Chinese Super League 2019 Weekly: Miranda to Jiangsu, Unstoppable Guangzhou Evergrande, Bale to Stay Put
Henan Jianye defeated Beijing Guoan 1-0. In the 28th minute, Wu Yan made a brilliant save for Henan, tipping Cedric Bakambu’s strike onto the post to keep the score level. In the 42nd minute, Henan took the lead as Cameroonian striker Franck Ohandza got the better of South Korean defender Kim Min-Jae before lashing a shot low into the near post. Beijing were constantly frustrated by errant finishing, and Roger Schmidt’s men now find themselves 4 points back of leaders Guangzhou Evergrande.
Wuhan Zall drew with Shanghai SIPG 1-1. In the 4th minute, Wuhan took the lead through Liu Yun’s left footed curler in off the post, following a sweeping attacking move from the home side. Shanghai SIPG’s new striker Marko Arnautovic scored for the second game running with a sliding acrobatic finish from Hulk’s cross to level the score at 1-1. Wuhan’s Jean Evrard Kouassi looked most dangerous, rattling the crossbar just before halftime. Shanghai’s Yu Hai hit the post with a bullet header from a corner, but ultimately Shanghai would have to settle for the draw, losing ground on Guangzhou who are seizing control of the title race.
Guangzhou Evergrande beat Beijing Renhe 3-0. Beijing Renhe were always up against it facing a Guangzhou Evergrande side who are in great form. Fabio Cannavaro’s team have now won their last 11 matches and seem favorites to lift the title. Wei Shihao continued his fine form, scoring a header in the 2nd minute from a Yang Liyu cross. Guangzhou never looked back as Paulinho tapped in from close range after Elkeson was put through to double the lead just before halftime. The former Barcelona midfielder just cannot stop scoring, as he added another after the interval, to make it 3-0, and launching Guangzhou 4 points clear at the top of the table.
Dalian defeated Shandong Luneng 1-0. In just the 3rd minute, Emmanuel Boateng tested Shandong’s keeper with an outrageous header from the edge of the penalty area. Boateng eventually did score, stooping to nod home a header from a Yannick Carrasco free kick in the 20th minute. Marouane Fellaini has a goal disallowed in the 72nd minute for fouling the goalkeeper in the process. Salomon Rondon came on for Emmanuel Boateng in the 75th minute, as he adjusts to his new surroundings in Dalian. Ultimately its a solid three points for Rafa Benitez’s side.
Shanghai Shenhua beat Guangzhou R&F 5-3. Guangzhou R&F are typically involved in high-scoring matches, and this was no different with 8 goals total. Top scorer Zahavi scored a free kick from about 20 yards in the 5th minute, curling it into the top left corner. Gio Moreno then put Shanghai Shenhua ahead with a quick fire brace, including an acrobatic bicycle kick. Kim Shin-Wook, who has been a revelation since arriving in Shanghai this season, scored from a corner to make it 3-2. He then scored twice more, completing his hat trick with a well placed header from a corner. He was Man of the Match with 3 goals and an assist.
Tianjin Tianhai beat Tianjin Teda 1-0. Tianjin Tianhai gained a vital three points against their city rivals as they seek to avoid relegation. On 25 minutes, Frank Acheampong, who has been prolific for Tianjin Teda this season, missed a wide open goal. Then, in the 55th minute, Yao Junsheng became a hero, as he curled a strike into the top left from the inside right channel. The match would finish 1-0, lifting Tianjin Tianhai out of the relegation zone, above Shenzhen FC.
Hebei China Fortune beat Chongqing Lifan 3-0. A mix up between Chongqing defender Liu Le and goalkeeper Yeerjieti Yeerzati left Marcao to tap into an empty net, 1-0 to Hebei. Marcao doubled his team’s lead on 51 minutes tapping in a rebound after Dong Xuesheng forced a save. A deflected strike from Wang Qiuming rounded off a comfortable 3-0 win for Hebei to put further distance between themselves and the relegation battle.
Jiangsu Suning beat Shenzhen FC 2-0. Alex Teixeira scored his first following a handball in the penalty area. The Brazilian converted the subsequent penalty in the 7th minute. Shenzhen’s new signing Dyego Sousa caused Jiangsu problems, but ultimately couldn’t find the scoring touch. Teixeira scored his second through a brilliant one two with Éder, tapping into an open goal. Shenzhen dropped into the relegation zone, 1 point from safety with 10 games remaining.
OFF THE PITCH:
Gareth Bale’s rumored move to the CSL has fallen apart at the final stages, reports BBC’s David Ornstein. Ornstein, commonly known in the industry as a reliable source on transfer news, stated that Bale was closest to signing for Jiangsu Suning before the deal fell apart. There were many doubts as to Bale would enjoy life in China, having had trouble adapting to Spanish culture in Madrid. Chinese culture would have been a bit more difficult transition for the Welsh star with his wife and children. Although the rumored wages were astronomical, Bale now seems set to stay at Madrid, setting up an interesting clash of personalities with manager Zidane, who made it clear that Bale was not in his plans. When fit and firing Bale is one of the best forward’s in world football, and the CSL would have benefited significantly from his arrival both in terms of marketing appeal and footballing quality.
Jiangsu Suning have completed a transfer for Brazilian defender Miranda. Miranda made a name for himself in Europe through stellar performances for both Atletico Madrid and Inter Milan. His arrival will give Jiangsu Suning a needed boost in defense, allowing the creative talents of Alex Teixeira and Éder to flourish. A towering central defender, Miranda’s dominant aerial presence will be a threat in both penalty areas. The move was a free transfer after Miranda and Inter Milan terminated the player’s contract by mutual consent. Miranda’s deal with Jiangsu will last through to December 2021 with wages of $5.0 million net annually. Tuttosport reported that Miranda was convinced to join Jiangsu Suning by the former Inter striker and current Jiangsu #9 Éder.
PANDAILY PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
This week’s Pandaily Player of the Week is Shanghai Shenhua’s Kim Shin-Wook. The colossal South Korean, standing 6 foot 6 inches, has been instrumental in turning Shanghai Shenhua’s season around. Against Guangzhou R&F he scored a hat-trick and recorded an assist. His traditional target man style has given Shanghai Shenhua a focal point in attack. When Stephan El Shaarawy is integrated into the side, his link up play with Kim Shin-Wook should prove to be a quite potent combination. Signed this summer from Korean side Jeonbuk Motors for a fee of nearly $6 million, Shin-Wook is revitalizing the once great Shanghai Shenhua, who are now 7 points clear of the relegation zone.