Hyderabad FC were at their very best on Monday evening as they pumped in four goals past Chennaiyin to return to winning ways in the Indian Super League (ISL).
After a five-match unbeaten streak at the beginning of the season, the Nizams had seen a sudden dip in form as they lost three matches in a row, but they came back in style, routing the Marina Machans.
Hyderabad and Chennaiyin were both desperate for a win and it was expected that both teams would go for the kill right from the off to get the three points. The first half of the match saw an end to end action. Chennaiyin maintained more possession of the ball but it was Hyderabad who created better goal scoring opportunities.
The two-time ISL champions were without their skipper Rafael Crivellaro who had to sit out due to an injury he had picked up in their last match against ATK Mohun Bagan. In the Brazilian's absence, Anirudh Thapa was slotted in as the number 10 as Deepak Tangri returned into defensive midfield alongside Memo Moura.
Thapa did a decent job in his new role but lacked the composure and creativity that Crivellaro has come to be known for. Without their skipper, at times Chennaiyin looked like a ship without a rudder in the attacking third.
The second half was thoroughly entertaining if you are not a Chennaiyin fan as Hyderabad upped their game. After conceding two goals, the Marina Machans manager Csaba Laszlo had even tweaked the formation a bit as he introduced Edwin Vanspaul in place of Jerry Lalrinzuala and pushed Memo backward, making it a three-man defence.
But in a counter move, Marquez brought in Fran Sandaza to replace the tired legs of Joel Chianese which further added firepower to the Hyderabad attack. In fact, Sandaza was the key architect in Hyderabad's fourth goal as it was the Spaniard who made a swiping run from a counter-attack and found Narzary who found the back of the net with a clinical finish past Vishal Kaith.
It was a night to forget for Chennaiyin who has a lot to think after an embarrassing defeat. The team have had issues with scoring goals this season but at least they were creating the chances. But without their captain, the team looked a bit off colour in the attack. But it was the defence that let Chennaiyin down. Enes Sipovic, Eli Sabia and Jerry Lalrinzuala were at fault on numerous occasions while Kaith looked shaky on occasions too.