ISL 2019-20: ATK vs Kerala Blasters - Talking Points

A goal from Halicharan Narzary guided Kerala Blasters to a hard-fought 1-0 win over ATK in an Indian Super League (ISL) game in Kolkata.

Halicharan Narzary scored the winner for Kerala Blasters FC against ATK in its ISL clash at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata.   -  ISL Media

Kerala Blasters FC did the double on ATK in the 2019-20 Indian Super League (ISL) season with a hard-fought 1-0 win at the Salt Lake stadium in Kolkata on Sunday.

A 70th-minute goal from Halicharan Narzary was enough for Eelco Schattorie's side, despite both Bartholomew Ogbeche and Messi Bouli misfiring, to claim the full three points.

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS | ATK 0 - 1 Kerala Blasters, Narzary scores the winner

Here are the talking points from the ill-tempered game in Kolkata that saw ATK coach Antonio Habas sent off:

- Kerala strengthens top-four hopes -

Kerala Blasters won two games in a row in the ISL for the first time since 2018 as Schattorie continued his dominance and unbeaten run over ATK since joining Northeast United last season.

Few would have given the visitor a chance against an imposing ATK lineup, which only needed a win to top the standings. However, the men in yellow were the happier of the two teams in a closely-fought match.

Narzary's solitary goal was enough for the Blasters to bag three points and move to sixth in the 2019-20 ISL standings, four points behind fourth-placed Odisha FC, with a positive goal difference.

- Roy Krishna misses David Williams -

The striker duo of Roy Krishna and David Williams is arguably the deadliest in the league this season. Both of them have a combined 13 goals and five assists from 11 games together.

MATCH REPORT | Kerala climbs to sixth as Nazary's strike sinks ATK

Australian forward Williams missed the game against Kerala on Sunday due to injury and his absence was felt by ATK as there was no proper supply for Krishna upfront.

There was even a moment in the game, towards the very end, when Krishna tried to tee up a teammate with an one-touch pass into the box but, unfortunately for him, there were no takers. If Williams had played this match, the scenario would have most likely been different.

- Habas let down and frustrated -

Antonio Habas was once again ejected off the field during an ISL game. However, one can't fully blame him for the loss as the ATK players put in a lacklustre performance.

The likes of Balwant Singh, Michael Soosairaj, Mandi Sosa, Victor Mongil, Jobby Justin struggled throughout the game to create openings while the league's leading scorer Krishna had a match to forget with a number of offside calls that went against him.

The game, on the whole, was never free-flowing as players from both sides got into heated arguments with the referee, linesmen and the fourth official. The big tussle in the end, leading to Habas' ejection, is probably the most notable event in a dull and ill-tempered match.

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