May 6, 2018 / 4:29 PM / 6 months ago

Toothless Shandong miss chance to leapfrog Shanghai at the top

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Shandong Luneng missed the chance to go top of the Chinese Super League on Sunday as Li Xiaopeng’s side were held to a 0-0 draw by promoted Beijing Renhe.

A win would have seen the former champions move ahead of Shanghai SIPG after Vitor Pereira’s team lost for the second game in a row on Saturday after suffering a 2-1 defeat against Beijing Guoan.

SIPG won the first six games of the season - a Chinese Super League record - but have picked up just a point in their last three matches and are now level on 19 points with Shandong.

“This was a difficult away game,” said Shandong coach Li, whose team remained in second place.

“Actually, I think we did well but it’s a pity it ended in a draw. There were no goals, so it was a bit of a boring game.”

Beijing Guoan are in third place after their win over SIPG and Guangzhou Evergrande’s surprise 3-0 loss to Dalian Yifang, who moved off the bottom of the table with their first win of the season.

That defeat dropped the seven-times defending champions down to fourth but they remain just two points off the summit.

Alex Teixeira and Huang Zichang were on target as Jiangsu Suning beat Changchun Yatai 2-0 to remain within three points of the lead while Eran Zahavi and Renatinho scored as Guangzhou R&F won 4-2 against Shanghai Shenhua.

Tianjin Quanjian prepared for their Asian Champions League meeting with Guangzhou Evergrande later in the week with a morale boosting 1-0 win over Chongqing Lifan courtesy of a solitary goal from Alexandre Pato.

Manuel Pellegrini’s woes at Hebei China Fortune continued with a 1-0 loss at home to Henan Jianye that dropped the Chilean’s side down to 12th.

Gregorio Manzano appears to be on borrowed time at Guizhou Zhicheng, who were thrashed 5-1 by Tianjin Teda to drop to the bottom of the table with just one win from their first nine games of the season.

Frank Acheampong and Hui Jiakang both scored a brace for Teda to leave Guizhou three points adrift at the foot of the standings.

“There was no big difference between the teams in the first 15 minutes,” said Manzano.

“But Tianjin scored with their first shot and that enhanced their confidence. As head coach, I have a lot of problems that are waiting to be solved.”

Reporting by Michael Church, Editing by Toby Davis

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