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ISL 2017-18: FC Pune City pile more misery on dismal ATK

08:28 GMT+3 21/01/2018
ATK's poor record against FC Pune City continued as pressure mounts on Teddy Sheringham....

ATK have not had the best of campaigns in the Indian Super League (ISL) this time around. They are languishing in eighth spot on the table and their misery was further compounded by a free-flowing FC Pune City side who thumped three goals past Teddy Sheringham's side. 

While the Kolkata-based franchise have been hampered by injuries to key players at key times, there has not really been much clarity in their playing style either. 

It was there to see on Saturday night as FC Pune City, coming off a defeat to Chennaiyin FC, ran riot against Teddy Sheringham's side. 

What was more concerning is that FC Pune City did not have Marcos Tebar in midfield who normally anchors the play and provides solidity to the Stallions' build-up play. It was most evident in the game against Chennaiyin FC where Tebar went off injured in the second half and the Stallions lost their control in the match and they ended up losing. 

But on Saturday, ATK were not able to utilise that weak link and Conor Thomas and Ryan Taylor struggled to impose themselves in midfield against the likes of Jewel Raja and Rohit Kumar. 

Adil Khan has been a revelation this season and has been a versatile option for Ranko Popovic, with his ability to play in both midfield and defence. He has also been a regular source of goals for the team, a very welcome source in fact. 

It is impressive that the burly midfielder-cum-defender has scored four goals this season. His presence in set-piece situations is an added bonus to a side which has a prolific and pacy frontline in Marcelinho, Emiliano Alfaro and Diego Carlos. 

His well-directed header from a corner gave Pune City the lead and they should have scored plenty more, but for Alfaro missing a slew of chances including several golden opportunities. 

Most importantly, Marcelinho and Alfaro did not score on the night and still FC Pune City won handsomely. Diego Carlos was excellent on the left wing, carrying on in the same vein as he did against Chennaiyin FC in the previous match. And this time, he was rewarded with a goal, the second of the night for his team. 

ATK goalkeeper Debjit Majumder was slightly at fault for Pune City's second and third goals. Though Carlos' and Rohit Kumar's goals were fantastic strikes, Debjit's positioning was a bit off, allowing those strikes to go in. 

It could have been different for ATK had Jordi Figueras' effor was cleared off the line by Jewel Raja but it was not to be. 

Teddy Sheringham will feel the pressure mounting on him, given that the season is soon approaching that crucial phase and ATK have not clicked into gear yet while Pune City look a sure bet for one of the playof spots.