Begin typing your search above and press return to search.


Mumbai City FC vs Chennaiyin FC: Tactical Analysis of the ISL 2021-22 match

Mumbai City FC struck a late goal to bag all three points against a resilient Chennaiyin FC. Here is an in-depth from the tactical bonanza

Mumbai City FC vs Chennaiyin FC: Tactical Analysis of the ISL 2021-22 match


Updated: 17 Dec 2021 12:12 PM GMT

Defending champions Mumbai City FC defeated two times champions Chennaiyin FC with a score-line of 1-0 in the 30th match of the eighth edition of the Indian Super League. Both teams played well and an 86th-minute header from Rahul Bheke gave all three points to the Islanders. In this article, we will analyse different tactical aspects of the game.

The defending game

Mumbai City FC came into the game as the best attacking side of the league with 16 goals scored from 5 games. Whereas Chennaiyin FC landed as the best defensive side with just 2 goals conceded from 4 matches. This was one of the best matches in this season so far. Both the defences were on top during the match.

Des Buckingham went for a 4-2-3-1 formation which they have been using from the start of the new season. Božidar Bandović opted for a defensive 5-2-3 against the defending champions. Their usual formation has been a 4-1-4-1 or a 3-5-2 formation. Bandović opted for a defensive approach against the best attack in the league and they were quite successful in minimizing the attacking threat of the Islanders.

Chennaiyin FC had a total of 29 duels won, 12 tackles, 16 interceptions and 30 clearances. Whereas, Mumbai City FC had 33 duels won, 6 tackles, 17 interceptions and 22 clearances. These stats show the defensive stability of both teams and depict the hard-fought battle.

Playing Style – Mumbai City FC

Mumbai City FC started the game with a 4-2-3-1 formation and occasionally shifted it into a 4-3-3 with Bipin Singh and Reynier Fernandes advancing forward. At times when the possession was lost, Angulo tracked back along with the ball towards the centre part of the left-hand side of the pitch. This shows the flexibility in the transition of the Mumbai City FC team. They played a possession-based game and kept on passing the ball throughout the field, especially in the central areas. The Mumbai City FC defenders kept on passing among themselves. It was Ahmed Jahouh who had the most number of passes in the game as expected. The Hero, Rahul Bheke had the best passing accuracy with 97.67% of his 86 passes reaching its targets. 29 of Rahul Bheke's passes were received by Mandar Rao Desai and 25 passes were received by Mourtada Fall. There were a total of 119 successful passes played only between the four defenders Mandar Rao Desai, Rahul Bheke, Mourtada Fall and Amey Ranawade. This was more than 23% of the entire 499 successful passes by the Mumbai City FC team against Chennaiyin FC. This shows how well Mumbai City FC dominated the passing against Chennaiyin FC who had a total of 158 successful passes. In this match, Apuia had lesser defensive duty than the previous matches and it was Jahouh who controlled the area near the halfway line. Jahouh was very dangerous with his vision and passing against Chennaiyin. Pressing around Jahou was a suicidal move by the Chennaiyin FC players as it made Cássio Gabriel free and Jahouh with his range of passing found the Brazillian with ease.

Jahouh celebrating Mumbai's goal

Playing Style – Chennaiyin FC

Chennaiyin FC went for a defensive approach to the game. Their attack wasn't much sharp against the Islanders. Even though they tried to open up spaces and create chances, they could only trouble Nawaz twice. It was hard for the wingers to find someone to cross inside the box.

But from a defensive point of view, CFC were pretty solid and always tried to bring back every player on the field to their own half to defend. Chennaiyin FC tried to counterattack the Islanders with pace through the wings. But the game was pretty slow at the centre.

Chennaiyin were successful in controlling the pace of the game. They slowed down Mumbai City's attacks. Chennaiyin FC maintained their shape throughout the match. Ariel Bor ysiuk and Narayan Das whose natural positions are as a midfielder and a left-back respectively, played at the back along with the Serbian centre back Slavko Damjanović. Both Jerry and Reagan Singh played as wing-backs rather than their usual full-back positions and had more attacking duties as wing-backs in the five at the back-formation.


The game was a real clash between two Titans and it was the defending champions who came on top against Chennaiyin FC. With this win, Mumbai City FC cemented their top position with a lead of four points and are on their way to defend both the league shield and the title. Whereas Chennaiyin FC are on a quest to regain their lost glory.

Next Story