Mohun Bagan Super Giant jumped to the top of the points table with an emphatic 3-1 victory against East Bengal FC at the Salt Lake Stadium in the second Kolkata Derby of the Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-23 on Sunday.

The Mariners and their imperious frontline put on a full throttle attacking showpiece in the first half where they hit the back of the net thrice to push the Red & Gold Brigade back early on in the proceedings. Jason Cummings, Liston Colaco, and Dimitrios Petratos scored once each as Saul Crespo’s fantastic strike in the second essay of the match was insufficient for the Carles Cuadrat-coached side to get any points from this contest.

East Bengal FC had the first chance to get their foot ahead in the contest, with Mohun Bagan Super Giant goalkeeper Vishal Kaith bringing East Bengal FC striker Cleiton Silva down in the box in the 12th minute of the game. Silva stepped up at the spot, but his well-directed shot on his right was saved by an alert Kaith, who jumped with joy, breathing a sigh of relief after erring first in this high-octane clash.

The Mariners swung ahead with that momentum, completely maintaining a stronghold over the rest of the half, led by the talismanic Petratos. The Australian teamed up with Manvir Singh to set up the strike by Cummings in the 27th minute. Manvir scraped through a challenge, before laying the ball for Petratos from the outside of the 18-yard box. He launched a powerful shot that was saved by Prabsukhan Singh Gill, with Cummings being at the right place to slot in the rebound before breaking out in his trademark celebration.

Nine minutes later, Petratos was again at the centre of the action, shooting from the left foot, collecting the ball off the crossbar, before passing it for an unmarked Colaco on the far post to slide in and double the lead.

The pressure seemed to be getting the better of East Bengal FC, and it reflected with Nandhakumar Sekar bringing Colaco down in the added time of the first half. Petratos, unlike Silva, didn’t falter from the spot, sending the ball past Gill with utmost ease.

The Red & Gold Brigade had a glimmer of hope courtesy of Crespo in the second half, with Silva’s long ball finding the midfielder, and the former showing impeccable decisiveness whilst in a spot of bother to drill the ball home and reduce the deficit.

Some quick reflexes from Kaith and a disciplined Mariners’ unit kept the lead intact thereafter, though their frontline kept teasing the backing and the East Bengal FC goal multiple times thereafter.

Key Performer of the Match

Dimitrios Petratos (Mohun Bagan Super Giant)

Petratos completed 13 out of his 14 passes, recording 93% accuracy, in addition to notching a goal and an assist each to produce a wholesome performance from the Mohun Bagan Super Giant offensive unit tonight.

What’s next for both teams?

Both Mohun Bagan Super Giant and East Bengal FC will play their next game against Kerala Blasters FC on March 13 and April 3 respectively.

Brief Scores

Mohun Bagan Super Giant 3 (Jason Cummings 27’, Liston Colaco 36’, Dimitrios Petratos 45+3’) – 1 East Bengal FC (Saul Crespo 53’)

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