Luiz Felipe Scolari's Guangzhou Evergrande take control in title race
Muriqui scored his first two Chinese Super League goals since returning to Guangzhou Evergrande last month as Luiz Felipe Scolari's side took an even firmer grip on top spot in the standings with a 3-0 win over Shanghai Shenhua.
Andre Villas-Boas' second-placed Shanghai SIPG slipped to a 2-1 defeat against Guizhou Zhicheng to allow the six-time champions to take a massive step toward yet another title.
Guangzhou led the standings by five points at the start of the day but Wang Fan's last minute winner for Guizhou left SIPG with only one win in their last five league games.
"I'm very disappointed with the result today, especially the way we conceded the two goals," Villas-Boas said.
"The second goal showed that we were very weak. Actually at that moment we were on an upward trajectory, however the goal let all of us down.
"After the defeat our chance of winning the league title is small. Now we have to stay focused to keep our second place."
Nikica Jelavic gave Guizhou the lead just seconds after the start of the second half but Lu Wenjun levelled the scores for SIPG with 20 minutes remaining.
But Wang's winner in the 90th minute allowed Evergrande to increase their stranglehold on first place, with Muriqui celebrating his return to the Chinese Super League champions with the opener eight minutes before the break.
The Brazilian forward doubled the lead two minutes after the restart and Ricardo Goulart completed the win six minutes from time as Scolari's side closed in on the club's seventh straight title success.
"We did very well in this match," the former Brazil and Portugal boss said. "We created many opportunities and scored three times. Shenhua are a good team but recently they have been suffering from injuries which left [coach Gus] Poyet with few choices.
"I disagree with what Boas said. SIPG have similar quality to Evergrande. They are still in the running. There are 21 points left to go and we will go for every point until we eventually hold the trophy."
Hebei CFFC moved into third place with a 2-0 win over Beijing Guoan that represented Roger Schmidt's first loss since taking over at the capital club at the start of July.
Ezequiel Lavezzi netted from the penalty spot before Li Hang put the result beyond doubt two minutes from time as Manuel Pellegrini's side jumped ahead of Shandong Luneng and Tianjin Quanjian in the battle for the final place in next season's Asian Champions League.
Jiangsu Suning continued their climb up the table as Fabio Capello's side thrashed Yanbian Funde 4-0 to climb up to 12th in the standings while Liaoning Whowin and Tianjin Teda shared a 1-1 draw.
Michael Church has written about Asian football for more than 20 years and mainly covers the Chinese game for ESPN FC. Twitter: @michaelrgchurch