Bengaluru FC started their 2018-19 campaign with a 1-0 victory over Chennaiyin FC in what was a replay of last season’s final courtesy of a goal from Miku. This was Bengaluru’s first victory over Chennaiyin at their home ground.
The game panned out the opposite of what we thought with Chennaiyin FC dominating the majority of the game and Bengaluru FC playing on the counter-attack. John Gregory set his team up in a 4-3-3 formation with his team aggressively pressing in groups, pushing back the Bengaluru FC players. Gregory Nelson and Raphael Augusto were causing major problems to Bengaluru defence.
The dominance paid off for Chennaiyin FC with the team getting some great chances only for Jeje Lalpekhlua to miss them.
In the above instance, Gregory Nelson made an amazing pass to set up Jeje Lalpekhlua through on the goal, But the striker put the ball wide trying to pass it to Germanpreet Singh.
Another situation when Chennaiyin FC’s aggressive pressing unsettled Rahul Bheke making him play a poor back pass to the goalkeeper, Jeje initially intercepted the pass but couldn’t control it and ended up putting the ball out of play.
Bengaluru FC soon made Chennai pay for their misses, scoring a goal through Miku in the 38th minute against the run of play. Xisco played Miku through on goal and he managed to slot in with an amazing finish. But the replays showed something else as Miku was clearly in an offside position and the linesman failed to spot it which is not surprising in Indian football.
Chennaiyin did manage to dominate the proceedings in the second half but struggled to create chances of their own. Gregory Nelson and Raphael Augusto were still Chennaiyin’s best players going forward while the likes of Jeje Lalpekhlua and Francis Fernandes struggled to provide any sort of support to them.
Bengaluru FC did manage to provide some scares on the counter but Chennaiyin FC’s defence proved too good. Erik Paartalu was a stand out player for Bengaluru winning lots of balls in the midfield and setting up counter-attacks. Udanta Singh proved to be a great threat through the right and was constantly troubling Chennai with his pace.
Carles Cuadrat would be a happy man after winning his first ever game as head coach but a lot of work still needs to be done for Bengaluru FC to challenge for the title. Chennaiyin, on the other hand, will go back disappointed with this game. They managed to do everything right apart from scoring something that would worry head coach John Gregory.