So the first day of the season has finally arrived and for many, the day was one of joy. But sadly not for Changchun Yatai fans.
The North-East side headed south to play against Shandong Luneng Taishan and, admittedly, Shandong were heavy favourites to win this game.
While this was the case, the way Changchun played throughout the game will have left a bitter taste in the mouth of their fans.
Shandong finished the game as 2-0 winners and could easily have scored more, with one goal being disallowed late in the game.
Changchun fielded a largely new look side with few familiar faces for Changchun fans. The unfamiliarity the players had with each other was evident with passes being intercepted at a high rate throughout the match.
It is hoped that throughout the rest of the 2015 the team will begin to gel and form an affinity with each other but, the way the players played on Sunday, this might take longer than the fans will want.
Marcelo Moreno, a new foreign player, had the best chance for Changchun to score and his international experience showed on the pitch as he was clearly the best player for the team during the match.
Fans will hope Moreno’s experience can spread through the team to help them perform well together.
The one area that needs the most work for Changchun is their defence. In previous articles it has been mentioned that defence is an issue for the team and it appears that nothing has changed.
Pei Shuai played consistently and was able to distribute the ball out from the back fairly effectively, but new signing, Ma Xiaolei, truly let the team down by making some poor decisions and receiving two yellow cards during the first game of the season.
The team’s passing game and the team’s defence are areas that will require a lot of work if Changchun hope to reach the Top 8 this season. This is just game one, but these areas can’t be ignored for long.
Changchun Team (vs Shandong): Song Zhenyu, Ma Xiaolei, Anzur Ismailov, Pei Shuai, Zhang Xiaofei, Du Zhenyu, Yan Feng, Jiang Zhe, Szabolcs Huszti, Marcelo Moreno, Akos Elek
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