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ISL 2017: Gritty Bengaluru gets the job done

2:25 AM MYT 09/12/2017
NorthEast United Bengaluru FC
NorthEast's dominance and threat was not enough to beat Bengaluru's resolve...

GOAL BY NISANTH V EASWAR      Follow @Niktheblue94 on Twitter

As Sir Alex Ferguson once claimed, 'attack wins you games, defence wins you titles'.

A travelling Bengaluru side showed resolve and resilience to overcome the NorthEast challenge to go top of the table as we move towards the end of the fourth round of games in Indian Super League (ISL).

Miku scored his fourth goal of the season to join Ferran Corominas and Emiliano Alfaro at the top of the goalscorers' chart and more importantly, seal three crucial points for his side. 

NorthEast United were dominant, it has to be said. They took the game to Bengaluru and showed that they have what it takes to push any well-knit side onto their back foot. But at the end of the day, scorelines tells the story and the Highlanders have themselves to blame.

Goalkeeper TP Rehensh started the game in between the sticks despite not being fully fit. Joao d Deus' decision to continue with his first-choice custodian backfired right at the start of the second half. The Kerala-born goalie, instead of clearing a backpass given to him, gifted the ball to Udanta Singh who squared it for Miku to score the match-winner. 

This is not the first time we have seen an Indian goalkeeper committing a crucial error during a game and it probably won't be the last. 

The visitors played the waiting game tonight. The home side were desperate in attack and as a result, weren't able to put on the finishing touches on their forays forward. They took 17 shots today, out of which seven were on target. In comparison, the winning side had just three shots on target. So what went wrong?

The Highlanders are overly dependant on their two foreign attackers - Danilo Lopes and Marcinho. The fact that they have managed to net just two goals from four games is cause for concern and prized draft picks like Halicharan Narzary need to step up their game if NorthEast are to perform better in front of goal. 

Bengaluru FC and NorthEast United have taken the most number of shots in the league so far, 50 and 49 respectively. Yet, it is the former who have converted their chances and climbed their way to the top of the table by scoring 10 goals, which is also the highest in the league. 

In Miku, Bengaluru FC have found a lethal centre-forward. Up until he was substituted late in the game, the former Getafe striker worked hard and proved to be an outlet for Blues' midfielders whenever there was a turnover in play. Even as Sunil Chhetri failed to exert his usual influence on the game, Miku turned match-winner and put in a performance that holds much promise for the team's future games.

NorthEast could and should have scored but despite the wave of threats in the second half, they weren't able to get back into the game. And the full-time scoreline is what makes the difference at the end of the day. Job well done, Bengaluru FC.