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Dalian Down? Shanghai Shenxin pour petrol on relegation fire

Dalian Shide 1 – 4 Shanghai Shenxin

CSL round 28

Adriano 12;  Wang Yun 19, Anselmo 15 (pen),  Antônio Flávio 52, Anselmo 84

Shanghai Shenxin completely outclassed Dalian Shide on their own turf to keep the final relegation spot wide open in the CSL. With just two games to go, not only did they win but they may have just created the decisive dent in the armor of the Dalian side. Adriano silenced the traveling fans but goals from Wang Yun, Antônio Flávio and a double from Anselmo means Shenxin still have every chance of staying up.

All eyes were on the Nanjing Olympic Stadium this weekend, but there was more to be decided at the other end of the table, Henan Jianye would need a big performance against Tianjin Teda to stay up and Shide could well have had a relaxed final two games had they despatched Shenxin.

After 12 minutes in Dalian Shide looked well on their way, Zambian James Chamanga combined with Bulgarian Martin Kamburov to beautifully carve open the Shenxin defence for Brazilian Adriano to round Liu Dianzuo in the Shanghai sticks and slot home.

To stay in the game and the league, Shenxin would need an immediate response and just seven minutes later Antônio Flávio lofted a glorious ball in for former Shide midfielder Wang Yun to nicely poke the ball past Zhang Chong for his sixth goal of the season. It could have been even better for the visitors had an awful offside call not ruled out Anselmo’s effort on the half hour.

Just before half time though, Dalian defender Li Xuepeng clipped Wang Jiayu’s feet in the box to award a pivotal penalty that Anselmo blasted home to put Shenxin 2-1 up going into the break.

Dalian would start the second half brightly but on 52 minutes a counter attack left two defenders taking on three goal-bound Shenxin attackers, the ball squared to Antônio Flávio who finished nicely as he turned the ball home from just beyond the penalty spot.

The attacks would continue for Shide who desperately piled forward to claw their way back into the game. However, as the ball swung in for another attack, Shenxin’s Dianzuo punched out to Jailton Paraíba who raced from the half-way line and split the Dalian defence to allow Anselmo to hit his eleventh goal of the season.

Dalian could have salvaged some pride and more importantly, goal difference as Johnny felled Dalian’s Chamanga who wanted the penalty himself only for Adriano to have his penalty nicely saved to his left by Liu Dianzuo to finish the game with a morale boosting 4-1 score line for Shanghai Shenxin.

Where does this leave the CSL relegation battle? Sadly Henan Jiaye’s tenure was temporarily extended with a spirited draw at Tianjin Teda but with only eight points from their last possible 30, their departure is expected. Mathematically, even Drogba’s Shanghai Shenhua are not currently safe and with Liaoning Whoin, Qingdao Jonoon, Hangzhou and Shandong Luneng also in the mix, but realistically it’s Dalian Shide or Shanghai Shenxin who face the chop. Shenxin have only tasted top flight football for the last couple of years in contrast to Shide, one of China’s most famous sides, who have been eclipsed by the meteoric rise of Dalian Aerbin and either side will need to be at their best in the remaining games. Looking at the remaining fixtures, it’s still a close call;

Dalian Shide remaining fixtures:

  • October 27 away at Henan Jianye
  • November 3 home to Guizhou Renhe

Shanghai Shenxin remaining fixtures:

  • October 27 home to Shandong Luneng
  • November 3 away at Liaoning Whowin

Dalian should take three points at Henan but a desperate team can be a dangerous one whilst their final game against Guizhou Renhe is a tall order and Shenxin face two of the aforementioned teams in trouble, Luneng and Liaoning. The champions are yet to be decided and the relegation battle looks to be just as close.

Pete is from Sheffield, England and came to China in 2008 initially living in Shenyang where he witnessed his first CSL game, Liaoning Whowin v Chengdu Blades. Pete is a fanatic Sheffield Wednesday fan but has picked up football allegiances from various trips, Galatasary in Turkey, Piacenza in Italy and Muangthong United in Thailand. In early 2009 he moved to Beijing and after a brief time started attending Guoan games regularly. Pete graduated in Journalism in the UK and has written for several educational publications on Chinese education for his day job as well as Chinese football for WEF which he wishes was more developed but avidly follows the Imperial Guards on their quest for CSL supremacy regardless.

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