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Analysis: Guangzhou overpower Cerezo to top Group G


Friday, April 20, 2018
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Guangzhou: Despite a few nervy moments, Guangzhou Evergrande confirmed their spot in the Round of 16 for the seventh time in the last eight years with a 3-1 win over Cerezo Osaka on Tuesday.


The home side was made to work for their win against a plucky Cerezo Osaka side that needed to win to seal their own progression to the Round of 16.

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Under the Radar

In a side with as many stars as Guangzhou Evergrande there are always going to be some players that go under the radar, and Li Xuepeng is certainly one of those.

The speedy left-back is one of his side’s most consistent performers and gives Guangzhou a real presence down the left hand side of the field, always bombing forward to join in with the attack.

His performance against Cerezo Osaka was a typically dynamic performance, providing the assist for the first goal of the night and whipping in a number of dangerous crosses from the left.

As his heat map (above) shows, he likes to spend most of his time in the attacking half where he is at his most dangerous.


Alan on the spot

Brazilian attacker Alan continued his love affair with the AFC Champions League with another brace to make it 11 goals in his last 16 games for the Chinese champions in the continental competition.

Like all good attackers, he knows how to find himself in the right place at the right time, and so it was on Tuesday when he scored both of his goals from in and around the six-yard box.

As his attacking map (below) shows, he might not have a lot of the ball, but he doesn’t need to. His impact comes from being in the right place at the right time, and with two goals – and a further two shots blocked – he more than fulfilled his role on Tuesday.

Perfection

Nemanja Gudelj is quickly proving to be an astute signing for Guangzhou Evergrande, with the Serbian international producing another quality display in central midfield.

With Zheng Zhi suspended, Gudelj partnered Huang Bowen in midfield and showed he is more than ready to replace Zheng as the leader in the Guangzhou midfield.

The 26-year-old got forward and had four shots on goal, but it was his passing that was the highlight of the night. As his passing map (below) shows, he had plenty of the ball, completing 42 passes on the night. What makes his performance so impressive is that he recorded 100 percent accuracy for his passing.

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