Bengaluru FC head coach Simon Grayson was delighted with the victory as they secured a narrow 1-0 win over Kerala Blasters FC in the latest fixture of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru on Saturday.

Bengaluru FC, the in-form team, dominated the proceedings after early pressure from Kerala Blasters FC in the first quarter of the game. The Blues were rightly rewarded in the 32nd minute of the game as Roy Krishna received a pass from Javi Hernandez down the right flank, dribbled past Ruivah Hormipam, and shot it at the near post and made it 1-0 for the home side. The Blasters geared up in the second half and created a few goalscoring opportunities but the home side did really well defensively to hold on to their lead. 

With this win, Bengaluru FC leapfrogged Odisha FC and FC Goa moved to the 5th spot in the Hero ISL standings and extended their winning run to six games. Kerala Blasters FC remained third with 31 points from 18 games. 

Match Report: Bengaluru FC surge to fifth place with clinical win over Kerala Blasters FC

While speaking in the post-match press conference, the Blues' head coach Simon Grayson explained his game plan and highlighted his team’s performance against the hard-working Kerala Blasters tonight.

He said: “We knew that Kerala Blasters FC will enjoy a lot of possession because they are a good team. They have some outstanding talents, especially at the top end of the pitch who can make things happen.

“If we scored 2, they were capable of scoring 3. So, I was quite happy to surrender a little bit of possession to them, knowing the football that we play doesn't get hurt. We created a lot of threats going forward and when we had to defend, we defended really well,” he added.

“All the stats were probably in Kerala Blasters's favour. But we didn't have to make many saves and that was really pleasing to see. Our first clean sheet in a while, massive three points, and bragging rights in the rivalry,” Grayson continued.

Adrian Luna is definitely one of the most hard-working players in the league currently and since joining Kerala Blasters FC last summer, he has been involved in more goals than most of the ISL players. Grayson acknowledged the threat that Luna carried and insisted they got their plan right against the Uruguayan midfielder.

“I feel he (Adrian Luna) is the best player in the league and you got to give him the respect that he deserves. He can make things happen. He is a very clever player. So we worked a lot about it in the past week which is about not man-marking him but stopping the supply line to the wide channels and forward line. He has also got the ability to score from distance. But we carried it out really well, full credit to everyone,” the Englishman stated.

Roy Krishna was having an underwhelming campaign by his standards in the Hero ISL with the Blue but scored the game’s only goal with a brilliant strike that not boosted his confidence but the whole team's. The Blues' head coach stated that Krishna played a pivotal role in his side and the role of the Fijian striker and said he can be a decision-maker in any game.

“Even when was not scoring, he was contributing to the team, his hold-up play was good, and he was linking up well with other players. He is a constant threat and now his confidence level will be higher with this goal,” Grayson said.

Bengaluru FC will be up against Mumbai City FC, who clinched their second League Winners' Shield by defeating FC Goa 5-3  earlier today. Grayson believes they need to carry on this winning momentum and urged his players to make the most of this opportunity and secure their place in the playoffs.

“Nights like tonight are for the fans and for us. It’s got us close to the playoffs which is the most important thing. But now we have to recover in the next training session. The games are coming around very quickly. Hopefully, we’re the first team to beat Mumbai City FC this season, but we will be missing a couple of players against Mumbai City FC due to suspension. It isn’t easy but that gives the opportunity to the other players,” he said.

“Our attention will be now on Wednesday and see if we can replicate this performance,” Grayson concluded.