Jiangsu Suning defeated Beijing Guoan 1-0. Beijing suffered a crushing defeat away from home in Jiangsu. Alex Texeriera burst past Beijing’s captain Yu Da Bao, causing a clumsy challenge and penalty. Eder duly converted for the home side. Beijing had chances of their own, with Cedric Bakambu coming close on multiple occasions. The DR Congo striker doesn’t look at his sharpest following an exhausting AFCON Cup of Nations. The defeat allowed Guangzhou Evergrande to go one point clear at the top of the table.
Guangzhou Evergrande defeated Guangzhou R&F 5-0. With Beijing stumbling in Jiangsu, Guangzhou Evergrande came away with an emphatic victory against hometown rivals R&F. Wei Shihao looked bright, scoring the first and assisting the second to Elkeson. The talented young Chinese winger will be looking to feature for China in AFC World Cup Qualifying later this year. Following a Paulinho header, two more goals for Elkeson completed the Brazilian striker’s hat-trick and sends Evergrande top of the table.
Shanghai SIPG drew Chongqing Lifan 2-2. Brazilian former Grêmio midfielder Fernandinho opening the scoring just before halftime with an unbelievable goal, picking up the ball near halfway, and dribbling 5 players before slotting it in the bottom corner. Shanghai equalized through an own goal from Yuan Mincheng. Marko Arnautovic made his debut, coming on at halftime for Hu Jinghang, and he made an instant impact, scoring a well paced header from an Oscar cross to make it 2-1. However, Chongqing’s midfield dynamo Fernandinho showed some magic once again, dribbling another 4 players and winning a penalty, which Alan Kardec converted to make it 2-2, and that is how it would finish.
Shanghai Shenhua beat Beijing Renhe 4-1. Beijing Renhe looked especially terrible on the night, as Shanghai Shenhua strolled to an easy 4-1 victory. With new signing Stephan El Shaarawy on the bench, Kim Shin Wook stole the show, scoring and assisting. Giovanni Moreno added another and Jiang Shenglong finished off what was a rout. Beijing Renhe pulled one back through a fluke handball penalty which allowed Makhete Diop on the scoresheet. These are worrying times for Beijing Renhe, who are bottom of the table on 11 points, three points from safety with just 11 games remaining.
Shandong Luneng defeated Shenzhen FC 3-0. In a relatively lop-sided content, Graziano Pellè, Marouane Fellaini and an own goal powered Shandong to a resounding win. Shenzhen will be left reeling due to some sloppy defending and goalkeeping, conceding two rebounds off strikes from distance. Shenzhen fans will begin to get nervous as it seems they have slipped into the relegation dogfight alogn with Tianjin Tianhai and Beijing Renhe.
Dalian Yifang drew Tianjin Teda 3-3. Carrasco opened the scoring on 25 minutes scoring an “olimpico”, directly from a corner into the top corner. Former Bayern Munich striker leveled in the 32nd minute with a header from a corner. Two minutes later, the big German laid on a fantastic assist for Frank Acheampong, 2-1 to Tianjin. Carrasco equalized following a fine run and finish, as the Belgian continues his fine scoring form of late. Dalian’s latest signing, Salomon Rondon made his debut on the hour mark after reuniting with Rafa Benitez from their time together at Newcastle. Dalian defender Qin Sheng then rashly pulled back Frank Acheampong in the penalty area, resulting in a penalty and a straight red card. Achempong scored, but one twist remained in the match. Debutant, Salomon Rondon scored in the 84th minute to level the match at 3-3.
Heibei China Fortune drew Tianjin Tianhai 2-2. This match began with shambolic finishing, and was somehow still 0-0 when in the 49th minute, Leonardo scored an absolute screamer form the right end of the penalty area into the top left corner. Dong Xuesheng leveled on 54 minutes after a scrap following a long throw. Hebei took the lead after Javier Mascherano’s long ball found its way through to Fernandinho, who headed over the onrushing goalkeeper. But in stoppage time, Renatinho rescued a point for relegation threatened Tianjin, who will cherish every point going into the run in.
Henan Jianye drew Wuhan Zall 0-0. A relatively drab match between two mid table sides could see neither team seize control. Both teams can consider themselves relatively safe, which Wuhan potentially looking to challenge for the top five places.
OFF THE PITCH:
Embattled Real Madrid star come outcast, Gareth Bale has been linked to a move to the CSL, with Beijing Guoan and Jiangsu Suning both rumored to be in the race for the Welsh wizard’s signature. Following a very public falling out with Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane, both the club and player are looking for a solution that involved Bale leaving Madrid. At age 30, with exceptionally high wages, few clubs in Europe would be willing to take on the injury prone but still brilliant Bale. However reports have rumored gigantic offers nearing $1 million per week from CSL clubs. This is still nothing but rumor, but with the CSL transfer window shutting in just nine days, this saga should reach a conclusion rather soon. Stay tuned.
The English Premier League has officially launched its new three-year broadcasting partnership with PP Sports in China worth $700 million. The announcement took place at the Suning Bellagio Hotel in Shanghai on the eve of the 2019 Premier League Asia Trophy finals day.
Premier League Interim Chief Executive Richard Masters said, “We are delighted to be here to officially launch our partnership with PP Sports. We have witnessed fantastic support during the 2019 Premier League Asia Trophy and look forward to working closely with PP Sports for the next three years to bring Premier League football to our growing fanbase in China.”
Meanwhile Suning CEO Sun Weimin said: “Have no doubt, we will continue to increase our investment in the sports industry. PP Sports can become the vehicle and medium to connect resources, commercialization and football together in one ecosystem. Commerce and football, this is Suning’s real area of expertise.” Starting with the upcoming season, PP Sports will provide fans in China with a live match broadcasting service, using special visual technology to create unique match atmospheres, multi-angle replays, and expert tactical analysis.
Salomon Rondon officially moved to Dalian Yifang to be reunited with his former manager Rafa Benitez. The Venezuelan enjoyed his best ever Premier League campaign under the Spaniard, and will look to continue his fine form for Dalian. The move cost the northeast club upwards of $20 million, and they released Zimbabwean forward Nyasha Mushekwito join second division side Zhejiang Greentown, thus freeing up a foreign space for Salomon Rondon. A robust target man with surprisingly nimble feet, Rondon should trouble pretty much any defense in the CSL, and it will be interesting to see how he links up with Dalian’s creator-in-chief Yannick Carrasco.
PANDAILY PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
This week’s Pandaily Player of the Week is Chongqing Lifan’s Fernandinho. The Brazilian was outstanding against defending champions Shanghai SIPG, scoring an outrageous solo goal, before doing it again and drawing a penalty to draw his team level 2-2. With exceptional pace and energy, his lung busting runs from midfield caused Shanghai plenty of problems, and spoiled a dream debut for Marko Arnautovic. Delighting Chongqing supporters since 2016, the 26-year-old Brazilian has formed a good partnership with striker Alan Kardec and has powered Chongqing to fifth in the table this season. He’s made a habit out of dribbling entire opposition midfields, and makes it look effortless.