Mumbai City entered the Super Bowl after a nearly flawless ISL campaign, winning the league winners’ shield and narrowly losing in the semifinals. In 2023, the Islanders entered the cup competition with an all-Indiana lineup and faced the Churchill Brothers of League I in the first game of Group D. The Goan team took the lead early in the game, but the Islanders’ fighting spirit showed when Des Buckingham’s team came back to win 2-1 thanks to a Mehtab Singh header in the first half and a Lallianzual Chhangte penalty in regulation time.
After a tough win over the Churchill Brothers, Islanders head coach Des Buckingham was pleased with what he saw. I think we started really well and created a lot of chances – I think we had a penalty kick in the first half that wasn’t awarded. You have to start well, especially in tournament soccer. We were playing a very young, completely Indian team. It’s very satisfying not only to get the win, but the way we did it. We stuck to how we like to play, and we didn’t get the win until the last minute, but that’s what this group is all about.
Mumbai City, which took an all-Indian squad to the Super Bowl, is using the tournament to further develop talent at the club. Talking about how the relatively young squad approached the game against the Churchill Brothers, Buckingham added: New players were coming into the starting lineup, new relationships were being formed, and it took a little while for these players to get on the same page, and that’s always the case. But once they did, we created a lot of chances, especially in the first half. On any other day, we would have scored three or four more goals. So I was very happy with the way the team played.
The Mountaineers, who had a contrasting campaign in the league and finished last in the ISL table, came to the Super Bowl under new management. Vincenzo Annese, who was relieved of his position at North East United at the end of the ISL campaign, was replaced by assistant coach Floyd Pinto. They started their Super Bowl campaign on the wrong side of the ball, losing 4-2 against Chennaiyin FC.
Having beaten the Highlanders twice in the ISL regular season, Des Buckingham talked about his team’s preparation to face North East United in the Super Bowl. The league season is over. There have been some changes at NorthEast United. We’ve obviously made some changes to our roster in terms of how we’ve approached this tournamenty, wanting to give real development opportunities to the Indian players and give them a few minutes. We will do our best to position ourselves as best we can to perform at our best, and hopefully we will come up with the desired result.
The 38-year-old Englishman was in the stands during the Highlanders’ first Super Bowl game against Chennaiyin and said: They approach the game a little differently than they do in the league. They’re going to do it because they have a new coach. We can see that, but we shouldn’t draw too many conclusions from that because it’s one game. After four or five games, I think you’ll start to see trends of what they might try to do. So we’re not going to dwell on what we think they can do. We’re just going to prepare as best we can to make sure we can do what we need to do.
Buckingham concluded by talking about what he thinks has helped him develop the players on the Islanders’ roster over the last 18 months. He said: They are very well supported here in Mumbai City. The environment the club has created for them to work is very positive. We encourage them in every way to try to play a certain way. Yes, in the last game we lost by one goal because of one mistake, but the nice thing is that we know that if we stick to what we’re doing, whether it takes us 30 minutes to tie or 92 minutes to find a winner, the game often brings us results, and all the players know that.
A week after a draw with Liverpool by the same score, Mikel Arteta’s team lost to relegation-fighting West Ham at London Stadium.
Gabriel Jesus and Martin Odegaard gave Arsenal the lead, but after a Said Benrachma penalty and another Jarrod Bowen goal, the Gunners were able to extend their lead over second-placed Manchester City to four points.
Defending champion City have a game in hand and also host Arsenal at the Etihad Stadium later this month.
Very disappointed, Arsenal manager Arteta said after the game. The way we started was great again, we were in complete control and then we lost the goal.
We gave them hope, we missed a terrible penalty, but that’s to their credit. We got on a roller coaster of things going our way, corners and throw-ins, and we never got away from it.
City cut the gap to Arsenal to three points, winningat Leicester on Saturday with a score of 3-1.
But there was no sign that the Londoners felt pressure in the early stages on Sunday, when City took the lead in the seventh minute thanks to a goal from Jesus and Odegaard added a second goal in the 10th minute.
West Ham got a chance to get back into the game when Gabriel fouled Lucas Paquette in the box and referee David Coote pointed to the spot.
Benrahma scored in the 33rd minute, making the score 2-1 at halftime.
Arsenal had a chance to regain a two goal lead nine minutes after the game resumed, also from the dot. Antonio was penalized for foul play in the penalty area, but Bucayo Saka was unable to take advantage, his shot coming into the far corner.
The visitors almost immediately paid the price for that wastefulness: Bowen volleyed to level the score in the 54th minute.
A player who shoots a penalty concedes a penalty, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t, said Arteta.
It was a similar story as last week when Arsenal led 2-0 against Liverpool, but the Merseysiders managed to get back into the game and snatch a draw.
It could have been worse for Arteta when Antonio got on the ball but it hit the far post.
A draw separates West Ham from the relegation zone by four points.
Man Utd climbs to No. 3
Anthony was at his best when Manchester United beat Nottingham Forest 2-0 in the Premier League on Sunday, days after the Brazilian was named by manager Eric ten Hague as a player who can kill opponents.
Anthony scored one goal and made another at the City Ground as United climbed to third place and took another step toward Champions League qualification.
Signed for $95 million from Ajax, Anthony opened the scoring by crossing the ball over the line after Anthony Marcial’s shot was saved by Keylor Navas in the 32nd minute.
And after Forest’s goalkeeper, on loan at Paris Saint-Germain, made a series of saves to prevent United from increasing its lead, Anthony became a provider, creating Diogo Dalota in the 76th minute.
Barcelona, which played last weekend in a 0-0 draw with Girona, still has a solid lead over second-place Real Madrid in the standings, but a draw has reduced it to 11 points with nine games to go. […]