ISL- Indian Super League

Marco Pezzaiuoli lauds BFC for resilient display against ATKMB

Ujyant Ramesh

December 17 2021
Marco Pezzaiuoli

The Blues ended their poor run after drawing in a goalfest against ATK Mohun Bagan.

Bengaluru FC finally ended their losing streak after a six-goal thriller at the GMC Athletic Stadium. Subhasish Bose opened the scoring for the Mariners in the 13th minute followed by a penalty — both won and scored by the in-form Blues striker Cleiton Silva. After this came a spectacular header from Danish Farooq in the 26th minute, as he scored his debut Indian Super League goal to put his side ahead. However, the joy didn’t last long, as Hugo Boumous again equalized in the 38th minute; thereby making it 2-2 before half-time. Finally, this was followed by two more goals in the second half as the match concluded 3-3.

Apart from the scoreline, however, what has to be kept in mind is the kind of performance Marco Pezzaiuoli and his boys put up tonight. It was a brilliant overall display, particularly in attack. That too, with a changed and re-positioned lineup, such as Ashique Kuruniyan being pushed forward on the left wing and skipper Sunil Chhetri being benched. In short, it looked like a tremendous game for the Blues considering the circumstances — barring a few defensive lapses here and there.

After this clash, their head coach Marco Pezzaiuoli spoke at the post-match press conference:

On the scoreline

As mentioned, the game ended 3-3 and felt like a fair result considering both sides’ form. On this note, he was first asked if he felt whether either side deserved to lose this one. “We deserved not to lose. It was a great game in the sense of (except for) some mistakes and too many set pieces against us.

“But, we also created a lot of chances and we scored three goals — two (of them) out of set-pieces. Again, this is a new improvement, but we put a lot of young players inside and change a lot.”

Ashique playing in forward role

Next up, the tactician was asked about Ashique Kuruniyan’s change in position — as a left forward rather than a left-back as he was in the previous few games. In other words; whether we would see more of the 24-year-old winger playing upfront. To this, he responded, “Of course, it’s an option. Ashique has (the potential) to fit both in the left wing or as a left wing-back. (What’s) important is that he brings (brought) is his energy inside.

“He was confident and the team stood behind him after the game when he made a mistake. He had a good game on the left side and (therefore) gives me as a coach, more options — because I wanted to be more dynamic in this game against ATK. It was the right decision to put him on the left wing.”

On Cleiton Silva’s performance

Further, Marco Pezzaiuoli spoke about Cleiton Silva’s performance in the game; who’s been the Blues’ best player so far — scoring four goals so far. “It was a good performance. He worked very hard. He did good one against one, created chances and kept the ball.

“Also, he played well with the midfielders and wingers. I think Cleiton is in a very good form and condition this season,” he expressed, praising the Brazilian for all his contributions.

Regarding changes in starting XI

The 53-year-old was then asked about the changes in his lineup, specifically on not starting skipper Chhetri for the first time this season. He immediately responded, “It’s not about Sunil. I think I have 30 players and it’s not about Sunil Chhetri. It was a good change for this game and I think it was the right decision.

“We had more options as Parag (Shrivas) played a game two days ago for 60 minutes and I felt he had enough power to go (start) today. It depends on injuries, player fitness and who’s performing well. I think we have a good squad of 30 players. That’s why we need everybody.”

Assessing this result

Lastly, Pezzaiuoli shared his overall thoughts on the performance. That is, finally ending the three-game losing streak and a result like this against Antonio Habas’ ATK Mohun Bagan. He opined, “I don’t make a difference because every game for us is important. We can say the last year we lost twice against ATK Mohun Bagan and this year we drew — in a good way, scoring goals.

“We scored three goals which means there’s a lot of improvement already. I think it gives a lot of hold (stability) for the team. At the end of the season, we’ll know if this one point was enough to make the next step or not,” thereby concluding the press conference on a high.

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