ISL 2016: NorthEast United FC 0-1 Chennaiyin FC - 5 talking points
Defending Indian Super League champions Chennaiyin FC got their second win of the tournament by defeating league table toppers NorthEast United 1-0 on Thursday. The Super Machans defence kept the NorthEast attackers, which includes league top scorer Emiliano Alfaro, at bay and was spectacular on the night.
Either side did not have any many chances in the first half, however, the breakthrough was made by Chennai during the first few minutes of the second half. It was Italian striker Davide Succi's sweet volley at the 49-minute mark that gave the defending champions the win.
Table toppers NorthEast United kept on knocking on the door after Chennai opened the scoring, however, the back four of the Super Machans were too good for the home side.
Here are five talking points from the game.
#1 Bernard Mendy back to his best
The Chennaiyin FC player was rock solid against NorthEast United on Thursday. The French centre-back made sure that the home side's man in form Emiliano Alfaro did not have an easy game and his every tackle was on point on the night.
One of the best contributions of the former Paris Saint-Germain was his world class tackle on Alfaro in the penalty which prevented the Uruguayan striker from having an easy go on goal. Overall Mendy was a total beast at the back for Chennaiyin FC on Thursday.
The 35-year-old was poor in Chennai's first two games of the season, where the team failed to win any of the games and the defender looked rusty. The passes he made, the tackles, the aerial duels and even his chemistry with the other defenders was not the best during the first two fixtures.
The Frenchman was rightly dropped by Chennai's Italian manager Marco Materazzi against FC Goa and the men in blue ended up winning. Even though the Chennai defence kept a clean sheet without Mendy in their side, Materazzi decided to bring back the defender into the starting line-up against NorthEast and it completely paid off. Mendy proved why he is the captain of the side with a stellar performance.