The rollercoaster ride at the top of the table continues. A 1-0 victory over Chennaiyin FC sends ATK top of the Indian Super League table. Hero of the Match, David Williams scored the only goal for the visitors. Antonio Habas threw in a surprise at the start of the play. To block Chennaiyin’s passing lane through the midfield, he overloaded the midfield with 3-5-2 formation.
The hosts Chennaiyin asked the visitors all sort of questions in the opening minutes of the game. Nerijus Valskis was provided with two marvellous opportunities to open the scoring for Chennaiyin in ISL 2019-20. The second one was a disaster. Lallianzuala Chhangte squared a brilliant ball for Valskis who just needed a touch to score. Unfortunately for Chennaiyin, he failed to do the thinkable.
ATK came into the game slowly and steadily. Pritam Kotal could have headed the ball in from a smart interplay by David Williams and Javier Hernandez in the 12th minute. Two minutes later, there was a huge appeal for a penalty by the ATK players when Roy Krishna was brought down by Valskis in the box. The clear cut penalty appeal was turned down by the referee.
The seesaw battle between the teams continued throughout the first half with either team failing to break the deadlock. Three minutes to the second half, David Williams, the highest goal contributor of ISL 2019-20, contributed another goal for ATK. Lucian Goian blocked Javier Hernandez’s shot. Unfortunately for Goian, it fell to the path of David Williams who tucked it in.
Second half was all about Chennaiyin and missed chances. Chennaiyin had several chances to draw level, but Football Gods didn’t seem to be in their favour. Chennaiyin failed to score in their last five matches before ATK, and the streak continued.
The best chance of the second half fell to the substitute Andre Schembri. Anirudh Thapa and Valskis exchanged passes before playing the ball to the sub. Schembri pushed the ball off target. The chances came thick and fast for the hosts, but they couldn’t capitalise. Arindam Bhattacharya had a tremendous game with six saves and making sure that the visitors came home with all three points.
The beautiful game of football has been overshadowed by poor refereeing this season, and ATK has been on the wrong end of it on numerous occasions. An end to end stuff was marred by poor decisions throughout the game, and ATK was at the end of it. From failing to give a legit penalty to be too lenient on the Chennaiyin players made it hard for ATK.
Habas’s change in formation and tactics did the trick for ATK. Prabir Das at right wing-back was tremendous. Chennaiyin’s woes in front of goal continue, and the pressure mounts on John Gregory whose side now have only one point from three games