Mumbai City FC had a dream season! City Group bought majority stakes in Mumbai City FC towards the end of the last Indian Super League (ISL) season and ahead of this one, there were naturally high hopes from them, purely because of the name that is the City Group. On top of that they got an-ISL proven coach Sergio Lobera after he was sacked by FC Goa. And with Lobera came Mandar Rao Dessai, Hugo Boumous, Ahmed Jahouh, Mourtada Fall and Amey Ranawade.
Mumbai started on the wrong note when they lost to NorthEast United FC but from there, Lobera turned it around, made them play his brand of football and produced a dominant show. Except a few games including the semi-final second leg, where FC Goa dominated them and they needed penalties to get to the final, Mumbai City FC were a force to be reckoned with.
In his first season, Lobera guided the team to the ISL Shield, which gets them a group stage entry into the AFC Champions League, and then the elusive title – a first for the club.
ISL 2020-21 record: Played: 20; Won: 12; Drawn: 4; Lost: 4; Points: 40; Standing: 1st
Mumbai City FC had two high points during their season – their ISL Shield win and the title win – and both of them came against ATK Mohun Bagan. When Mumbai had a direct playoff against ATKMB for the Shield, the Mariners were on top of the table and needed a win or draw to finish top of the table. Mumbai, on the other hand, needed to win the game to win the Shield, and they did. They beat ATK Mohun Bagan 2-0 comfortably to win their first title of the season.
Their second high point was the title victory, where they beat ATK Mohun Bagan 2-1, with a little help from an Arindam Bhattacharja howler!
Mumbai City FC’s low point was their 2-0 loss to Jamshedpur FC, where they were completely outplayed by Owen Coyle’s team despite having more of the ball possession. In that game, Mumbai registered only one shot on target and had just four shots in total.
Also, Mumbai City FC lost both of their matches to NorthEast United FC. They were first bested by Gerard Nus in their very first match of the league and then Khalid Jamil weaved his magic in the second leg.
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER
Bipin Singh: He was a livewire at the wing for the entire season. Towards the end of the league, Bipin was even playing a bit centrally, trying to create spaces and finding angles to score. Bipin scored the only hat-trick of the season in Mumbai’s 6-1 thrashing of Odisha FC and then he scored the all-important winner in the final to get them to the ISL trophy.
Another player who perhaps held a lot of importance for the team was Adam Le Fondre. Not only did he score 11 goals but he was an absolute workhorse, creating chances for others as well.
There was no major disappointment as they eventually won it all!
This was the best season Mumbai City FC have had in their seven years of existence. Not only did they win the ISL Shield and title, but they played like they wanted to win and were a good unit to watch.
Highest goal scorer: Adam Le Fondre – 11
No. of clean sheets: Amrinder Singh – 10