Drogba Strikes Twice For Shenhua
Didier Drogba took only three weeks to make his mark in China and at Shanghai Shenhua.
This newfound form is doing a lot of good for Shenhua, who are moving just a little further away from the red zone in the Chinese Super League after largely dominating Hangzhou Greentown (5-1), on Saturday in the 20th week.
Leading the attack alongside Nicolas Anelka, Didier Drogba scored a brace in the third match in his new colours.
Up until now, the captain of the Ivoirian national selection has only managed an assist in his first match, a draw against the leader Guangzhou R&F (1-1), but he went further this time in his attempts to send Shenhua to the top of the Chinese championship.
After being led following a Feng Gang goal (1-0, 7th), Shanghai Shenhua came back into the game thanks to Didier Drogba's equalizer. The former Chelsea striker benefitted from a superb pass from Lireno and set the record straight in the ninth minute, 1-1.
The Ivoirian, who is already very involved in the life of the team, signed his second goal of the evening and the third for the locals at the end of the evening; one of his characteristically powerful goals (84th), when his team was already in the lead (2-1) thanks to a goal by Feng Renliang (34th).
In the dying minutes of the clash, Shenhua added two more goals, signed by Giovanny Moreno (4-1, 87th) and JoÃ«l Griffiths (5-1, 91st), both thanks to assists by French striker, Nicolas Anelka.
With this success Shenhua, who have not lost in over five matches, climb into ninth position with 24 points. Coach Sergio Batista's men should in all likelihood continue their ascension in the league standings, if the Drogba-Anelka duo maintain their efficiency and their complementarity.
On 11 August Shanghai will head to seventh-placed Tianjin Teda, before hosting Dalian Shide (8th) and Shandong Luneng (12th) in their next three championship fixtures.
Following his first brace, Drogba knows what is expected of him and cannot afford to disappoint; something his club fans let him know about when they gave him a long standing ovation after his two goals.
Having signed up at Shenhua on a two and a half year contract on a weekly salary of 254.000 Euros, Drogba's new life in China has now truly begun.