ISL 2017: FC Pune City's Ranko Popovic - It felt like playing a Champions League game

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Debdoot
Despite beating ATK comprehensively, the Pune City boss decided not to belittle the defending champions...

The Indian Super League (ISL) returned to the majestic Salt Lake Stadium after almost two years and FC Pune City made sure the home side ATK would have torrid memories of the day.

Beating the two-time ISL champions 4-1 at their own turf, the Stallions coach Ranko Popovic could not have been more delighted.

"I told this yesterday that we will try to play the same type of football. Last game we played well but didn't win. Today it was different. More compact. I told the boys to play as a unit. The second goal changed the game. They had scored two minutes before that. I didn't expect four goals but I am very happy," expressed the Serbian.

ATK Pune City

Brazilian attacker Marcelinho was involved in all four goals and the former Real Zaragoza boss was all praise for last season's Golden Boot winner. "Marcelinho played well and scored two goals only because of the team. He is, of course, one of the best players in the league. Last game his performance wasn't up to the mark but today he was great."

"When you win it's strategic when you lose it's not. The opportunity came and we got the three points. The key moment was Rohit's (Kumar) goal. I don't want to comment on ATK"

"They are a good side. They have won the title twice, we didn't. On the basis of one game, you cannot criticise them. Every game is different. They have sixteen more games like us. There is a lot of scope." 

Lastly, Popovic was left amazed at the stadium and envied the support for the home side. "It is obviously nice winning 4-1. I was very excited about the ambience. I am jealous that I don't have such an amazing ambience (at home in Pune). The atmosphere was amazing. It was like playing a World Cup or a Champions League game."

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