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    Manchester United ended 2021 with a win

    Bengaluru FC snapped a seven-game winless run to record a 4-2 victory against Chennaiyin FC in the Indian Super League (ISL) at the Tilak Maidan Stadium on Thursday. Mirlan Murzaev (4th) helped Chennaiyin take the lead before Bengaluru scored twice through Cleiton Silva (39th P) and Alan Costa (43rd), albeit riding a bit of luck. Rahim Ali (49th) got Chennaiyin level but Udanta Singh (70th) and Pratik Chowdhary (74th) ensured the Blues’ wretched run came to an end as they moved to eighth in the points table from 10th with nine points from the same number of games. Chennaiyin remained on sixth place from eight games having 11 points.

    Highlights

    • Bengaluru FC beat Chennaiyin FC by 4-2 on Thursday
    • Mirlan Murzaev helped Chennaiyin take lead before Bengaluru scored twice
    • Murzaev racked up his second goal this season

    The ‘home’ team were off to a perfect start as Murzaev fired home in just the fourth minute after Germanpreet Singh set him up on the left flank.

    The 31-year old Kyrgyzstan footballer racked up his second goal this season with a crisp finish after evading Alan Costa and Parag Shrivas. Murzaev celebrated with an acrobatic summersault as the Marina Machans went ahead in style.

    Murzaev looked in supreme touch, breezing past four Bengaluru shirts to find Rahim Ali whose shot was saved well by Gurpreet Singh Sandhu.

    The Blues failed to get a grip of the game as Chennaiyin not only bossed possession but looked slick with the ball with some eye-catching passing play.

    Bengaluru needed a bit of luck and that came in the form of a penalty after a Ashique Kuruniyan shot hit Jerry Lalrinzuala’s hand inside the box.

    Cleiton Silva stepped up, paused in his run-up and slammed the ball to the lower right of the keeper. In four minutes, Bengaluru doubled their advantage after a Silva corner went in off Alan Costa’s shoulder as Vishal Kaith needlessly came out of his line.

    Bengaluru’s lead was cut short soon after the restart due to poor goalkeeping by Gurpreet. The India No.1 failed to keep out a routine save from Rahim Ali who shot after being teed up by Murzaev.

    In search of a third goal, Blues’ coach Marco Pezzaiuoli replaced Prince Ibara with Sunil Chhetri and minutes later the legendary India striker was involved in Bengaluru’s third goal as he passed the ball to Danish Farooq who slipped it to Udanta for the pacy winger to fire home from just outside the box.

    Kaith was responsible for handing Bengaluru a cushion as he let slip a regulation catch from a corner which fell to Pratik who scored with ease.

    The result, which will feel like oxygen for coach Marco Pezzaiuoli, was sealed in the space of four second-half minutes. At 2-2 and 20 minutes go, BFC’s substitutes Sunil Chhetri and Danish Farooq combined, moving the ball from the left to the centre and into the path of Cleiton Silva.

    The Brazilian’s dummy left Udanta with a clear view of the goal and the 25-year-old slotted it neatly into the bottom left corner.

    Immediately after, a blunder from Chennaiyin goalie Vishal Kaith – his second of the night – put the result beyond doubt, when he fluffed an easy take off a corner and Pratik Chowdhary – another substitute – bundled it in.

    It was only BFC’s second win of the season and it sent the side eighth in the table with nine points from as many matches. Chennaiyin is placed sixth with 11 points from eight games.

    But at the start of the evening, it was all Chennaiyin. The sensational Mirlan Murzaev put his team ahead as early as the fourth minute with a fine solo goal. Germanpreet Singh set the Kyrgyzstan player free on the left flank and the attacker side-stepped a defender, moved to his right and fired past Gurpreet Singh Sandhu.

    Forward Rahim Ali should have scored thrice in the opening 20 minutes alone. He was twice thwarted by Gurpreet and on the other occasion failed to tap in a perfect low cross from the left.

    So dominant was Chennaiyin that Pezzaiuoli pulled Ajith Kumar out and introduced Udanta Singh. The level immediately lifted as Chennaiyin came under sustained pressure. BFC defender Parag Shrivas missed a sitter, sending the ball over the bar from five yards out before Kaith kept out a glancing header from Prince Ibara.

    But the equaliser soon arrived, through a penalty, which Silva converted after Jerry Lalrinzuala was penalised for handling the ball. On the stroke of half-time, Kaith’s mistake gave BFC the lead. The goalie charged out to punch a corner to safety, but barely touched it and it went in off BFC defender Alan Costa’s shoulder.

    After the restart, Rahim finally scored, but via a gift from Gurpreet. Murzaev’s low cross from the left was hit goalward by Rahim, albeit weakly, only for the Indian National team goalie to fumble awkwardly and let the ball in.

    Chennaiyin established an upper hand again and came close on multiple occasions, but it was BFC which had the last laugh.

    Result:

    Chennaiyin FC 2 (Murzaev 4, Rahim 49) lost to Bengaluru FC 4 (Silva 39,  Costa 43, Udanta 70, Chowdhary 74).

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