I-League 2018-19: Pedro Manzi nets hat-trick as Chennai City hit six past Shillong Lajong
Chennai City have regained their top spot on the league table with a 6-1 win...

Chennai City returned to winning ways in I-League with a 6-1 victory against Shillong Lajong on Saturday at the Nehru Stadium in Coimbatore.

Néstor Gordillo was the star of the day for the hosts with two goals (12, 70), Roberto Eslava (38) and Pedro Manzi (49, 78, 80) scored for the hosts and Samuel Lalmuanpuia (53) scored a stunning free-kick as a consolation.

Both coaches rotated heavily for the game. Akbar Nawas made three changes to the team that lost to Real Kashmir as Mashoor, Pravitto Raju and Jesuraj made way for Sriram, Shem Marton and Vijay.

Alison Kharsyntiew made four changes to the Lajong team that lost 0-2 to Mohun Bagan. Novin Gurung, Mebankhraw Wahlang, Allen Lyngdoh and Sheen Stevenson were drafted into the starting lineup. 

Nestor Gordillo's presence and darting runs inside was a big threat for Lajong right from the off. Chennai started off by patiently passing the ball around the Lajong box and that pinned the visitors back.

A 12th minute corner-kick was sent low into the box by Sandro Rodriguez. Nestor met the ball with a first-time effort that gave Chennai the lead. Sandro's corner-kick worked wonders again in the 38th minute when Roberto rose the highest to head home Chennai's second goal.

Lajong did sense openings at the other end but their attempts were handled well by the hosts' defence. Chennai scored their third goal after Samuel lost the ball outside the Lajong box. Edwin pounced on the chance and found Manzi inside the box who chipped the keeper to make it 3-0 in the 49th minute.

Lajong earned some respite when Samuel Lalmuanpuia unleashed a goal-of-the-season contender in the 53rd minute. The Lajong skipper sent a knuckleball freekick and hit the centre of the net.

Edwin Vanspaul was having a field day as he picked out Nestor in the box for his second assist of the day. The Spaniard slotted home in the 69th minute to complete his brace.

Edwin completed a hat-trick of assists by playing a delightful ball into the box for Manzi who controlled the ball, turned to face the goal and volleyed it past the goalkeeper. It was Edwin again who was fouled inside the box two minutes later by Hnamte. Manzi stepped up and scored from 12 yards to complete his hat-trick.

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