Shanghai SIPG lost ground on leaders Guangzhou Evergrande after they were held to a 2-2 draw by Hebei China Fortune in the Chinese league on Thursday.
Andre Villas-Boas’ visiting side took the lead in the 7th minute when Hulk set up his fellow Brazilian Elkeson with a superbly weighted pass that the striker fired into the Hebei goal past by Yang Cheng.
Yan Junling pulled off a series of fine saves to keep the home side in the lead, but he was finally beaten in the 71st minute when Ezequiel Lavezzi scored with a shot from a tight angle.
Three minutes later Hebei took the lead, Gao Zhunyi finding the net following a goalmouth scramble to put Manuel Pelligrini’s side ahead.
With time running out Shanghai SIPG snatched a late equaliser, Hulk again was the provider as his low cross was clipped into the Hebei goal by He Guan in added time.
Shanghai SIPG remain in second place in the table behind Guangzhou Evergrande who extended their lead to five points after a 3-0 victory at Liaoning Whowin, Hebei are sixth.
Shanghai SIPG squandered an opportunity to move top of the Chinese Super League on Sunday with a dramatic 4-2 defeat at Changchun Yatai.
League leaders Guangzhou Evergrande’s 2-0 loss to Beijing Guo’an on Saturday had opened the door for SIPG to leapfrog them with a win.
However, the visitors, led by Assistant Coach Daniel Sousa while manager Andre Villas-Boas completed a two-match stadium ban, were rocked by three goals in nine first-half minutes as the hosts dominated the opening period.
SIPG, who were also missing Brazilian stars Hulk and Oscar through suspension, were gifted a lifeline in the 53rd minute when Changchun Yatai defender Zhang Xiaofei scored an unfortunate own goal.
However, Changchun Yatai striker Odion Ighalo restored his side’s three-goal advantage just moments later and SIPG were unable to claw back the deficit.
The result leaves Shanghai SIPG second in the table on 36 points, one point behind Guangzhou Evergrande. Changchun Yatai sit in 10th position with 19 points.
Chelsea midfielder, Mikel Obi has hinted he may leave the Premier League club in the January transfer window.
Mikel has been with Chelsea for 10 years and is their second longest-serving player behind captain John Terry but is yet to play this season.
Since arriving at Stamford Bridge in 2006 for a fee of 16 million pounds, the Super Eagles captain has won two Premier League titles, four FA Cups, the Champions League and the Europa League.
Asides the need for playing time having failed to play a single minute in the current season, there are also rumours that he has been offered an incredible $212,000-a-week deal by Chinese club, Shanghai SIPG.
Yaya Toure’s glorious two-goal return to Manchester City line-up from a similar situation could be a reason for Mikel to consider persevering but Chelsea’s great form lately means there is no weak link in the Chelsea midfield for Mikel to benefit.
While these seem to justify a move away, Mikel however, has promised to do his best when called upon to play for the London based club.
“I have never been a guy who made excuses in life, I never shy away from my responsibilities,” Mikel told BBC Sport.
“I have to keep training hard and make sure I change the manager’s mind. I have been professional, I train and work everyday with the team and I hope one day I will get to play.
“I have written my name in the history of this football club and I have won loads of trophies. I have played close to 400 game and have no single regret.
“I still want to win more and help the team. Players move on in life but I am relaxed about January. I will speak to the club find the best solution.”