Kerala Blasters: Player Ratings

Saturday, 18 November 2017|Vineeth Krishnan
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GK: Paul Rachubka: 7

Called into action on a number of occasions, the former Manchester United keeper pulled out some good saves, crucially palming the ball away from the on-rushing attackers more often than not. The one time he could not quite manage so in the second half, his defence helped him out. Got lucky with Branco's shot that hit the post.

 

RB: Rino Anto: 5

Positional play was a little suspect and it was no coincidence that ATK kept attacking down his side of the pitch. His crossing fluctuated between decent and horrendous throughout the game. Guilty of rushing first-time crosses in at times when an extra touch to compose himself would have allowed him and the attackers bursting a lung to get into the box a better chance.

 

CB: Sandesh Jhingan: 6

The captain put in a solid shift against the imposing Njazi Kuqi and later against the bulldozing Robin Singh. However, Hitesh Sharma's roaming movement caused him some trouble. Often had to cover for Rino down the right but marshalled the back-line well.

 

CB: Nemanja Pesic: 7

Just like Cedric Hengbart from previous seasons, Pesic was at the right place when needed more often than not. Did the unspectacular things well and alongside Jhingan, looks a promising pairing.

 

LB: Lalruathara: 7

One of the more promising outings for the men in yellow and blue. Put in a few last-ditch tackles and got down the flank to support Hume well. Kolkata might have had some luck down the opposite flank but got little charity from him.

 

DM: Arata Izumi: 6

Surprisingly played as a deep-lying playmaker, Izumi isn't your quintessential defensive midfielder. Still, cut the angles well but should have done better at times, particularly in tracking the wily Hitesh.

 

RM: CK Vineeth: 4

Not one of his best outings in the famous yellow and blue for the Kerala lad. Got into quite a few promising situations but his best effort was the one which created a chance for Pekuson after his shot had been saved. Withdrawn for Prasanth in the second half and it is baffling that the youngster showed more on the pitch in his 15 minutes than Vineeth did over the rest of the game.

 

CM: Courage Pekuson: 6

A good outing which could have been spectacular had it not been for one major blemish when he had a great chance to score in the second half. Linked up play well and pressed high up the pitch.

 

CM: Milan Singh: 5

Another one whose rating could have been much higher had he displayed a little bit more composure on the ball. While he often managed to wriggle free of his marker and get into good attacking positions, the final ball consistently let him down. Had a few speculative efforts on goal that steadily declined in quality as the game went on.

 

LM: Iain Hume: 6

Had a better outing in the second half when he was played as an out and out striker. For all his industry and effort, could not quite fashion any clear openings for himself. However, there were early signs that his partnership with Berbatov could prove a fruitful one in the long run.

 

ST: Dimitar Berbatov: 5

Berbatov did not do much wrong at all with the ball at his feet. His skill, vision and inch-perfect lofted passes were all a delight for the home crowd to catch a glimpse of. However, his rating is a reflection of the fact that he hardly ever had the ball at all. Withdrawn to a No.10 role for the second half, his performance improved but he is very much still finding his feet in India.

 

Substitutes:

ST: Markos Sifneos: 5

The 20-year-old Dutchman has the pace that his illustrious teammates Hume and Berbatov no longer possess. While he used this to his advantage, he was not involved enough in the half hour he was on the pitch with the Blasters doing more defending that attacking during this time.

 

Jackichand Singh: NA

Not on the pitch long enough to make an impression.

 

Prasanth K: NA

Too short a time to warrant a rating. However, showed ambition to get to the by-line and put crosses in, earning the appreciation of teammates such as Berbatov. Encouraging debut.


Coach ​​​​​​​

Rene Meulensteen: 6

Tried different formations in each half and gets points for trying to bring Berbatov into the game more. However, he withdrew Hume at the wrong moment, leading to all the momentum his team built up, grinding to a halt. Also, the vision to deploy Arata in a deep-lying playmaking position, almost reminiscent of Paul Scholes or Andrea Pirlo in their later years, gets special praise.