The Indian Super League fixture between ATK Mohun Bagan and Chennaiyin FC ended in a 1-1 draw at the PJN Stadium in Fatorda. The result meant a three-game winless streak for the Mariners and the continuation of the undefeated streak for the Marina Machans. First-half goals from Liston Colaco and Vladimir Koman were enough to share the spoils as both teams ran out of ideas in the second half.
The match had many incidents and observations that caught the eye. From questionable refereeing to impressive individual performance, the contest had it all. Here is a look at the top-five talking points from the draw between ATKMB and CFC in the ISL 2021-22:
Deepak Tangri's indiscipline
Deepak Tangri has come under the scanner for his discipline while representing ATK Mohun Bagan. He played as a central-midfielder today and put in a few strong challenges which angered the opposition. The midfielder has already been shown two yellows and received a red card during the 5-1 defeat to Mumbai City FC.
He avoided strict disciplinary action by the governing body and yet put in a tackle with his studs showing in the first few minutes of the match against CFC. The tactician must have a conversation with Tangri and demand more responsibility from the player.
The inclusion of Liston Colaco
ATK Mohun Bagan won their first two games of the season and Liston Colaco was the scorer in both. Habas then dropped him from the starting lineup and the outfit looked lukewarm in attack in the two defeats against Mumbai City FC and Jamshedpur FC.
The former Hyderabad FC player got on the scoresheet again by scoring the opening goal of the game against Chennaiyin FC. From this point onwards, Liston Colaco's name should be in the starting lineup if the Mariners are to achieve success this year.
Questionable refereeing decisions
Rahul Kumar Gupta was the referee for the game and his calls were controversial, to say the least. Lukasz Gikiewicz avoided a booking in the first half after multiple fouls. Deepak Tangri did not get a yellow card for a high-footed tackle on Koman in the early stages. It was astonishing that Tangri did not even get a booking after committing three fouls and four unsuccessful tackles.
The referee did not heed Colaco's multiple calls for a foul, ignoring his assistant referee on occasions and giving a few dodgy corner kick decisions to CFC which helped the outfit maintain pressure. The quality of refereeing in the ISL has come under heated debate and tonight's performance from the referee does not help their argument.
Poor quality in the final third
Chennaiyin FC created a lot of scoring opportunities but did not capitalize on most of them due to their poor finishing. Players like Edwin Vanspaul and Anirudh Thapa had fabulous chances to get on the scoresheet but their finishing was wayward.
CFC also got 10 corners but a lack of quality with the crosses meant they could not capitalize on them. Bozidar Bandovic's team is defending well and the midfield has found a good combination. However, their forward play needs more invention and imagination with more quality in finishing.
Anirudh Thapa's growth
Anirudh Thapa was given the captain's armband ahead of the season and has done justice to the role. He was flawless against ATKMB, single-handedly turning the game in his team's favour on many occasions.
The 23-year-old was everywhere on the pitch, contributing in defence and attack. His nutmeg on Finnish international Joni Kauko was one of the highlights of the match. Thapa has matured as a player this year and has staked a claim as one of the best Indian midfielders in the ISL.