Oscar strikes to see off Melbourne Victory; Alexandre Pato leads Tianjin
Former Chelsea midfielder Oscar was in stellar form as Shanghai SIPG handed Melbourne Victory a 4-1 thrashing to continue their perfect start to the group phase of the Asian Champions League.
The Brazilian scored twice as Vitor Pereira's side brushed the A-League team aside to pick up their second win in as many weeks and stand two points clear at the top of group F ahead of South Korea's Ulsan Hyundai.
"It was an entertaining game," said Pereira. "Our opponents were good and physically strong, but we scored four goals and I'm very happy with our performance and with the players. Today we fought as a team, as one. The spirit is very good. It's a great result for every fan, the club staff and all of us."
Hulk put SIPG ahead from the penalty spot after Thomas Deng was judged to have handled inside the area and Wu Lei doubled the lead with a spectacular diving header. Oscar claimed his first from just outside the area before Besart Berisha pulled one back from the penalty spot for Melbourne.
Oscar, however, restored SIPG's three-goal cushion in spectacular fashion, curling the ball home from just inside the area 13 minutes from time.
Ulsan, meanwhile, picked up their first win of the competition with a 2-1 victory over Japanese champions Kawasaki Frontale that leaves the South Korean club on their own in second place in the group, with Melbourne third and Kawasaki bottom without a point.
In group E, Alexandre Pato came off the bench to steer Tianjin Quanjian to a share of the points with Japan's Kashiwa Reysol.
Pato was left out of the starting line-up after his angry reaction to being substituted during last week's win over Hong Kong's Kitchee drew the ire of coach Paulo Sousa, but the Brazilian was introduced eight minutes before the interval.
Cristiano gave Kashiwa the lead seven minutes into the second half having earlier missed a penalty, and the J.League side looked set to take all three points just a week after surrendering a two-goal lead in their 3-2 loss against Jeonbuk Motors.
But Pato scored two minutes from time to earn Tianjin a share of the points that sees them sit in second in a group headed by Jeonbuk, who thrashed Diego Forlan's Kitchee 6-0.
"I'm satisfied with the performance of Pato," said Sousa. "He settled into the game quickly and he showed a great attitude. We could see that he's in good shape and I'm glad that he could help the team.
"Today we overcame a lot of difficulties, so I'd like to congratulate my team. They fought to the last second and kept their faith in themselves. We created a lot of opportunities and there were many highlights."
Michael Church has written about Asian football for more than 20 years and mainly covers the Chinese game for ESPN FC. Twitter: @michaelrgchurch