Andre Villas-Boas, the former Chelsea and Tottenham manager, has accused saboteurs of staging car crashes in front of his Shanghai SIPG team bus in order to delay their arrival at the stadium for Tuesday night’s Asian Champions League quarter-final second leg.
In an extraordinary game against Guangzhou Evergrande, managed by Luiz Felipe Scolari, another former Chelsea coach, the side from Shanghai threw away a 4-0 lead from the first leg and the tie was level at 4-4 going into extra-time. The Brazilian striker Hulk put Shanghai back in the lead on aggregate, 5-4, with a goal in extra-time before his compatriot Ricardo Goulart scored his third and Guangzhou’s fifth to make it 5-1 on the night and 5-5 overall, with no away goals rule in effect.
Shanghai beat Guangzhou, twice winners in the past, on penalties and in Villas-Boas’ post-match press conference, he hinted at a conspiracy against his team, in events leading up to the match and also in the Iranian referee’s decisions. “We come here on the bus for this game and the same two cars separately had three accidents in front of us,” Villas-Boas told China’s online That’s magazine. "This is the problem."
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Villas-Boas was also furious at having two players sent off during the game and also for a yellow card for his goalkeeper Yan Junling during the penalty shoot-out which means he is suspended for the first leg of the semi-final. His allegations against the federation itself are likely to cause the greatest disquiet. Villas-Boas said: “Evergrande manipulate the AFC. They can do whatever they want.”
There were also allegations from Villas-Boas that Guangzhou “blocked” his players and staff from staying in hotels in the city. There have been accusations in the past that Guangzhou have engineered traffic problems in order to slow down the buses of rival teams.