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Talking Points: Chhetri’s Class Helps Bengaluru Destroy Pune Away from Home

Nitish Bhan  |  Indian Super League  |  3 Weeks Ago

FC Pune City welcomed last season’s finalists Bengaluru FC to face off at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex on Monday, after their horrific loss to Mumbai in the last match. Miguel Angel Portugal’s side were hoping to get back to winning ways, though this game would surely not be an easy one and they would really have to play well.

 

However, things just did not get any better for them, as the crowd was treated to a Sunil Chhetri show towards the end of the first half. The Indian skipper scored a brace to give his side the lead, with goals from him in the 41st and 43rd minute. A second half goal by Miku in the 64th put the game out of reach for the visitors and Bengaluru raced to the top of the ISL points table.

 

Marcelinho tried his best to make a difference to the game for the hosts, though Gurpreet Singh kept him out and managed to hold on to the clean sheet. Just when things had looked good for the team from Maharashtra in the previous term, they have started off rather poorly this time around. 

 

Here are the talking points of the game that pushed Pune to 9th place in the table-

 

Poor link-up play by the Stallions

The main strength of Pune from the previous campaign was that their team was playing as a cohesive unit and they were linking up well with each other. So far in the last 2 games, this co-ordination has been totally missing. Some might even argue that it wasn’t really the fact that their opponents were really good, but the fact that Pune were really poor that cost them both matches. They had just no answer for the visitor’s aggressive tactics from the start of the match. The coach will want to get things sorted out between his players, as there is seriously something going on in the dressing room.



Failure to capitalise

It is not that the hosts did not get chances to score. They did and failed to make the most of them. On the other hand, Bengaluru converted their half chances and were the better team as a result of that. They were sharp and focused at the task at hand and the finishing ability made all the difference.

 

Marcelinho tried his best to put the ball into the back of the net, but was denied by Gurpreet Singh twice. Diego Carlos also had a great opportunity to open the scoring for his side, but only managed to hit the outside of the post. You really need to score at least once if you want to win a match.

 

Another Chhetri show

In the first half, the game was more or less balanced till the time Sunil Chhetri produced some of his magic. He proved once again why he is the best striker that India has at present. For a second game in a row, Pune failed to score a single goal and this was exactly what the coach had highlighted in the press conference after the Mumbai defeat. They not only lacked a classy forward like Chhetri, but their attack looked totally lacklustre and it impacted the morale of the entire team.  





Gurpreet Singh deserved that clean sheet

Though it seemed that the visitors were always the better side, Singh had to make a few good saves and be alert. Marcelinho tested him on a few occasions and there were a few other tries at his goal by some of his team-mates. However, these were not the best of shots and didn’t really make him sweat. Carlos was unlucky that his shot was not on target, though Singh did deserve a bit of luck on the night. It was a clean sheet that he had to indeed earn with Pune failing to score now in two matches. 






 

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