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Goal takes a look at Chennaiyin’s Indian Super League (ISL) 2020-21 season …
Chennaiyin drew 1-1 in their last league stage game of the season and became the first team to play the full 20-game quota.
The Marina Machans finished the league stage in eighth position and could drop to tenth depending on the results of other teams below them. They have accumulated only 20 points in these games, with 11 draws to their name, a tally that is the highest in the league this season.
With the Chennaiyin League campaign coming to an end, Aim Take a look at their 2020-21 Indian Super League (ISL) season.
What went wrong for Chennaiyin in ISL 7?
The biggest problem for head coach Csaba Laszlo throughout ISL’s seventh season was his team’s inability to finish the opportunities they created to score goals. Only East Bengal (16) has scored fewer goals than Chennaiyin, which has scored meager 18 times in its 20 league games and the Reds and golds I still have two more games to play.
One of the biggest turning points in the Chennaiyin season was Rafael Crivellaro’s injury. He was replaced by Manuel Lanzarote later, but the Machans were already under a lot of pressure by then. Without Crivellaro, the team struggled to link defense with attack. While the team still created chances, Crivellaro’s was influential for the squad and his absence was felt.
Players like Lallianzuala Chhangte, Jakub Sylvestr, Isma Goncalves have been guilty of missing clear opportunities and the head coach has often been confused and baffled by the squandering of the team in the last third. He couldn’t solve the problem and the Machans finally paid the price.
Chennaiyin could not replace the goals that Nerijus Valskis, who went to Jamshedpur FC at the start of the season, produced last season. Anirudh Thapa’s injuries didn’t help either.
What are the positives of Chennaiyin from ISL 7?
Chennaiyin was able to make a decent baseline this season, with Enes Sipovic and Eli Sabia conceding 23 goals in 20 games, which is a decent record. And only three teams have kept more clean sheets than their defense.
Although Sipovic has been suspected at times, Eli Sabia remains a stable presence in the rear.
Anirudh Thapa missed matches due to injury, but hopes to take on a bigger role in the team next season. He captained the team at the end of the season and the head coach even labeled the midfielder as someone who is capable of leading the Indian team.
The appearance of Rahim Ali and Deepak Tangri has shown that Chennaiyin’s investment in youth has paid off.
Another player who did well is midfielder Memo who proved to be a useful signing for the team, he contributed on both ends of the field but it seemed there was never enough support for the player in the final third.
Furthermore, Csaba Laszlo will also be encouraged by the fact that the club was never truly outmatched by any team, save their 4-1 defeat at the hands of Hyderabad FC. Despite not scoring enough goals, they created plenty of opportunities in almost every game they played.
Chennaiyin had one of their best performances of the season when they beat FC Goa 2-1 in December. In one of only three victories this season, goals from Crivellaro and Rahim Ali helped the Machas beat playoff favorites Goa.
Chennaiyin Players of the Season
We do not believe that any player consistently stands out to be named Chennaiyin’s Player of the Season in what has been an overall disappointing season. However, in terms of consistency of performances, a couple of players who have been dependent are Memo Moura and Deepak Tangri in their roles.
Memo has been a reliable player for a struggling Chennaiyin every time he has appeared. The midfielder-defender, who spent three seasons at Jamshedpur, had a decent debut season with the Machans and played 19 games for Csaba Laszlo, of which 16 started.
Lallianzuala Chhangte is a notable mention here, as he was a dangerous flanking asset for the team. But quite often, especially in the first half of the season, he kept missing opportunities and was often found failing with his finale or final delivery.