Shanghai SIPG came from behind to beat Beijing Guoan 2-1 on Saturday as the Chinese Super League allowed spectators into the stadium for the first time since the COVID-19 outbreak.
Up to 2,000 fans were permitted to attend the clash between the title contenders in Suzhou in a positive sign for football in China, where the novel coronavirus emerged late last year.
Brazilian playmaker Oscar produced a brilliant individual display as he set up the SIPG equaliser for Wang Shenchao, before scoring the winner with 14 minutes remaining. The match ended with both teams coming together to thank the supporters, who observed strict social distancing guidelines to prevent the spread of the virus.
Guangzhou Evergrande midfielder Paulinho struck a late goal to guide the defending champion to a 2-1 win over Jiangsu Suning, their fifth victory in six games in the competition. Elkeson put Guangzhou in front from the penalty spot before Fabio Cannavaro's side was reduced to 10 men when defender Zhang Linpeng was sent off in the 37th minute.
Italian forward Eder equalised before former Barcelona midfielder Paulinho pounced on an error from Jiangsu goalkeeper Gu Chao to net his fourth goal of the season and ensure Guangzhou maintained its grip on top spot in Group A.
Former Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini converted a late penalty to guide Shandong Luneng to a 2-1 victory over Henan Jianye for their third straight win.
Henrique Dourado cancelled out Moises' opener before Graziano Pelle blew an opportunity to put Shandong in the lead when his spot-kick was saved by Henan goalkeeper Wu Yan. However, Shandong was awarded another penalty seven minutes from time and Fellaini made no mistake.
Shenzhen FC snapped a four-game losing streak with a 3-2 victory over Rafa Benitez's Dalian Pro. Goals from Gao Lin and Harold Preciado gave Shenzhen an early advantage before Salomon Rondon and Marek Hamsik levelled the scores.
John Mary's 74th-minute spot-kick sealed the victory for Shenzhen, moving it up to sixth with six points. Dalian remains rooted at the bottom of Group A with two points.
Elsewhere, Chongqing Lifan defeated Shijiazhuang Ever Bright 1-0 for its first victory of the season, while Hebei CFFC eased past Wuhan Zall 3-1. Guangzhou R&F withstood a late onslaught to secure a 3-2 victory over Shanghai Shenhua.
Eran Zahavi scored twice and Dia Saba added a third to help Giovanni van Bronckhorst's side race into an early 3-0 lead before it was pegged back by goals from Peng Xinli and Giovanni Moreno. Stephane Mbia looked to have snatched a point for Shanghai but his 89th-minute effort was ruled out for offside. Tianjin Teda remained bottom of Group B after suffering a 2-0 defeat by Qingdao Huanghai.
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