A relatively mundane week in the Indian Super League saw teams grind out results with some big ones. ATK and FC Goa are at the first and second spots respectively, while Chennaiyin FC is stranded at the bottom of the table.
In Match 15, Jamshedpur and Bengaluru FC drew blanks. Match 16 saw Northeast United get the better of FC Hyderabad 1-0. In the next game, FC Goa and Mumbai City FC played out a thriller as the Gaurs won 4-2. Kerala Blasters drew 0-0 with Odisha FC while ATK outclassed Jamshedpur FC 3-1 in the next match, which saw the Kolkata side seal their spot on the top of the table going into the international break. In Match 20, Bengaluru FC outclassed Chennaiyin FC 3-0 in the South Indian derby.
Takeaways from Week 3
Bengaluru FC finally get their season started
It has been a slow start to the season for Bengaluru FC, as they drew all 3 of their opening matches. There were questions raised about whether the defending champions had it in them to defend the title. All that, however, has been put to rest following their win over Chennaiyin FC on 10th November. Goals from Paartalu, Chhetri and Haokip sealed a terrific victory for the Blues who looked thoroughly dominant. The performance of Kuriniyan on the wings and Paartalu in midfield combined with Chhetri’s sensational strike will inject a lot of confidence in the side.
Same old story for Chennaiyin FC?
FC looked a shadow of their former selves last season and the trend seems set to continue. So far, they have had 3 losses and 1 draw, thus 1 point from 4 games. The Marina Machans have failed to score since February and the lack of cohesion and identity upfront has been prominent in almost every game they have featured in so far. Following the loss to Bengaluru, rumours of their coach John Gregory resigning has been doing the rounds so it will be interesting to see what changes will be bought in during the break.
ATK looking like champions-elect?
Krishna, Edu Garcia and David Williams have been firing on all cylinders for ATK this season. The Kolkata-based side has already scored 10 goals in 4 games, with 9 of them coming from the trio. They already lead the goalscoring charts in the ISL and looked lethal against Jamshedpur FC. While they will have sterner tests ahead of them which includes trips to Goa, Bangalore and Mumbai, Antonio Habas and his men can be confident about getting the best possible results from there as well.
Some key stats from the season so far
Matches Played: 20
Goals Scored: 52
Avg goals per game: 2.6
Most goals: 3 — Aridane Santana (Odisha FC), David Williams (ATK), Sergio Castel(Jamshedpur FC), Ferran Corominas (FC Goa), Roy Krishna (ATK), Edu Garcia (ATK).
Most assists: 3 — Jerry Mawhmingthanga (Odisha FC), Brandon Fernandes (FC Goa)
Key matches from Matchweek 4:
Bengaluru FC v Kerala Blasters (23rd Nov)
Bengaluru FC has just got a major boost with their win over Chennaiyin and they would love to extend their run over the struggling Kerala Blasters. The Kochi-based side has failed to win since their opening day victory and will be keen to get their season back on track.
Odisha FC v ATK (24th Nov)
A tricky away game awaits ATK as they take on Odisha FC. The Bhubaneshwar-based side has been having a topsy –turvy season so far but they always retain an element of threat which could surprise ATK.
ATK v Mumbai City FC (30th Nov)
Mumbai City FC have one of the strongest squads in the ISL but they have flattered to deceive so far. ATK will be taking on the Islanders in a massive game at home which could go a long way to decide the pace of the title race.