In the last game of the league phase, ATKMB lost 2-0 to Mumbai City FC clinched the ISL League Winner’s Shield on head-to-head, having lost to MCFC twice.
In the final, ATKMB lost 1-2 to MCFC as the club from the City Football Group turned out to be the bogey team for the Mariners.
ISL 2020-21 record: Played: 20; Won: 12; Drawn: 4; Lost: 4; Points: 40; Standing: 2nd
ATK Mohun Bagan managed to beat their arch-rivals SC East Bengal in both their encounters in ISL 2020-21. Roy Krishna and ManvirSingh cored as ATKMB beat SCEB 2-0 in the first clash and then beat them again 3-1 in their second meeting of the season.
Arindam Bhattacharja won the Golden Glove award at the end of the season as ATKMB got 10 clean sheets with the Indian keeper in between the sticks.
Roy Krishna, led from the front for ATKMB, also won the Hero of the Season with 14 goals from 21 games but missed out on the Golden Boot Award.
The losses to Mumbai City FC hurt ATK Mohun Bagan’s chances of finishing atop the league points table. ATKMB lost to MCFC as Bartholomew Ogbeche scored the only goal of the match in their first meeting of the season and their second was the last game of the league phase, in which they also lost to end in second place.
In the final, ATKMB ended the game as second best, even though David Williams finally scored against MCFC but an own goal from Tiri and a mistake that led to Bipin Singh scoring the winner, which meant that ATKMB ended the season without silverware.
Most valuable player
Roy Krishna: The 33-year-old Fijian won he Hero of the Season but narrowly missed the Golden Boot for the second season in a row. Not only scoring 14 goals, but Roy Krishna also helped his team-mates score with 8 assists over the season.
Leading the line for ATKMB for most nights, Roy Krishna made tireless runs down the channels and kept the defenders busy. When he did not have the ball to directly affect the game, he was making dummy runs to draw away defenders as the likes of Manvir Singh, David Williams and Marcelinho reaped the rewards.
Individual mistakes from a bunch of players like Pranoy Halder, Tiri and Arindam, who mainly played down the spine of the team. Mistakes, that too, in the crucial moments of the important games. Halder was brought on to break up plays and attracted yellow cards in the closing phases but the areas of his errors in judgements. Tiri’s two own goals cost ATKMB dear in the final scheme of things. Arindam was spectacular in goal for ATKMB but his mistakes, even though very few and far in between, proved too costly for the team.
The Mariners would feel hard done by the missed opportunities but should be mighty proud of their performance. With mostly the core from the erstwhile ATK, the newly merged entity with Mohun Bagan, performed well. Keeping the key performers will be important for ATK Mohun Bagan as they look to build on their debut season in the Indian Super League. Carving out a new identity bereft of their ATK prefix will also hold strong in managing a deeper connection with a new core supporter base of Mohun Bagan fans.
Highest goal scorer: Roy Krishna – 14
No of clean sheets: Arindam Bhattacharja – 10