SHANGHAI SIPG coach Andre Villas-Boas accused powerful Chinese rivals Guangzhou Evergrande of engineering multiple car accidents to delay his team’s arrival at Tianhe Stadium for their AFC Champions League quarter-final clash.
After a tense and action-packed second leg, which nine-man SIPG won on penalties after Guangzhou had overturned a 4-0 first leg deficit to take the game into extra-time, Villas-Boas rolled off a lengthy list of grievances.
The former Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur manager said Guangzhou are “dominating” the Asian Football Confederation, claimed they are enjoying the referees’ favour – and made his claim about them staging car accidents along his team’s route to the stadium.
Despite seeing his side advance to the last four for the first time in the club’s history, Villas-Boas focused on the perceived injustice across the two legs.
“In the last game Fu Huan had a very clean slide tackle which led to his suspension in this match,” he said.
“Yan Junling is suspended for the first leg of the semi-final because the referee gave him a yellow card.
“The referee chose the end of the Guangzhou fans to take the penalties. The referee gives two red cards to our players.
‘Zhang Linpeng should be suspended from this game because he used his elbow in the first game and he’s not suspended, because the committee of ethics and discipline at AFC did not judge an elbow as violent conduct.
“This is the greatest achievement for SIPG ever because it’s against a club that is dominating the AFC.”
A bizarre night in many ways – including a total of 5 'accidents' which delayed our team bus arriving at the stadium… pic.twitter.com/gPas1R6tsd
— Mads Davidsen (@MadsRDavidsen) September 12, 2017
Villas-Boas even went as far as to say Guangzhou, who forced extra-time thanks to two goals each from Alan and Ricardo Goulart, had engineered multiple car accidents in front of the SIPG team bus as it made its way to the stadium.
“We come here on the bus for this game and the same two cars separately had three accidents in front of us. This is the problem,” he said.
“This club can do everything, they can cause accidents in front of us, they have players who can elbow Elkeson and not be suspended and yet we won.
“The referee gave our goalkeeper a yellow card during the penalties and this is a disgrace. It’s a disgrace.
“This is the biggest victory for SIPG and for these players, who gave everything until the end.”
Villas-Boas’ opposite number, Luiz Felipe Scolari, had his own complaints about the officiating.
“Our skipper (Zheng Zhi) was shown a red card in the World Cup qualifier, but the same scenario happened today involving a SIPG player but he only got a yellow card,” said the Brazilian.
“Can anyone here tell me why?
“This comment is not against SIPG, this is not their problem. On the contrary, I congratulate them. I hope Chinese fans will cheer for them too and hope they can advance further in the Asian Champions League.”
Guangzhou, Asian Champions League winners in 2013 and 2015, will now focus on wrapping up a seventh straight Chinese Super League title.