Chennaiyin FC mauled Atletico de Kolkata 3-0 in the first leg of the semi final at Pune, but manager Marco Materazzi was seen reminding everybody that their opponents are the defending champions.

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Chennaiyin FC are in quite a similar situation from last season and only this time their fortune seems to have been a bit better, as they thrashed Atletico de Kolkata 3-0 in the first leg of their semi final encounter in Pune.

Kerala Blasters, who too had a 3-0 lead going into the second leg, had almost given up their spot in the final last season due to complacency, and Materazzi is in no mood to let his team repeat the same mistake, as he clearly reminded the current status of Atletico de Kolkata being the defending champions, despite missing two of their key players in Borja Fernandez and Ofentse Nato.

a Ita s important not to forget that theya re still the defending champions and whoever plays will give their all.a

The atmosphere in the pre match press conference was tense and could have been cut with a knife, but the Italian did try to lighten the mood as he laughed off, when quizzed about Elanoa s possible return to starting eleven after serving his suspension, though, the Italian kept his answers as short as possible.

a Wea ll play with eleven players for sure.a

Fortunes

The Super Machans were at one stage during the league stage had the distinctly possibility of not making it to the semi-finals after being winless in four consecutive matches, but fortunes turned for the better after they took the lead against their current opponents at the Yuvabharati Kriyanagan.

Materazzi, too, believes they finally found their correct combination during their match, as went on a five match winning streak that includes the mauling of the defending champions in the first leg.

a The last game that we lost (vs ATK in a round robin encounter) was not actually a defeat but it was something that gave us strength to start all over again and I hope we did ita

Fans

Materazzi, despite their huge aggregate lead, is wary off the huge numbers of supporters who are expected to turn up for the second leg of the semi final against Atletico de Kolkata but tried to add even more pressure on to the home side, as he suggested ita s the home side who needs to adapt.

a Even as we know we have a pretty good advantage, we will give everything that we have. There will be about 70,000 people at the stadium and every good team will want to play well in front of such a crowd.

a Tomorrow, it will be ATK, which will have to bring something new, we just have to adpat to the situation.a

Indian Super League

Hero Indian Super League provides a platform for the current Indian footballers to ply their trade with their reputed foreign counter parts and Materazzi was seen praising the format when he was asked to comment on the six foreigner rule.

a This is a rule ISL made. Indians and the foreigners had a different mentality initially but but eventually they came all together to help each other.

a Even we had foreigners during my time in Inter and it worked great. Hopefully ita ll have the similar effect and form a movement with the teams going on to develop academies.a

Image Courtesy: ISL Media