Football

Tevez justifies huge pay with a goal, two assists on debut

Tevez, 33, justifies huge pay packet with a goal, two assists 
on Shenhua debut

This is why Shanghai Shenhua were willing to make a 33-year-old the highest-paid footballer in the world ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo.

Argentine star Carlos Tevez, who reportedly commands a salary of 38 million euros (S$56.9 million) a year at Shenhua, scored on his league debut for the Chinese Super League club on Sunday as he struck from the penalty spot and had a hand in two others in a 4-0 victory over Jiangsu Suning.

Former Colombia international Giovanni Moreno opened the scoring for Shenhua with a header in the 17th minute when he got on the end of a Tevez cross.

Following Tevez's 36th-minute spot-kick, Shanghai-born Mao Jianqing made it 3-0 in the 79th minute from close range after being set up by another Colombian Fredy Guarin.

Tevez then capped a fine league debut by teeing up Moreno for his second and Shenhua's fourth with four minutes left.

Jiangsu finished second behind Guangzhou Evergrande last year, but their horror start to the season was compounded when 50m-euro signing Alex Teixeira was sent off in injury time.

The spotlight undoubtedly belonged to former Manchester United, Manchester City and Juventus striker Tevez, whose signing in January came just before Chinese football authorities announced a crackdown on "irrational" spending, including a cap on transfer fees, wages and the number of foreign players per team.

Shenhua coach Gus Poyet said Sunday's win was the perfect response after the Chinese club were dumped out of the AFC Champions League last month in a shock 2-0 home defeat by Brisbane Roar.

It was Tevez's first match for Shenhua.

"I don't want to think too much about all the goals we scored," said the Uruguayan, who formerly coached Sunderland and AEK Athens.

"But it proves the ability we have, that we were able to overpower such a strong team like Jiangsu.

"Now that we have proved ourselves, I hope the fans can have renewed confidence in us."

COMEBACK

Meanwhile, Andre Villas-Boas' Shanghai SIPG came from behind for an impressive 5-1 win over Changchun Yatai, with their trio of expensive Brazilians running riot.

After going behind to Fan Xiadong's long-range strike in the 26th minute, Oscar, SIPG's 60m-euro signing from Chelsea - an Asian record - won a penalty in the 34th minute which was converted by 55m-euro man Hulk.

Fellow Brazilian Elkeson then bagged an opening-day hat-trick - the first of which was laid on by a sumptuous Oscar backheel - before Wu Lei completed the rout.

Elsewhere, former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Paulinho scored both goals as Guangzhou Evergrande began their quest for a seventh straight title with a 2-1 triumph over Beijing Guoan. - AFP

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