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Shanghai Shenhua threaten legal action following match-fixing claims

Giovanni Moreno in action for Shanghai Shenhua against Jiangsu Suning.
Giovanni Moreno scored twice for Shanghai Shenhua as they rescued a point against Jiangsu Suning.

Shanghai Shenhua have threatened to take legal action to end claims the club was involved in manipulating the result of their last-gasp 2-2 draw with Jiangsu Suning at the weekend.

Giovanni Moreno scored twice in the final 10 minutes to earn Gus Poyet's side a point and deny Fabio Capello his first win at Jiangsu since taking over at the struggling club in mid-June.

Wu Xi and Alex Teixeira, with a penalty, looked to have given Jiangsu the three points, but the draw, which was sealed by a 94th-minute equaliser, moved last season's runners-up off the bottom of the table and above Yanbian Funde.

"There is a lot before and after the game about Shenhua and the opponent fixing the result," Shenhua said in a statement. "Was this the performance of a team and coach told to lose the game?

"Recently a few people with ulterior motives fabricated a lot of rumours without basis in fact. They hoped to bring chaos to football and Shenhua.

"We solemnly tell Shenhua fans, please fully trust our management, coaching staff and all the players.

"We have set up a special team of lawyers, using a variety of legal means, to investigate the people involved in these rumours."

Match-fixing has been a major issue for Chinese football in the past, but with huge sums of money being spent to lure some of the biggest names in the game to the Chinese Super League in recent years, clubs and the authorities are particularly sensitive about the issue.

The draw was Shenhua's fifth of the season as Poyet's side have failed to launch a challenge for the title despite the signing of Carlos Tevez. Shanghai currently sit in ninth, 17 points behind leaders Guangzhou Evergrande.

Michael Church has written about Asian football for more than 20 years and mainly covers the Chinese game for ESPN FC. Twitter: @michaelrgchurch

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