John Gregory has been left a very happy man after Chennaiyin FC’s 2-1 victory over Atletico de Kolkata on Thursday, saw his team go to the top of the Indian Super League standings.
This was the second successive loss for the defending champions and their fifth overall, leaving them in 8th spot of the 10 team ladder with 12 points from 11 games.
Chennaiyin FC came from behind to snatch all three points after Martin Patterson opened the scoring in the 44th minute for the hosts. The visitors soon restored parity after Mailson Alves sneaked in a header past goalkeeper Debjit Majumder in the 51st minute.
But the visitors surged to a lead in the 64th minute after Jeje Lalpekhlua’s right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box entered the bottom right corner. This was Jeje’s seventh goal with which he became the joint-highest scorer among Indians alongside Sunil Chhetri in this edition.
Speaking after the match Gregory was full of praise for the striker.
“Jeje is a goal scorer and he will score goals, provided you give him the opportunity. So, we try and work on his strengths, on the good bits that he has in his game. The guy is a really talented footballer and he is a goal scorer. He works on his game, he reaps the rewards and we try and play him to his strengths as much as we can,” he said.
Gregory also showered praise on his team for their display on the night.
“I knew it was a big task,” he admitted.
“This season, we have never come back from being a goal down and won, so that in itself, was a first for us. But, I would not put anything past these guys. This is not an easy place to come to. This is a huge stadium with a huge tradition. We were playing against the defending champions. But we continued to work hard and eventually, the two goals came.”