China news

Anelka scores in debut loss

March 16, 2012
By ESPNsoccernet staff

Nicolas Anelka made an instant impact in Chinese football on his Shanghai Shenhua debut, scoring as his side fell to a 3-2 defeat against bitter rivals Beijing Guo'an.

Anelka was made captain for his CSL debut
GettyImagesAnelka was made captain for his CSL debut

Anelka, 33, moved to the Chinese Super League side in January after a dispute with former-Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas and missed last week's season opener with a late injury picked up in training.

Making his debut in the confines of Beijing's Workers Stadium, Anelka witnessed his side fall 2-0 down shortly after half-time, with goals from Piao Cheng and Portuguese wide-man Manu for the capital side.

That was Shenhua's cue to respond and within minutes they had levelled, with a goal from Australian former-Beijing Guo'an striker Joel Griffiths quickly followed up by Anelka's debut strike.

Shenhua's comeback was shortlived though and it was their former player Mao Jianqing who made the late breakthrough to send the majority of the 51,000 fans into raptures.

Shanghai Shenhua then suffered further disappointment as regular captain Jiang Kun, who had given Anelka the armband for this encounter, was shown a late red-card having come on as a substitute.

Anelka will have written the headlines, but his Shenhua side remain winless after their opening two league fixtures.