Kolkata: Mohun Bagan returned to winning ways as they beat Pailan Arrows 2-0 in their return leg I-League fixture at the Yuba Bharati Krirangan on Friday.
The scoreline, however, does not reflect the resistance they faced in the first half as the title favourites, despite playing with a full-strength side, struggled to get the lead.
After a goalless first half, Bagan took the lead from a 65th minute Jose Barreto header, while Sheikh Jewel Raja scored an easy 77th minute goal to complete the tally.
After the 17th round, Bagan have 30 points, while winless Arrows stretched their losing streak to eight.
With Chhetri returning to action along with Rakesh Masih and Raja, Bagan fielded a full-strength line-up but they struggled in the first 45 minutes, with the Arrows putting up a brave display.
Barring Barreto`s header from the right, which was brilliantly saved by an outstretched Naveen Kumar under the bar, Bagan hardly had any goal-making move in the first 45 minutes.
Nigerian goal machine Odafa Okolie had a lacklustre outing and Chhetri was no better in his comeback match, but the Arrows put up a spirited show with C S Sabeeth and Bijendra Rai making forays into Mohun Bagan defence.
But before the situation changed from bad to worse, Barreto scored the timely goal when his header from a Hudson Lima corner found the target.
Soon they doubled the lead when Raja scored an easy goal from Syed Rahim Nabi`s brilliant pass.