CSL: Guangzhou Evergrande seal seventh straight title with big win
Guangzhou Evergrande sealed their seventh successive Chinese Super League title in emphatic fashion on Sunday, thrashing Guizhou Zhicheng 5-1.
The win put Luiz Felipe Scolari's side nine points clear of Shanghai SIPG, who slipped to a 2-1 loss against Guangzhou R&F, with just two games remaining.
The title was Scolari's third in a row, matching Marcello Lippi's record of three straight championship wins.
They were two goals ahead inside the first 17 minutes against Guizhou thanks to strikes from Gao Lin and Alan Carvalho.
Wang Fan pulled one back with a lob just before the half hour mark but an own goal by former China international Du Wei restored Guangzhou's two-goal cushion.
A fourth from Yu Hanchao put the result beyond any doubt, with Muriqui putting the icing on the cake in injury time.
Assistant coach Paulo Turra, who took charge with Scolari serving the first game of a three-game ban for being sent to the stands last weekend, said: "This year has been the most difficult year, we've had lots of ups and downs.
"In the end, we have won the title and it is a great thing that deserves congratulations.
"Among the biggest leagues in the world, there are probably only two teams who have won a league seven years in a row and they are Lyon and Evergrande.
"Chinese fans should be proud of that."
He said the triumph "should be attributed to the owner and the club first, then the management team and the best home stadium in Asia, including all the fans who follow us for our away games."
SIPG, meanwhile, were behind after just five minutes as Jiang Jihong gave R&F the lead and Eran Zahavi, the league's leading scorer, netted his 25th goal of the season four minutes into the second half before Hulk pulled one back.
Elsewhere, Tianjin Teda defeated Beijing Guoan 2-0 to send Yanbian Funde into the second division alongside Liaoning Whowin.
Jiangsu Suning lost 3-1 to Changchun Yatai and Shanghai Shenhua were held to a 1-1 draw by Chongqing Lifan.
Michael Church has written about Asian football for more than 20 years and mainly covers the Chinese game for ESPN FC. Twitter: @michaelrgchurch