All of you can stop worrying about myself as I have finally returned. I have seen all the tweets asking where is Stephen? Why does Jake still get articles? And you can now stop worrying as I have returned, although I will be leaving for a few more days next week. Anyway, enough about me and back to the ISL. I believe one of my last articles was a review of Delhi’s opening month and I couldn’t just leave you there, so I have decided to grace you with my review of their December performances.
Just briefly looking at the games, it seems they played five games and struggled in them all. December is a bumper month for ISL action and teams would prefer to perform better in December than most other months. However, Delhi didn’t seem bothered about doing so and it really killed their season off. Enough of an overlook, let’s get straight to the individual games.
Game 1: NorthEast United (H) 0-2
Delhi’s first game in December was a comfortable home game against NorthEast, that’s what they were thinking anyway. Delhi were coming off the back of a 4-1 thrashing to Bengaluru and with them facing a winless NorthEast side, they were licking their lips at the chance to make a big bounce back. However, NorthEast had other ideas.
NorthEast had the perfect gameplan for facing Delhi and they executed it perfectly. Delhi, in their first two games, enjoyed possession and NorthEast executed the counter-attack perfectly. Northeast’s superstar Marcinho gave his side the lead on seventeen minutes thanks to an assist from Narzary. Delhi were looking poor throughout the game and they conceded another goal on twenty-two minutes, thanks to a Danilo strike.
To be perfectly honest, that was that for the remainder of the game. The scoreline ended as a 2-0 away win for NorthEast and Delhi struggled to create anything even though they enjoyed a good majority of the match possession.
Game 2: Jamshedpur (H) 0-1
Delhi were looking to instantly bounce back against a Jamshedpur team who had failed to record a win and a league goal in their first three games. Delhi were looking finished already after their previous two games and they definitely didn’t improve against a very average Jamshedpur side.
The first half was one of the worst halves of football I have ever seen in my life, and I’ve watched Birmingham City for nineteen years. Nothing happened, Jamshedpur were happy to allow Delhi the ball and Delhi couldn’t create a chance.
However, Jamshedpur were done with sitting at the back in the second half and they took the game by the neck a ran away with it. They were awarded a penalty on fifty-nine minutes; however, it was missed and Delhi got away with one. That was until Azuka smashed one in on sixty-one minutes to score the game-winning goal.
Delhi never got into the game and it was a brilliant defensive performance by Jamshedpur who managed to get their first league win and score their first league goal. Delhi were looking dead for the season already and they needed to pick themselves up quickly.
Game 3: FC Goa (H) 1-5
Delhi’s third game of December was against highflyers FC Goa. Goa were already known for their ‘We’ll score more than you’ mentality this early on in the season and they definitely stamped that on this game. Delhi desperately needs to destroy their depressing December form and they didn’t do this against Coro and Co.
Goa controlled the game from the first minute to the last minute, which was new to Delhi as they were used to enjoying the majority of the possession. Delhi were getting quite dirty against Goa and picked up three yellow cards in the first half of football. Coro gave his side the lead on forty-five minutes and then Lanzarote added a second in added time.
Delhi were looking down and out already, however, Uche gave some hope to Delhi when he scored on sixty-two minutes. However, Goa weren’t allowing any comeback and in the last six minutes of the game, they scored three goals. Delhi’s Cichero received his second yellow card just before seventy minutes and this opened Delhi up. Kotal ended up giving Goa their two-goal cushion back with an own goal. Colunga then added Goa’s fourth on eighty-six minutes and substitute Arana scored Goa’s fifth on eighty-eight minutes.
That’s all she wrote for Delhi and Goa went home with an emphatic result against a Delhi side who looked like they wanted the season to be over already. They had only won one game this season and they didn’t look like winning another anytime soon.
Game 4: ATK (A) 1-0
Delhi were looking to end their horrid run of results with an away win against, arguably, the biggest team in the league ATK. ATK had the same record as Delhi heading into the game and were looking to break their poor start to the campaign with a win against a poor Delhi side.
The game really didn’t get going at all, Delhi enjoyed possession, as usual, however, they failed to create any clear-cut chances. ATK were happy to defend and must have watched Delhi’s previous games where they lost to Jamshedpur and NorthEast, who both sat back and hit Delhi on the counter-attack.
The first goal came on seventy-eight minutes, with Robbie Keane scoring the goal and sending Delhi back home all depressed and without a single point. Delhi fans were getting quite frustrated with the team and I can completely understand why I go through the same thing with Birmingham.
The game ended 1-0 and it wasn’t a game that will be forever remembered by fans of the ISL. I think it has slipped the mind quite easily and quickly for that matter so I can only apologise for reminding you of it.
Game 5: Mumbai City (A) 4-0
By this point, I am fed up of saying Delhi are a failure and I am dreaming of being on the break that I was. Delhi had one final shot of getting a single point in December and that was away from home with Mumbai hosting the game.
The game was a cracker, it had goals, red cards, a penalty and pretty much everything else, apart from a Delhi goal and win. Mumbai instantly went at Delhi and was awarded an earlier penalty that Emana missed, however, Goian tapped home the rebound. Mumbai found the net again on forty-three minutes with Everton Santos finding the back of the net. The first-half drama continues into added time as both teams had a man sent off after a fight broke out. Mirabaje was sent off for Delhi and Sehnaj Singh was sent off for the hosts.
The second half was just as good, for Mumbai fans as they scored another two goals to complete an impressive 4-0 win over Delhi. Thiago Santos scored the third of the evening on forty-nine minutes and then Balwant Singh killed the game on seventy-nine minutes and sent Delhi home, hoping for a brand-new start in 2018.
P:5 | W:0 | D:0 | L:5 | GS:1 | GC:13 | PTS: 0
December was a month to forget for Delhi as it was depressingly bad. To be perfectly honest, it was pretty depressing to write about and not the way I wanted my return to be.
Anyway, next time I will be looking at how Delhi started the new year off and this should signal my permanent return so you will just have to deal with Jake doing the previews for a little longer, I am truly sorry about that.