THE WIN TOOK MUMBAI'S POINTS TALLY TO SEVEN AND PUT THEM IN FIFTH POSITION ON THE TABLE.
Mumbai City FC put an end to Chennaiyin FCs hat-trick of victories with a gritty 1-0 win in the fifth round of the Indian Super League (ISL) at the Mumbai Football Arena here on Sunday.
Achille Emana kept his cool to convert a 60th-minute penalty for the only goal of the match as Mumbai City FC registered their second successive victory at home and got their campaign back on track after a disappointing start against debutants Bengaluru FC.
The win took Mumbai's points tally to seven and put them in fifth position on the table. Chennaiyin FC, with their second loss in five matches, are placed third with nine points.
Chennaiyin FC had arrived in Mumbai on the back of three successive victories and were attempting to equal their 2015 record when they had won five matches on the trot. They seemed to have got a good start in the opening 45 minutes when the visitors pressed hard with Mohammad Rafi coming close to securing the opening goal.
The Chennaiyin forward, selected ahead of Jeje Lalpekhlua, had two good chances in the first half. The first came in the 29th minute when Jude Nworuh crossed from the left after a speedy run but Rafi, thrown off track by a defender, failed to get a touch inside the penalty box.
Rafi could have struck again in the 45th minute but his header from close range went straight into the hands of goalkeeper Amrinder Singh.
Chennaiyin FC have scored seven of their nine goals in the second half, so there was a sense of hope after the break. Rafi threatened again but it was Thoi Singh who missed the easiest of chances when he failed to tap the rebound with an open goal in front of him.
Mumbai City were eventually rewarded for their persistence when Balwant Singh won a penalty. Emana played it through to Balwant on the left who tried to muscle his way inside the box, only for Mailson Alves to come up with a tackle.
Despite protests from Chennaiyin FC, the referee had no hesitation in awarding a penalty which Emana had no problem converting.
Mumbai should have sealed the match in the 75th minute when a long ball by Everton Santos saw young defender Anirudh Thapa fail to intercept.
Rafa Jorda sensed an opportunity but his lob over goalkeeper Karanjit Singh sailed wide of the post.
Fortunately for the hosts, Chennaiyin could not find the equaliser till the end as Mumbai celebrated an important victory at the final whistle.
Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said people write off Cristiano Ronaldo at their peril after the Portuguese forward struck twice in the 5-0 drubbing of Sevilla on Saturday as the La Liga champions and their prolific scorer roared back to life.
Ronaldo has been widely criticised in Spain for his domestic form this season and before the game with Sevilla he had only scored twice in the league, his lacklustre form mirroring Real’s feeble defence of the title they won so convincingly last May.
Ronaldo was crowned world player of the year for a joint-record fifth time on Thursday and showed off his shiny Ballon d‘Or trophy on the Bernabeu pitch before kick off and when the game began he appeared to have an extra spring in his step.
He latched onto a through ball from Marco Asensio to confidently sidefoot the ball inside the near corner to score Real’s second goal midway through the first half and then powered home the third from the penalty spot, his shot bouncing under Sevilla goalkeeper Sergio Rico.
"It has been a perfect week for him and I hope he continues at this pace, although I already said you have to be careful with him," Zidane told a news conference.
Ronaldo also scored in Real’s 3-2 win over Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday to become the first player ever to score in all six Champions League group games in one season.
"I don’t say that for no reason, I know him well and I see how ambitious he is every day in training, he knows he’s going to score. Sometimes it doesn’t come off for him and no-one is happy about that, but you always have to be careful with him."
Zidane also praised Ronaldo’s overall play, as the Portuguese helped tee-up 19-year-old right back Achraf Hakimi for the fifth goal of the game before the halftime whistle.
"After watching the game we can safely say we have got him back," added the coach after Real moved to within five points of La Liga leaders Barcelona, who visit Villarreal on Sunday.
"We’re very happy with the performance as it’s not easy to score five goals against Sevilla. I hope we can keep scoring, we’ve scored eight goals in our last two games and we have to keep going like this."
"We’re growing in every sense and playing better. When you play better you create more chances, we created a lot today and scored five times, for the first time this season (in the league)."
Real left back Marcelo added, "For me, Cristiano Ronaldo is the best player in the world. I never saw (Diego) Maradona or Pele play but I know you can’t compare anyone to him."
"We’re privileged to live in the same era as (Lionel) Messi and Cristiano, each own has his own story and attributes, but I prefer Cristiano."
follow our updates