East Bengal was better of both teams despite playing with 10 men for the majority of the match….
East Bengal’s unbeaten streak extended to seven matches on Monday as they played one man less for more than 60 minutes against Chenaniyin FC on Monday.
However, five of them have been draws for the reds and golds. And it looked like they were playing for an outright victory over Chennaiyin in the first half. For the first time this season, the Red and Golds’ attacking trio, made up of Anthony Pilkington, Bright Enobakhare and Jacques Maghoma, have started a game together.
German midfielder Matti Steinmann, who looked extremely tired in the previous game, had to be absent. Robbie Fowler returned to a four-way defense, which allowed East Bengal to be more offensive from the start.
The Reds and Golds seemed the better team in the opening half hour while Chennaiyin had a few moments on set pieces. It seemed to evolve into an exciting scuffle, but for two moments of reckless play from central midfielder Ajay Chhetri. For his second attack to be booked in the 30th minute, the midfielder saw red and East Bengal faced a situation all too familiar for them.
For the third time this season, East Bengal fell to 10 players fairly early in the game. And for the third time this season, they have challenged their opponents to get a draw in such a situation. The spirit is definitely there in the squad and if Anthony Pilkington had been a little more clinical they could have won the game.
It’s almost as if East Bengal has become the master of the 10-player game.
Yes, in the second half Fowler was forced to consolidate the team’s midfield as Jacques Maghoma was asked to play a deeper role alongside Bright Enobakhare. Both players worked tirelessly in the midfield and made sure East Bengal never faced periods of sustained pressure.
Chennaiyin, on the other hand, looks more and more like a side that lacks confidence when it comes to putting the ball in the net. They failed to use the power play effectively and were unconvincing in the third attacker. They were also guilty of being debauched, which has now become the hallmark of this team. East Bengal goalkeeper Debjit Majumder should also be credited for making some good saves.
The Marina Machans lacked creativity from the start since their skipper Rafael Crivellaro stepped out of the action with a knee injury. Anirudh Thapa was asked to play an advanced role in Crivellar’s absence, but Chennaiyin lacked the Brazilian’s authority and presence. In addition, Thapa was substituted at half-time due to an injury. They would really like Manuel Lanzarote, currently in quarantine, to be part of the squad.
While the decision to send Ajay Chhetri off the field with a second yellow card cannot be questioned, East Bengal had to suffer 18 fouls on them and yet only two players from Chennaiyin were cautioned in the match against three cards. East Bengal yellows although they only committed nine. faults.
Coach Robbie Fowler looked restless throughout the game and even criticized officials after the game.
Ultimately, the Liverpool legend would feel content after a moral victory over Csaba Laszlo, having once again scooped a point under difficult circumstances.