Bengaluru FC dominate ATK to stretch their winning streak

Football October 31, 2018
Bengaluru FC reign over City of Joy as ATK incur yet another loss at home. Credits: ISL

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Bengaluru FC dominate ATK to stretch their winning streak

Bengaluru FC defeated ATK 2-1 after going down in the 15th minute through Komal Thatal’s goal. Later, Miku and Erik Paartulu scored to give Bengaluru FC the lead and they saw it off until the final whistle. The following demonstrates the itinerary of the contest.

First Half

Both teams lined up with their respective 4-2-3-1 formation and Bengaluru FC started off the proceedings on the attacking front. Although ATK’s defensive structure allowed them to break off Bengaluru FC’s moves very deep on the pitch, however, with two incisive midfielders in Everton Santos and Manuel Lanzarote, Steve Coppell’s side looked to bring their wingers into play through some smart, defence-splitting passes.

On a couple of occasions, these passes found Bengaluru FC’s backline off guard and the first goal was a testament to the same fact. Santos released Komal Thatal with a precise pass through the centre of the defence. Nishu Singh was unable to outpace Thatal, whose sudden acceleration and commendable composure in front of goal resulted in the first goal of the match. Thatal’s sweet left-footed finish to the bottom right corner gave Gurpreet Singh Sandhu no chance to save the shot.

Kalu Uche and Balwant Singh were making the runs behind Bengaluru FC’s backline on a regular basis after that. ATK was controlling the proceedings at the centre of the park. They stitched regular passes and maintained a high tempo, which Bengaluru FC was unable to disrupt. Accordingly, Bengaluru FC’s backline resorted to clearing the ball very deep into the box and were succumbing to the pressure exerted by ATK’s forward line. To ATK’s disfavour, Uche had to be taken off in the 41st minute as there were some issues in his calf muscle.

He was substituted by El Maimouni Noussair. However, Miku, Bengaluru FC’s saviour in many occasions in the past stepped up to take a free-kick in the stoppage time of the first half. The Spaniard unleashed an excellent shot that breached the wall and went into the net as Arindam Bhattacharya couldn’t make an effort to save it. Bengaluru FC struck back through Miku’s moment of brilliance and managed to attain a positive momentum too.

Second Half

Within two minutes of second half, Bengaluru FC managed to notch a lead over their opponents through Erik Paartulu’s goal.

ATK was unable to clear out a long free kick inside the box. Paartulu pounced at the loose ball and struck it to the net as Bhattacharya was yet again beaten by the sheer accuracy and power with which the shot on goal was launched.

Thereafter, Bengaluru FC gained a significant control over the game. Sunil Chhettri did not see much of the ball in the second half. Nevertheless, the whole team worked tenaciously to disallow ATK gain control over the possession and dominate them at the centre of the park. Thus, by putting more men behind the ball, Bengaluru FC managed to regain possession, move it to the centre and thus release their wingers or play smart through balls whilst having a command over the ongoing passing moves.

This forced ATK to switch from their initial plan and thus hit Bengaluru FC on the counter. As was the case with the first goal, Bengaluru FC’s backline wasn’t perfectly structured and ATK managed to surprise them through some diagonal passes from the wings.

Coppell’s side wasn’t clinical enough either to net the equalizer. They stretched Bengaluru FC’s backline and put some crosses into the box from either flank. Jayesh Rane’s pace was used to hit Carles Cuadrat’s team on the break too. Yet, Bengaluru FC remained diligent and concentrated enough to see off the game with a slight lead and walk away with three points eventually.

What’s next for Bengaluru FC?

Bengaluru FC will come up against Kerala Blasters on 5th November, where both the unbeaten sides this season would look for three points.