Jorge Pereyra Diaz opened the scoring for the Yellow Army as early as the ninth minute giving his side a boost of confidence. Sahal Abdul Samad scored in the 27th minute for his rebound to give Kerala the deserving lead. Vishal Kaith seemed to have averted the danger after he made a forced save out of Sahal's volley, but Sahal rendered him helpless with his rebound. The third and final nail to the coffin came in the 79th minute when Adrian Luna found his first goal of the season.
The win saw Kerala Blasters FC enter the top four while Chennaiyin sit in sixth. As enthralling as the encounter has been, we at The Bridge picked out some of the highlighted topics from the high voltage clash.
Kerala Blasters FC seems to have picked up momentum
Kerala Blasters began their campaign at a low with a loss against ATK Mohun Bagan followed by consecutive draws against North East United FC and Bengaluru FC. However, the Yellow Army seems to have picked up the momentum. Toppling table-toppers Mumbai City FC in the previous game, Blasters continued with the same pace registering a brilliant win against Chennaiyin FC. Now they can boast of the longest unbeaten run in ISL 2021-22.
The win saw them move up to the third spot on the leaderboard. The team seemed to have been in cohesion with tactical movements. Although Chennaiyin FC dominated the possession advantages, the Yellow Army walked all over them in every other aspect. Chennaiyin custodian Vishal Kaith was tested quite a several times by Kerala forwards as they scored three past him.
Sahal Abdul Samad found his rhythm
The former AIFF Emerging Player of the Year was under a lot of criticism for his lack of goals. Sahal Abdul Samad is a great talent that levels up the expectations on him. Finding only a solitary goal in 51 games, Sahal changed for the better, getting three goals in seven games.
His long rangers were a treat to watch as he rendered the goalkeepers helpless. Although Vishal Kaith made a great save out of his volley, he didn't make any mistake in scoring the rebound extending Kerala FC's lead.
Chennaiyin's wastefulness upfront
It's more than a surprise, how a team consisting of players like Anirudh Thapa, Vladimir Koman and Murzaev failed to register a single on shot target. The Vladimir-Murzaev duo seemed to have a great cohesion last time. However, it missed the spark this time. Germanpreet Singh's lack of finishing seemed to have cost Chennaiyin heavily. The 30th-minute miss by Germanpreet Singh, from Horminpam's feeder, will serve as a great regret for the player. However, it will unfair to not mention Prabhsukhan Gill's brilliance in keeping Chennaiyin forwards at Bay from registering any on-target shot.
Adrian Luna continues to impress
Kerala FC fan favourite Adrian Luna continues to impress with his game. Bagging the Man of the Match awards on the night, Luna drops yet another top performance tonight. Luna has assisted 3 goals in seven games for the Yellow Army this season. The Uruguayan found his maiden goal of the season tonight, while completely bossing the midfield with accurate passes.
However, he could have found his goal way before in the first half had he finished the beautiful Jorge Pereyra Diaz's cross from the right flank. On the other hand, Jorge Pereyra Diaz seems to be on a scoring spree equalling three goals with Sahal Abdul Samad for Kerala Blasters in seven games
Chennaiyin defence woes highlighted
Chennaiyin FC's defensive woes were exposed to the bones as Kerala FC made 14 shots past them. They managed to score three goals on registering seven on target. Although opting for a five men defence, the Marina Machans gave way too much space to Kerala forwards to go past them. Had it not been for Vishal Kaith's continuous endeavours, Chennaiyin would have been down quite many goals. Reagan Singh and Narayan Das' lack of consistency can lead to heavy worries for Bozidar Bandovic if he does not find the solutions to this.