Nicolas Anelka has forgettable return from suspension in Indian Super League debut

Mumbai ended up losing 5-1

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The Independent Football

Former France striker Nicolas Anelka had a forgettable return from suspension when his Mumbai franchise team was drubbed 5-1 by Chennaiyin in the Indian Super League.

The 35-year-old Anelka, who sat out the first three matches because of a five-match ban imposed in England for a racially aggravated goal celebration that led to his exit from West Bromwich Albion in March, made some early runs down the right, but failed to make an impact.

Colombian striker Stiven Mendoza and Brazilian midfielder Elano scored two goals each and Jeje Lalpekhlua netted once for Chennaiyin, with Indian cricket captain and team co-owner Mahendra Singh Dhoni watching on in the stands.

Syed Rahim Nabi scored a consolation goal for Mumbai, who are now sixth out of eight teams with three points from four outings.

Anelka's had been banned for performing the 'quenelle' gesture as he celebrated scoring in West Brom's 3-3 draw with West Ham last December.

Nicolas Anelka’s ‘quenelle’, for which he was banned

The former Arsenal and Real Madrid striker is among the many veteran stars playing in the league with Alessandro Del Piero, Robert Pires, Luis Garcia, and David Trezeguet the other top names in the ISL, which is being organized with the hope of drawing in crowds for football in a cricket-crazy country of 1.2 billion.

The involvement of cricketers and Indian movie actors has also created a buzz around the tournament that runs until 20 December.

Other than Dhoni, retired great Sachin Tendulkar co-owns Kerala Blasters while former captain Sourav Ganguly and batsman Virat Kohli have stakes in Atletico de Kolkata and Goa.

Associated Press