FC Pune City were finally able to break their home form voodoo, and quite marvelously, as they thrashed a struggling NorthEast United side 5-0 at the Balewadi Stadium. The Highlanders are now stranded at the bottom of the table with four points after seven games as Pune (15) moved up to second.
Poor execution brings sword upon NorthEast United, again
The Highlanders were coming into the game with just one win from their last six games and a close observation of their
Poor execution could be said about their defence as well. Despite having two of the best passing defenders in the league in Jose Goncalves and Sambinha, NorthEast’s defence has always found a way to leak goals. Four of the five goals that the Highlanders conceded today,
FC Pune City gets their tactics spot on
Coming into the game with a convincing win over FC Goa would definitely be a huge confidence boost for any side in the league. But, what was even more interesting was how the Pune team have transformed themselves since the 3-2 hammering by Delhi. Despite finding it easy against physically dominant sides like Atletico de Kolkata and Mumbai City FC, it was the free-flowing
However, Popovic might just have found the key to their team’s erratic run with their last win. The manager had revealed after the 2-0 last week that he had tried to focus more on keeping the ball rather than getting his tactics right. He looked like a man who had enormous confidence
Marcos Tebar played a significant role this game too, from the midfield, as Adil Khan did the dirty work whenever NorthEast had the ball. Pune committed 13 fouls today and slowed the game whenever NorthEast looked dangerous. Pereira’s ability to dig deep and then distribute the ball up more or less made the difference today although NorthEast’s errors helped him enormously. Commanding 60% of the possession with 75% passing accuracy throughout the entire second-half further frustrated the visitors and a flurry of late goals was just a matter of time.
Without a doubt, Marcelo Pereira was today’s hero with his silky feet and impeccable shot executions. Though he also had fortune
However, these two instances don’t take away anything from Pereira’s genius today whose first touches were deft. While his second goal from the free-kick was a reminder to
Playing as the number 10, Pereira had to drop down very often to win the balls, but he maintained a decent 64% passing accuracy even in such pressure. He even contributed at the back during the closing stages of both the halves with an interception and a block to ensure that NorthEast didn’t find any way in, whatsoever.