Paulinho strikes twice as Guangzhou go four points clear in CSL
A double from former Barcelona midfielder Paulinho earned Guangzhou Evergrande a 3-0 win over Beijing Renhe on Sunday to move four points clear at the Chinese Super League summit.
Paulinho’s double came after Wei Shihao gave the seven-times champions the lead with two minutes on the clock.
With Shanghai SIPG held to a 1-1 draw by Wuhan Zall and Beijing Guoan losing 1-0 against Henan Jianye on Saturday, Guangzhou now have clear air between themselves and their nearest rivals.
Fabio Cannavaro’s side sit on 52 points from 20 games after picking up a club-record 11th straight win with both SIPG and Guoan on 48 points with 10 rounds remaining in the title race.
“This team has won a lot of titles before, I know that better than anyone,” said Cannavaro.
“If I lose a game you will say that Cannavaro knows nothing, is young and has no coaching experience and I know that, in the current Chinese Super League set-up, we are not the strongest overall.
“But when you wear the Evergrande jersey, no matter who the opponent is, you must go all out to win.”
SIPG were held as Marko Arnautovic levelled the scores for Vitor Pereira’s side after Liu Yun had put Wuhan in front.
That came 24 hours after Beijing slipped to a second straight loss on Saturday when Franck Ohandza scored the only goal for Henan to leave Beijing in third while Henan moved up to ninth.
Alex Teixeira scored twice as Jiangsu Suning rose to fifth with a 2-0 win over Shenzhen FC, who slipped into the relegation zone, while Tianjin Tianhai climbed out of the bottom two with a 1-0 win over cross-city rivals Tianjin Teda.
Shanghai Shenhua’s resurgence under recently-appointed South Korean coach Choi Kang-hee continued as Kim Shin-wook’s hat-trick earned his team a 5-3 win over Guangzhou R&F that moves Shenhua up to 12th.
Dalian Yifang boss Rafa Benitez had Emmanuel Boateng to thank for their win on Saturday as he scored the only goal of the game against fourth-placed Shandong Luneng and a Marcao double helped Hebei CFFC to a 3-0 win over Jordi Cruyff’s Chongqing Lifan.
REUTERS/Reporting by Michael Church, Editing by Toby Davis