In a dominating display, Chennaiyin FC overpowered FC Pune City by two goals at home to climb to the fifth position in the ISL points table. Playing without their marquee player John Arne Risse, Chennaiyin had a dominating start and they did not let the tempo go down through out the game. Here are the five talking points from the game.
#1 The domination of the Mizo Duo
Mizoram has produced quite a few brilliant footballers for the country and the current lot is led by none other Jeje Lalpekhlua. An integral part of the Chennaiyin FC, Jeje has delivered on crucial occasions and even today handed the home team a very vital lead in the dying moments of the first half.
However, one other name from the state who has managed to grab eyeballs this season is 18-year-old Jerry Lalrinzuala. Coach Marco Materazzi has bestowed immense trust on this kid by giving him regular starts and he too hasn’t disappointed.
The lead for Chennaiyin came in the 44th minute when Mendy played a ball for Mulder. With Succi, Jeje and Jerry charging in, FC Pune City’s defence got completely jittered and disorganised.
Meanwhile, in the flow of the play, Mulder passed the ball to Jerry who crossed a beautiful ball into the box. With a little cheeky flip from Succi, the stage was set for Jeje to head a stunning ball in.
All in all, it was an inch perfect pass from Jerry, a good cross and a brilliant goal.
#2 Captain Mendy leading from the back
Playing as a centre back, Captain Bernard Mendy had crucial roles to play in both the goals scored. Not only has he shielded the post but when needed he has pressed hard and it has yielded results for the team.
Just like the first goal, the move for the second goal was also started by none other than captain Mendy. He was the one who passed the ball to Augusto, who played a one-two with Jeje before crossing it to Succi, who headed another beautiful goal.
Davide Succi, who missed few good chances in the first half was a different man in the second as he made up for everything by beating Edel Bete in the 51st minute. This is the first time this season that Bete has conceded two goals in a single match.
#3 Disappointing Sissoko, but what’s up with the Referee
It was a disappointing display of game by FC Pune City marquee player Mohamed Sissoko, and he also played a very untidy match. Twice in the match, he was involved in unwanted challenges and first of which came against young Jerry Lalrinzuala.
In the first half, he elbowed the Mizo player seconds after the referee blew the whistle to stop the play. Even in the second half, he was involved in instances where he committed clear uncalled for fouls, which looked very much intentional.
For a player of his stature, this wasn’t exactly expected. Interestingly however, it was a very lenient display of referring as no bookings were recorded till the very end of the game. The surprising thing is that he was the same referee who showed two red cards against FC Goa. Did Zico’s rant have an effect on him? Sissoko though did deserve a booking.
The overall link up play of Sissoko was also very poor as he could play the role which Raphel Augusto played for Chennaiyin.
#4 Habas’ failed tactics
Visiting coach Antonio Habas was visibly upset as all his tactics failed in Chennai. The ISL inaugural edition winning coach Habas made a string of substitutions in the second half to change the face of the game, but everything failed. He first got Eugeneson Lyngdoh in place of Lenny Rodrigues expecting the Bengaluru FC player to make an impact.
Then he brought in Jesus Tato, a forward in place of Eduardo Ferreira, a defender. But even this attacking substitution had no impact on FC Pune City’s play, who were overall very disappointing in the game.
Their passing accuracy was not as sound as Chennaiyin’s, nor did they have more shots on target. And even with six corners and more number of crosses (than Chennaiyin), they could not convert any of the chances created.
#5 Chennaiyin’s good game and Augusto
Chennaiyin on the hand turned out to be the team with much better coordination and precision. The home team forward line was especially impressive with Mulder, Jeje, Augusto and Succi creating constant threat up front. Though at times Davide Succi and Jeje displayed lack of co-ordination between them, but both made up for it by scoring the two goals.
The hero of the match, Brazilian Raphael Augusto on the other hand was mesmerizing with his game tonight. His one-two with Jeje was a treat to watch, while his dangerous runs made the opposition defence skip a heartbeat. He made 52 passes in total and made two crucial interceptions.
All in all, Marco Materazzi will be very happy with this performance of the team as they move to the fifth position.