Elano continued his wonderful form in the Indian Super League, putting in another performance worthy of a standing ovation, with some shambolic defending from Mumbai City FC handing the home side Chennaiyin FC the easiest of 4-0 victories at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.
All talk was about the return of Nicolas Anelka for this ISL tie, but once the whistle was blown it was the man who has been in stellar form in this Indian Super League that stole the show again, just pulling the strings in midfield while getting his customary goals to put Mumbai City to the sword.
Elano opened the scoring for Chennaiyin, who were watched from the stands by their co-owner and India cricket captain MS Dhoni, from the penalty spot, before Jeje Lalpekhlua made it 2-0 with a wonderful finish. Then it was the turn pf Valencia Mendoza, who ran the Mumbai City defence ragged, to grab two quickfire goals to put Chennaiyin 4-0 up at halftime.
Former Brazil international Elano then capped off a splendid evening with his fifth goal in four matches courtesy a customary freekick goal, as Mumbai City, despite a late consolation from Syed Rahim Nabi, were forced to leave Chennai licking their wounds, and then some, crashing to their third defeat in four matches. Chennaiyin FC, on the other hand, picked up their third win in four games, and if Elano continues to play the way like he has done so far in the season, they will be serious title contenders.
Had it not been for some pathetic defending from Mumbai City, the result might have been different, even if the away side never really looked like scoring despite having the bulk of the possession.
Anelka gave it a right old go in his first ISL match, but never really troubled the Chennaiyin defence enough, with Marco Materazzi, the home team's player-manager, also making his first appearance, and doing pretty well in the screening role in midfield.
Chennaiyin's strategy was simple – soak up the pressure and use the pace of Mendoza to get in behind the Mumbai City defence, who held their line way too high and refused to budge from it despite being found out time and again.
Mendoza was the creator for the first Chenaiyin goal in the ninth minute, spring clear down the right before eventually forcing a challenge from the experienced Manuel Friedrich, who gave away a penalty.
Elano stepped up and calmly slotted the ball past Subrata Paul to make it 1-0 and it was only a portent of what was to come.
With that ridiculously high backline, it was easy pickings really for a player of the quality of Elano, who was everywhere tonight, with the Brazilian picking out a perfect ball over the top for Jeje to run onto, with the India international smashing the ball into the back of the net quite impressively first time.
Mumbai City, try as they might, just could not trouble the Chennaiyin defence, with Anelka dropping deeper and deeper in an attempt to create a spark.
Fifteen minutes after the second goal, though, and the match was done as Mendoza grabbed his first goal. It was Paul's turn this time to have a nightmare, with the goalkeeper spilling a freekick from Elano and allowing Mendoza to grab the rebound and slot it into the net with glee.
Three minutes later and it was 4-0 as Mendoza ran onto another long ball over the top, this time from the impressive Harmanjot Khabra. The Colombian took a touch to clip the ball over Paul, before placing the ball into an empty net.
The second half was academic really, with Mumbai City pressing and probing but never really threatening again, as Elano grabbed his second via a freekick from the right channel to put the final nail in the coffin of the away side, before a late consolation at least made the scoreline look a little decent at 5-1.