New Delhi, Nov 9: Former France and Chelsea star Florent Malouda scored twice, inspiring Delhi Dynamos to a 4-1 drubbing of defending champions Chennaiyin FC in an Indian Super League football match here on Wednesday (Nov 9).
Indian Super League 2016: Series Schedule
36-year-old Malouda, leading the Delhi side, continued his impressive performance as he struck the home side's second and the fourth goal in the 25th and 85th minutes respectively while he made the assists in the other goals scored by Richard Gadze (15th) and Kean Lewis (54th) in front of 15,000-odd crowd at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.
It was also the first time Malouda scored this season. Chennaiyin captain Bernard Mendy scored his side's lone goal in the 37th minute.
With the win, their third on the trot and fourth overall, Delhi now have 16 points from nine matches and they dislodged Mumbai City FC (15 points from nine matches) from the top spot to strengthen their chances for a last four berth.
Delhi had also beaten Chennaiyin 3-1 in the first leg in Chennai on October 6. For Chennaiyin, whose coach Marco Materazzi made as many five changes from their last match playing eleven, this was their second loss in the tournament and first in an away match this season.
They seemed to miss the inspiring presence of former Liverpool defender John Arne Riise at the deep defence. Riise, who was recovering from an injury, came in the 83rd minute but by that time, the game was as good as over. After today's loss, Chennaiyin are at sixth in the table with 10 points from eight matches.
Playing their fifth home match, the Gianluca Zambrotta-coached Delhi side were clearly the better side with a lot more possession, distribution of the ball with neat passing while Chennaiyin played aimlessly for most part of the match. In the second half, they played with more purpose and attacking intent after the introduction of India striker Jeje Lalpekhlua but failed to score.
Delhi suffered a jolt as early as the fourth minute as right stopper Chinglensana Singh had to be replaced by LalchhawnKima due to injury. First choice Chinglensana's injury did not make any difference as the back four of Ruben Rocha, Anas Edathodika, Souvik Chakrabarti and LalchhawnKima did a good job all through the match.
Malouda continued with his impressive form and he and striker Richard Gadze formed a dangerous pair, making several forays into the opposition box.
Only winger Marcelino, a lynchpin for Delhi attack and running for the Golden Boot with five goals so far, was quiet today except for a few assists.