Shanghai SIPG loss allows Shandong Luneng to close in
Vitor Pereira criticised his Shanghai SIPG side's lack of discipline on Sunday evening as the Chinese Super League leaders lost for the first time in domestic competition this season.
Odion Ighalo struck twice as Changchun Yatai took all three points with a 2-1 win over SIPG to allow Shandong Luneng to reduce the gap at the summit to a solitary point.
"Our opponents taught us a lesson today," Pereira said after his side's defeat. "Football is actually very simple. When you attack, everyone attacks together and you must maintain the formation.
"You have to be compact defensively and defend together, but the team I saw today was not like that. We attacked and lost the ball and we were scattered everywhere, leaving a lot of space. This is not our way of playing. We need to learn from this kind of game."
Ighalo put Changchun in front after just 14 minutes but Wu Lei levelled the scores four minutes before half-time with his 10th goal of the season. Changchun, though, took all three points thanks to a second from Ighalo, which came in the 69th minute.
Jin Jindao, meanwhile, claimed both goals for Li Xiaopeng's Shandong as they defeated Henan Jianye to win for the third time in a row and climb back into second place ahead of champions Guangzhou Evergrande.
Evergrande had briefly occupied second spot after their late win over Jiangsu Suning on Saturday evening, but victory for Shandong moves them on to 18 points, one behind SIPG and one ahead of Evergrande.
Beijing Guoan cimb up to fourth following their 4-3 win over Guizhou Zhicheng, who failed to pick up a point despite a hat trick from Babacar Trawallay.
Jonathan Veira scored twice and Ba Dun added a third as Beijing raced into a three-goal lead by the 26th minute before Trawally scored his first of the night.
Cedric Bakambu restored Beijing's three-goal cushion and Trawallay's goals in the 75th and 77th minutes were not enough to rescue Gregorio Manzano's team, who remain in 15th place with just three points.
Only Dalian Yifang sit below Guizhou and they remain rooted to the bottom of the table following their 1-0 loss to Shanghai Shenhua while Renatinho's goal earned Guangzhou R&F a 1-0 win over 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