. Australian center-back Rostyn Griffiths had an instrumental role to play in achieving the feat. 

In a post-match interview with, Griffiths shared the positives for his team from this match and elaborated on how the AFC Champions League matches were different from the ISL matches.

Here are the excerpts:

How does it feel to secure such a big win against a big team like Bengaluru FC, that too with a clean sheet?

Firstly for us, the most important thing is the clean sheet because we haven’t had one this season, so that’s really positive. And the other positive is that we had different goalscorers not just one player scoring four goals, everyone scored and we played some good football. We probably have a few things we want to work on. Unfortunately for Bengaluru FC, I think they are in a bad space at the moment. We were lucky we caught them on a bad day.

Mumbai City FC have been one of the most dominating teams in the ISL as can be seen especially after the Bengaluru FC result. So why is this not continued in the AFC Champions League? What happens there against the other Asian teams? What is the main difference between the teams you play against in ISL and them?

They just punish mistakes because, to be honest, I actually thought in four of the six games, we were the better team. And it sounds crazy because we have zero points and have only scored one goal. But honestly, in four of those games we dominated. We had 60-70% possession. But we had no goals and they had maybe two other chances and scored on the other side. So, you need to be clinical in Asia and, because you will get punished at the other end if you are not. That’s the main difference between the AFC (Champions League) and ISL.