Chinese Super League week one: Five things we learned

By Richard Whiddington | | 2017-03-10 11:23

Chinese Super League week one: Five things we learned

Guangzhou's Alan Douglas Borges de Carvalho heads the ball during a CSL match between Beijing Guoan and Guangzhou Evergrande in Guangzhou, Guangdong province on March 5, 2017. [Photo/VCG]

Beijing Guoan vs. Guangzhou Evergrande lives up to feisty hype

These two teams have a history of fractured relations and the contest arguably stands as the sporting embodiment of China’s north/south rivalry. In a post-match interview, Guangzhou’s manager Luiz Felipe Scolari recognized the importance of the 2-1 win by describing the performance as the best he’d ever seen from his side. The Brazilian’s hyperbole aside however, this fixture was a ferocious visual feast worthy of converting any fans to take up an interest in CSL.

The game was a cocktail of a spectacle with two red cards, a sprinkling of dubious refereeing decisions, and a dramatic late winner by Paulinho all packed inside a bubbling Tianhe Stadium. Although Beijing failed to land an early blow on the league’s champions, their cohesion and intensity were promising signs following a slightly disappointing 2016 campaign.

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