Shanghai SIPG remain three points behind defending champions Guangzhou Evergrande, following a goalless draw with Tianjin Quanjian on Sunday in Round 20 of the Chinese Super League (CSL). Get the latest football tips here.
This was SIPG’s third game in a row that they have failed to win and their failure to pick up all three points sees them trail Guangzhou Evergrande, who extended their advantage after their 3-0 victory over Tianjin Teda on Saturday.
However, SIPG retained their five-point cushion over Fabio Cannavaro’s third placed team with just a third of the current campaign remaining.
“We are very close to Tianjin in the rankings,” said SIPG manager Andre Villas-Boas.
“Today neither of us has created enough opportunities. If either side had scored first, it would have been another story.
“Tianjin might be quite satisfied with the draw but for us it’s disappointing because our gap to Evergrande increased to three points.”
The sides Brazilian star Oscar is coming to the end of his eight-game ban for triggering a brawl in a CSL game in June and his absence from the squad is evident in SIPG’s rough patch of form, something that has frustrated Villas-Boas.
Since the ban SIPG have won just three of their seven league games, jeopardizing their Chinese Super League title hopes.
The results of the other games played over the weekend were as follows:
Shandong Luneng and Beijing Guoan played out a 2-2 draw.
Hebei CFFC defeated bottom side Yanbian Funde 3-0.
Shanghai Shenhua shared a 1-1 draw with Changchun Yatai.
Guizhou Zhicheng notched up a 1-0 win over Chongqing Lifan.
Jiangsu Suning continued their climb clear of the relegation zone, moving to 13th in the 16-team league after a 2-2 draw with Henan Jianye.
Round 21 commences Wednesday with eight games taking place over two days. Round 22 starts on Saturday 12th August.