WATCH: Chinese Super League Matchday 16 - Wins for the Big Three

By Jack Douglas and Tom Lamming, July 8, 2019

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Shanghai SIPG were victorious in the Shanghai derby courtesy of a Hulk brace. Elsewhere, Beijing Guo'an restored there two-point lead at the top of the CSL with a 3-0 win against Wuhan Zall at the Workers' Stadium. Fellow title rival Guangzhou Evergrande kept up their blistering form with a 3-1 comeback victory at struggling Tianjin Tianhai.

Shanghai SIPG 3-1 Shanghai Shenhua

Five hectic minutes proved crucial as Shanghai SIPG overcame bitter rivals Shanghai Shenhua 3-1 in the second Shanghai Derby of the season.

With the score at 1-0, Hulk made it two for Shanggang and looked to have put the game to bed just after the hour mark. The Brazilian expertly glanced in a header off an inviting Oscar delivery from deep, diverting it past a helpless Chen Zhao into the far corner.

Yet just two minutes later, Shenhua got themselves back into the game seemingly out of nowhere thanks to a He Guan own goal. Bai Jiajun’s deep delivery looked destined to run out of play but Colombian forward Gio Moreno did superbly well to keep it alive; heading the ball off the bar before He Guan was unable to get out of the way and inadvertently bundled it into his own net.

Tempers then flared in the stands of the Shanghai Stadium, with numerous Shenhua fans, seated in the home section, making their allegiances known as they celebrated the lifeline. 

As quickly as they got back into the game though, Shenhua were out of it again. Another superb Oscar delivery from deep caused problems for Shenhua at the back, allowing right-sided defender Wang Shenchao to stab home and put the game to bed.

Shenchao thought he had his second of the night moments later, but referee Nawaf Shukralla adjudged him to have deliberately handled the ball into the net. The defender was shown a yellow card for his protests.

This frantic period came after an edgy, tense first half, yet one without controversies. Hulk opened the scoring for SIPG as he capped off an electrifying counter-attack that Shenhua’s players simply couldn’t keep up with. Uzbek international Odil Akhmedov did well to win the ball in the middle of the park before Oscar played a great through ball to Hulk wide on the right. 

The burly wide man took it excellently in his stride, and his pace and power were no match for the static defender Zhu Chenjie, who could only watch the Brazilian skip away from him and place it into the bottom corner.

Watch highlights of the game below (VPN off): 

   

Just before the break, Oscar thought he had made it two as his deep free-kick evaded everyone and flew into the far corner from 35 yards out. The Shenhua players were incensed that the goal stood and complained endlessly to the Bahraini referee as two of their players lay on the deck.

VAR then intervened and ruled that Shi Ke had been grappling with a Shenhua player in the build-up.

On his last appearance for Shanggang before leaving to join title rivals Guangzhou Evergrande, soon to be naturalized forward Elkeson had the chance to make it four for SIPG from the penalty spot after Li Peng hacked down Hulk late on.

On a hat-trick, Hulk selflessly gave the ball to his compatriot in his farewell showing, but it was to be no fairy tale ending for Elkeson as Chen Zhao guessed correctly and made a smart save down to his left from the spot-kick.

Beijing Guo’an 3-0 Wuhan Zall

A brace from Jonathan Viera and a penalty from Renato Augusto restored Guoan’s two-point lead at the top of the CSL. It was a much-needed bounce-back win for Roger Schmidt’s side after Matchday 15’s loss at Shandong Luneng, with Guangzhou Evergrande and Shanghai SIPG hot on the heels of the leaders.

Viera’s first was an extremely well-worked goal from the hosts, Li Lei slid Renato Augusto in down the left channel, with the Brazilian international crossing for the Spaniard to coolly slot home with a right-foot finish across the goalkeeper.

With both teams spurning great chances, it was Guo’an who got the all-important second goal. After a deflected Wang Ziming pass found its way into the edge of the penalty area, Viera beat Liu Yi to the ball and was clipped as he bared down on goal. 

In a role reversal from the first goal, Viera proved the provider as Augusto stepped up and slotted his seventh goal of the season with the resulting spot-kick, sending Dong Chunyu the wrong way. 

All three points were secured 15 minutes from time. Good footwork from substitute Zhang Yuning saw him beat two Wuhan players, before he knocked the ball into the feet of the ever-influential Viera, who intuitively nicked the ball through the legs of Jiang Zilei on the edge of the penalty area and calmly prodded home for his seventh goal of the season.

The crucial win keeps Guo’an two points above fellow title challengers Guangzhou Evergrande and Shanghai SIPG. Hosting Chongqing Lifan and Beijing Renhe in their next two CSL games, Guo’an will look to maintain their lead with maximum points.

Watch highlights of the game below (VPN off): 

    

Tianjin Tianhai 1-3 Guangzhou Evergrande 

Coming from a goal down, Evergrande scored three unanswered to go top of the CSL. Goals from Yan Dinghao, Paulinho and Xu Xin ensured a seventh successive win for the league’s in form side.

Good work from Qian Yumiao saw him beat his defender into the right side of the penalty area, before he lofted a ball to the far post. With Liu Dianzuo in the Evergrande goal flapping at the cross, Yan Xu capitalized and tapped into an empty net to put his side into a surprising lead five minutes in.

Evergrande responded just ten minutes later, as a headed clearance found its way to Dan Yinghao on the edge of the area, the 21-year-old fired a shot through a crowd of Tianhai defenders into the bottom corner.

The Canton outfit took the lead in the 67th minute, as a low drilled cross by Yang Liyu found Paulinho at the back post, who slid home his sixth goal of the season. As Tianhai pressed for an equalizer gaps began to appear and, after squandering a number of chances, the visitors found a third goal in added time as Wei Shihao crossed for Xu Xin to volley home.

A seventh successive victory for Fabio Cannavaro’s team puts Guangzhou firmly back in the title race and, with the addition of Elkeson from SIPG, Evergrande are peaking as the season heads towards the business end.

Watch highlights of the game below (VPN off): 

    

Elsewhere… 

A brace from Emmanuel Boateng and a penalty from Yannick Carrasco helped Dalian Yifang to a 3-1 win at home against Henan Jianye in Rafael Benitez’s first game in charge.

Guangzhou R&F defeated Chongqing Lifan 4-2 thanks to a goal and an assist from returning top scorer Eran Zahavi, who notched his 17th goal of the season.

Jiangsu Suning’s miserable run of form continued as they lost 2-1 away at Tianjin Teda

Shandong Luneng beat Beijing Renhe 2-0 at the Guiyang Olympic Sports Centre thanks to goals from Graziano Pelle and Roger Guedes.

Hebei drew 1-1 with struggling Shenzhen.

Screenshot-2019-07-08-at-12.33.43.pngImage via Sky Sports


WATCH: Chinese Super League Matchday 15 – SIPG Cut the Gap

[Cover image via @sipg_fc on Instagram]

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