Bengaluru FC finished seventh in the 11-team Indian Super League (ISL) 2020-21 table registering 22 points from the 20 league games they played. Bengaluru FC had made the playoffs ever since they joined the ISL, four seasons in a row but in their fifth season, they faltered. By the standards the club has set over the years, be it in the ISL or the I-League, it was a horrible year for the Blues. They came into the season with their dependable coach Carles Cuadrat under whom they had won the ISL but right from the start, they seemed off. This season, Bengaluru FC also recorded an eight-game winless run, which included a four-game losing streak as well. Never before had Bengaluru FC seen such a disappointing season. It was a first for the club since its inception and the fans, the players and the club had a tough time dealing with it. Bengaluru even parted ways with Cuadrat in the middle of the season and made Naushad Moosa the interim head coach. Moosa brought in a lot of youngsters and despite a couple of encouraging results, he could not turn the season around.
Sunil Chhetri was as usual the captain of the team that stood tall. Even in a season like this, Chhetri scored eight goals and was the highest scorer for the club. He even played his 200th match for Bengaluru FC. Even their foreign signing Cleiton Silva showed his quality time and again and formed a very good understanding with Chhetri. However, Kristian Opseth failed as a striker for the team and hardly got game time because of his wastefulness. Bengaluru’s backline looked extremely susceptible this season and what went against them was that they went from being known for scoring from set-pieces to conceding from them.
ISL 2020-21 record: Played: 20; Won: 5; Lost: 8; Points: 23; Standing: 7
The best moment for Bengaluru FC this season was their 4-2 win over Mumbai City FC. Towards the end of the season, coming from a 2-0 loss to ATK Mohun Bagan. Chhetri and Cleiton scored a brace each to give Bengaluru the win over Mumbai.
Bengaluru FC were humiliated by Kerala Blasters and SC East Bengal, not by the scoreline but just by the fact that the Blues lost to those two. SCEB and KBFC have finished in the very bottom half of the table and the losses against them must have hurt BFC. Also, Bengaluru FC could not even end the season on a high as they lost 3-2 to Jamshedpur FC,
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER
Chhetri continues to remain a very valuable player for the Blues. But apart from the veteran, Suresh Wangjam put up a very strong performance from his side and impressed one and all. Gurpreet Singh Sandhu also continued to be an important presence for the club between the sticks.
For the second season in a row, Udanta Singh did little to impress at Bengaluru FC. Just a goal and one assist throughout the season was just not a good return from a player who was valued so much. Apart from him, Opseth was also a huge disappointment. In the 15 matches he played for BFC, he did not score a single goal and gave just one assist.
Bengaluru FC can take one positive from the season and that was the emergence of a few youngsters. From Suresh to Leon Augustin to Ashique Kuruniyan taking an even more important role after his return from injury, Bengaluru FC can build on these youngsters for the seasons to come. With new coach German Marco Pezzaaiuoli at the helm, BFC can look a different approach and will be hoping for that German fierceness and fight.
Highest goal scorer: Sunil Chhetri – 8
No of clean sheets: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu – 4