Chinese Super League Review: Oscar shines as Elkeson hat-trick leads Shanghai SIPG to victory
Oscar shone and Elkeson scored a hat-trick as Shanghai SIPG began their Chinese Super League campaign with a brilliant 5-1 victory over Changchun Yatai.
Former Chelsea midfielder Oscar continues to impress in the fledgling stages of his Shanghai career, playing a key role in three goals as Andre Villas-Boas' first CSL game at the helm ended in an emphatic win.
Fabio Cannavaro's debut in the Tianjin Quanjian dugout did not prove as fruitful, though, his side losing 2-0 to Guangzhou R&F. In Saturday's other fixture, Shandong Luneng left it late to secure a 2-0 victory over Tianjin Teda.
BRAZILIAN TRIO TORMENT CHANGCHUN
Following his €60million move from Chelsea, Oscar marked his competitive Shanghai debut with a goal that helped ensure AFC Champions League qualification. He was just as influential in his first CSL outing and linked up with fellow Brazilian's Hulk and Elkeson excellently.
Oscar drew a foul inside the area from Fan Xiaodong – scorer of an exceptional volley that gave Changchun the lead – and Hulk slammed the resultant penalty into the top-right corner.
The 25-year-old then latched onto Hulk's pass into the box and produced a backheel that Elkeson rolled home, and Oscar was key to his compatriot completing his hat-trick after the break. After initiating a one-two with Wu Lei, his dummy enabled the former Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao man to add his third before Wu rounded off the scoring as Villas-Boas' side made a scintillating start to the season.
— Oscar (@oscar8) March 4, 2017
FALSE START FOR QUANJIAN'S STARS
Quanjian were as notable for the players they ambitiously targeted during the close-season as well as those they actually signed. As it happened, Wayne Rooney, Radamel Falcao and Diego Costa were nowhere to be seen as Axel Witsel lined up for an ultimately disappointing debut alongside Alexandre Pato.
Xiao Zhi headed Guangzhou's 29th-minute opener, where Tianjin's set-piece defending will have given Ballon d'Or-winning central defender Cannavaro plenty of food for thought.
Guangzhou doubled their advantage after the hour thanks to more benevolence from their visitors. Goalkeeper Lu Zhang hit a poor clearance to Renatinho and parried the Brazilian forward's initial effort back at him to finish at the second attempt.
LIU AND CISSE LEAVE IT LATE
Graziano Pelle warmed the gloves of Teda goalkeeper Du Jia with a trademark acrobatic volley in the first half, but it was a cool Liu Binbin finish that finally put a laboured Shandong ahead in the 78th minute.
Papiss Cisse made sure of all three points for Felix Magath's team when he tucked Wu Xinghan's cross into the bottom-right corner four minutes later.