Tianjin Quanjian made headlines this week for their rumoured pursuit of Andres Iniesta but they let their football do the talking in a 4-2 defeat of Jeonbuk Motors in the AFC Champions League.
On Monday, the Chinese Super League side issued a strong statement vehemently denying they were seeking to lure the Barcelona icon away from Camp Nou with wages of up to €35million a year.
The club threatened legal action regarding the "false" and "untrue" stories, and on Wednesday's evidence it seems the Spain international is hardly needed as they ended Jeonbuk's 100 per cent record in Group E.
Tianjin twice led through Wang Yongpo and Zhang Cheng, only to be pegged back by Kim Shin-wook and Adriano, but Anthony Modeste - guilty of a shocking miss at 1-0 - struck in the 84th minute and Alexandre Pato added a fourth deep in stoppage time as the hosts closed to within two points of Jeonbuk with two games remaining.
Kashiwa Reysol are three points further back in third after they had Masashi Kamekawa sent off for a professional foul 15 minutes into their 1-0 loss to Kitchee, who got off the mark in this season's competition thanks to an injury-time winner from Cheng Chin Lung.
Group E standings after Matchday 4! March 14, 2018
In Group G, Guangzhou Evergrande moved into a strong position courtesy of a 2-0 win at Jeju United. Nemanja Gudelj and Alan were on target, while the hosts had Kim Won-il sent off in added time for a second caution.
Guangzhou are now three points clear of Buriram United and Cerezo Osaka, who drew 2-2 in Japan.
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