It is Shanghai Derby weekend. Shanghai SIPG vs Shanghai Shenhua, with the city hoping for another thriller. If you are blue, one to match the 3-3 FA Cup quarter-final of 2015 that Shenhua won on penalties. If you are red the 5-0 SIPG drubbing of Shenhua earlier that season, a game that saw three blues sent off.
Safe to say that it has been a tumultuous week for the two Shanghai Chinese Super League clubs for a number of reasons, with Shanghai Shenhua experiencing the more farcical week than their rivals... but only just.
Following Shenhua's 2-1 defeat against Henan Jianye at the weekend, Monday saw head coach Gus Poyet resign.
Joining the club back in November, the former Sunderland coach was tasked with improving upon Shenhua's third place finish last season in the Chinese Super League.
There was a disappointment from the outset though, with his side crashing out of the AFC Champions League before it had properly even begun.
And after a string of league draws since the beginning of August, the loss to Henan on Sunday now means Shenhua lie 12th in the 16 team league, 32 points off of league leaders Guangzhou Evergrande.
"It's not an excuse, it's reality," said Poyet. "I'm not complaining, it's just been a difficult season."
To make matters worse, incoming Shenhua boss Wu Jingui offered a withering appraisal (bloated criticism?) of Carlos Tevez, saying the Argentina star is too overweight to turn out for the blues.
The former Manchester United and City star has just returned from injury after recuperating in his native Argentina, but Wu says home country living has been too good to him.
"I won’t pick him right now," said Wu. "He's not ready physically. He's not fit to play."
And Tevez is not the only one, apparently.
"[Tevez] is overweight, along with [Fredy] Guarin," Wu continued. "I
have to take responsibility for the team and the players as well. If you
are unable do your utmost to play, there's no point in picking you."
Leading 4-0 from the first leg at Shanghai Stadium a fortnight ago, the second leg looked all set to be a formality. However, two goals from Brazilian Alan, and two more from his countryman Goulart in the second saw the game go to extra time.
Despite having a player sent off, Hulk looked to have won it for SIPG with a sublime free kick, but with three minutes left on the clock Goulart completed his hatrick from the penalty spot, to complete his hatrick. With away goals not counting in extra time in the AFC Champions League, the tie was to be decided by a penalty shootout.
Hatrick hero Goulart was the villain, hitting the post and see the ball flash across the goal and out. With no mistakes from the next eight penalty takers, it rested on the shoulders of Yu Hai to seal an epic win for Shanghai SIPG.
The drama did not end on the pitch though, with SIPG boss Andre Villas-Boas using the post-match press conference to accuse Evergrande of deliberately causing a car crashes in front of the SIPG team bus on the way to the game.
"We come here on the bus for this game and the same two cars separately had three accidents in front of us," said the former Chelsea, Spurs and Porto manager. "This is the problem."
That was not the only issue, AVB proceeded to go on quite the rant, accusing Guangzhou Evergrande, the referee and the Asian Football Confederation of a multitude of sins. Unsurprisingly, the AFC has opened disciplinary proceedings against Villas-Boas.
So there you have it. Quite the week in Shanghai football. With the two teams currently experiencing contrasting results both on and off the pitch, this derby is shaping up rather nicely for the weekend. Here's hoping it for a slap-up game.
The Shanghai Derby:
Sep 16, 7.35pm, Shanghai SIPG vs Shanghai Shenhua, Shanghai Stadium