Chennaiyin made it three wins in a row in the Indian Super League (ISL) with a 4-1 win against Jamshedpur on Thursday at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.
Nerijus Valskis (13', 75'), Andre Schembri (43') and Lallianzuala Chhangte (87') wrote their name onto the scoresheet as the hosts enjoyed a fine day at work and punished a poor display by the visitors.
Chennaiyin's gameplan resumed from where they stopped against NorthEast United last week. They were out on the field, willing to run and press Jamshedpur.
In the 13th minute, Rafael Crivellaro won the ball near the halfway line and Andre Schembri dribbled forward with it. The forward then played an inch-perfect through-ball into the path of Nerijus Valskis who dinked the ball over the onrushing Subrata Paul and into the net.
Chennaiyin were relentless even after taking the lead and Schembri wasted two big chances to double his team's lead. However, he redeemed for his misses at the stroke of half-time. He was left unmarked as he met Crivellaro's corner delivery into the six-yard box with a soft header that found the net.
Jamshedpur struggled to get into the game even after the change of ends. There was no intensity to their press and was found wanting at the back on multiple occasions.
A rare blemish at the back by the hosts allowed Joyner Lourenco to swing a cross into the box in the 71st minute. Sergio Castel, who made his first start for Jamshedpur after a lengthy break on the sidelines, beat Eli Sabia to a good header that found the net.
Just as Jamshedpur began seeing more of the ball, Chennaiyin took advantage of the space on offer in the attacking third and restored their two-goal advantage. Narender Gehlot failed to cut out Anirudh Thapa's through-ball for Valskis who took the ball into the box and once again dinked Paul to perfection.
There was a fourth goal on offer before the game ended. Dragos Firtulescu cut in from the right and had his shot punched into the path of Chhangte who gladly accepted the offer and put the ball into the net.
Valskis' 10th goal not only took him to the top of the top scorers' chart but also sealed the win for Chennaiyin at home. The Marina Machans continued their resurgence under Owen Coyle and are sixth with 18 points, with a game in hand and three points behind fourth-placed Odisha.