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Chinese Super League

Gus Poyet slams Shanghai Shenhua derby defeat by Shanghai SIPG as ‘unacceptable’

Andre Villas-Boas’ charges remain just two points behind leaders Guangzhou Evergrande at the top of the table after recording 3-1 away win on Saturday

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 21 May, 2017, 3:28pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 21 May, 2017, 10:57pm

Coach Gus Poyet labelled Shanghai Shenhua’s 3-1 derby defeat by Shanghai SIPG as “unacceptable” as the big-spending side bereft of Argentinian Carlos Tevez slipped further off the pace in the Chinese Super League.

Brazilian Hulk struck in the 89th minute at Hongkou Stadium for SIPG before an unfortunate stoppage time own goal from Shenhua’s Li Yunqiu as Andre Villas-Boas’ charges remained just two points behind leaders Guangzhou Evergrande at the top of the table.

But for Poyet, it was a fourth defeat in nine games to leave Shenhua eighth and already 12 points behind SIPG, albeit with a game in hand after the home side had been unable to build on Nigerian Obafemi Martins cancelling out Wu Lei’s 35th-minute opener just before half-time.

“I feel very sad now, the score is unacceptable. We had very obvious opportunities during the game, but we didn’t seize them due to certain reasons,” said Poyet.

“In the last 15 minutes both teams pulled open the formation. The one who had ability to score were meant to win the game, but that didn’t happen to us.”

Watch: Shanghai Shenhua 1-3 Shanghai SIPG highlights

The match was Shenhua’s first home game since early March following a fire at Hongkou Stadium, which meant Poyet’s side had been forced to play six consecutive away games.

Tevez has not played for Shenhua since early April due to injury, with the Argentinian still struggling to justify his $800,000 a week salary.

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“I am very satisfied with my players, they gave everything and took initiative all the time. They didn’t give a thought of holding on for a draw and they kept attacking,” added Poyet.

“We really hoped to win the game at home and we kept attacking, so the players consumed a lot of energy.”

In stark contrast, cross-town rivals SIPG continue to flourish under Villas-Boas after recording a third consecutive win to extend their unbeaten streak to seven games.

SIPG also splashed the cash before the season by bringing in Brazilian Oscar for €60 million (HK$496m) from Chelsea to join compatriots Hulk and Elkeson, but the trio have quickly formed an effective partnership.

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This is a polar opposite to what has been witnessed at Shenhua with Tevez managing just four domestic outings and then visiting Disneyland with his family while his side were playing a game after the Argentinian had remained at home to undergo treatment.

SIPG have also reached the last 16 of the AFC Champions League, while Shenhua failed to progress beyond the play-offs.

Watch: Guangzhou Evergrande 2-1 Jiangsu Sunning highlights

“The game was in our control and we created a lot of chances. We didn’t have much time to prepare for the game due to the consecutive away games in the last week, but everything was under control and we played really well,” SIPG assistant coach Daniel Sousa said after Villas-Boas was sent to the stands during a heated final few minutes.

“Derby games are always full of emotions and it was also an away game. Not only the players were emotional, the staff too. In fact we had nothing to complain about, we just thought the additional time was too long.”

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Defending champions Guangzhou kept their place at the top of the table after beating basement side Jiangsu Suning 2-1 on Friday, with Hebei CFFC up to third after recording a 2-1 win over Liaoning as Guangzhou R&F slipped down to fourth after a 2-2 draw with Beijing on Friday.

Both Guangzhou and SIPG now switch their attentions to their last 16 ties in the AFC Champions League, with Luis Felipe Scolari’s side entertaining Japan’s Kashima Antlers at home in their first leg on Tuesday, while Villas-Boas’ side entertain Jiangsu on Wednesday.

Watch: Hebei CFFC 2-0 Liaoning highlights

“I am very happy to help my team win the game,” said SIPG striker Hulk after netting his fifth goal in 10 domestic games this season.

“It was a very difficult game for us. I tried to score a goal with my left foot many times and didn’t make it, so I tried my right foot and I was quite lucky.”

Despite their lowly league position, Jiangsu have proven they can hold their own in the AFC Champions League by comfortably qualifying from their group with five wins from their six games.