Great players shine on the grandest stage. In the previous Indian Super League (ISL) season, ATK had a mountain to climb during the return leg of the semifinal against Bengaluru FC as they had to score three goals in less than 90 minutes to save their season.
The 50,000-strong crowd was clamouring for one of the big guns to produce the goods. And cometh the hour, cometh the man! 30 minutes on the clock and their Fijian talisman Roy Krishna got the better of his marker and nudged in a low cross from Prabir Das into the back of the net to inspire an enthralling comeback that culminated in a 3-1 win.
In the previous season, he scored a whopping 15 goals and provided six assists. In this edition of ISL, in spite of a short pre-season, no friendlies to prepare, Krishna has hit the ground running right from the first game against Kerala Blasters and has got five goals in just six matches.
Krishna shoots and he scores!
The striker has been clinical in front of goal and averages a goal after 1.8 shots on target. In all the six matches Krishna has played, he has not had more than two shots on target in each of the games. In fact, in three of these matches, he had only one shot on target, each of them resulting in a goal and none of them was from the spot. This shows how prolific he has been this season.
|Opponents||Goals||Shots||Shots on target|
|vs Kerala Blasters||1||4||1|
|vs SC East Bengal||1||1||1|
|vs Jamshedpur FC||1||2||2|
Krishna - The protagonist at ATK Mohun Bagan
There is little doubt that Krishna is the most valuable player of ATK Mohun Bagan. He is an impact player and his contribution to the team's performance with his goals has been enormous. At the end of matchday six, he has scored five of the seven goals for his side which amounts to 71.4 per cent. Only Igor Angulo and Nerijus Valskis have a better involvement rate for FC Goa and Jamshedpur FC respectively with six goals apiece out of seven.
The ISL winner likes to play on the shoulders of his markers. He is a daunting presence inside the box which makes him a difficult player deal with. He holds the ball for his team when required and has the second most number of touches (26) inside the box, only behind Angulo (30 after six games).
But he is also comfortable playing with his back towards the goal which allows him to remain involved in the play. His touch map shows that he has the license to oscillate in the vicinity of the penalty box and even drop deep which further makes it difficult for the centre-backs to mark him. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that he is still the only player to have scored from outside the box.
A total of 301 shots have been attempted by all teams at the end of MD6 from outside the box and Krishna happens to be the only player to have found the net. In short, he has been a workhorse for Habas.
On Monday evening, the Mariners will reignite an old rivalry with Bengaluru FC after a hiatus of more than two years. The Blues had failed to keep a clean sheet in their last three outings and Krishna with his scoring boots on must be smacking his lips to get on the pitch.
The stats used in this article are from Opta.