Minerva Punjab v Mohun Bagan: 5 Things We Learned

Saturday, 25 November 2017|Abhishek Mukherjee

Mohun Bagan slumped to an away draw yet again as Moinuddin Khan scored late to earn Minerva Punjab an elusive point at Ludhiana on Saturday (Nov 25, 2017). 

Here are the five things we learned from the match.

Minerva Punjab can be the surprise package of the league

Minerva finished second from the bottom in their I-League debut season. However, it would be unfair to brand them as a bottom half team this season. With some smart moves in the transfer market, Minerva looks a better team than last season and can very well be the surprise package of the league provided they show the desire and courage. They dominated the second half proceedings and could have easily heaped more misery on Bagan had their players displayed a little more composure.  

Defence will be Sanjoy Sen's main area of concern 

At the start of the season, Bagan had lost almost all their quality Indian players of last season to ISL franchises. Their absence was pretty evident in the opening tie as Bagan lacked their usual swagger. Bagan's defence seemed to be the most affected as they looked shaky and vulnerable at times. The defenders were to be blamed for Minerva's late equaliser as nobody marked Moinuddin inside the box.

Sanjoy Sen would be a worried man going into the Kolkata derby and needs to sort things out fast.

Mohun Bagan's away demons still haunting them 

Mohun Bagan needs to kill their away demons if they are to win the I-League this season. For the past two seasons, away form has been the reason behind Mohun Bagan not being able to finish at the top despite being the favourites. Another away draw at the start of the I-League 2017-18 season might not be a bad result but leaking goals at the death are something that Bagan needs to fix. 

Minerva's defence will be a tough nut to crack

Minerva's defence looked rock solid against the Bagan's heavyweight foreigners Sony Norde, Dipanda Dicka, Kromah. They didn't allow the Bagan foreigners any space to maneuver and kept them on a tight leash. Apart from Sony's goal Minerva's defenders had a pretty good day at the office. If Minerva's defence can keep this up, they will certainly be a tough nut to crack this season.


Sony Norde needs more support

Sony Norde once again proved why he is the highest paid foreigner of the I-League, scoring a brilliant individual goal. However, there was no support around him as the other Bagan players failed to pose any attacking threat. Norde looked isolated at times and often had to drop deeper to retrieve the ball. If Bagan are to challenge their arch-rivals East Bengal for the title this season, the Bagan attackers must provide support to their skipper.