ISL 2017: Erik Paartalu says Bengaluru FC can still improve after 4-1 win over Delhi Dynamos
Bengaluru FC topped the ISL table with a 4-1 win over Delhi Dynamos and the hero of the night was midfielder Erik Paartalu who grabbed a first-half brace to put the Blues 2-0 up at half-time. And the Australian joked that he was looking to net a hat-trick by taking penalty duties if the Blues had won one in the second half.
"We had a laugh at half-time that if we had a penalty then I'd try and take it but that's Sunil Chhetri's job," he said with a grin.
"But we were pretty focused in the second 45. We came out with a different idea to try and sit back a little bit and play on the counter and it worked for us perfectly. We were disappointed to concede a goal but four goals on the board is pretty good."
The two sides were dominant in possession in their first fixture and the Blues had to step it up a notch in this game to come away with all three points.
"We needed to play good possession football and it was just about trying to match up against that. It was an improvement from last week - we didn't play our best game last week but we still came away with a result."
Bengaluru can still improve: Paartalu
Although the Blues are at the top of the table having scored six goals and conceding only one - a penalty from an unlucky handball - Paartalu still feels there is room for improvement.
"This week was better in terms of our performance but we can still improve. But we can't complain with four goals."
"There's still a lot of work to do in terms of keeping possession and creating better chances for ourselves," he explained. "It will come; it's only Game 2 in the ISL. We've got a few more games to go."
"We certainly pushed on a little more today and that's the way we like to play; press on teams to try and win the ball back quickly so we can keep possession but Delhi are a good side and they kept the ball really well tonight as well. They're a good side and they'll be up there at the end of the season.
Paartalu enjoying his relationship with Lenny
The Blues' midfield partnership of Paartalu and Lenny Rodrigues has been fundamental to their possession and pressing game and the 31-year-old Australian was quick to compliment Rodrigues for his performance on the night as well.
"He's a great player and a great personality for the team," Paartalu said. "He works his socks off and makes my job a hell of a lot easier because he runs so much.
"He's comfortable on the ball and he scored a goal tonight so I'm thrilled for him as well. All the boys have been fantastic and it was a team effort today."
Bengaluru next play three away games on the trot against FC Goa (30 November), NorthEast United (8 December), and FC Pune City (14 December).