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Lippi goes on offensive over team's defensive play

By Qiu Quanlin in Guangzhou (China Daily) Updated: 2012-06-01 07:54

World-Cup winning coach Marcello Lippi was well known in Italy for his soccer philosophy of defense and counter-attack.

But in China, the Guangzhou Evergrande coach is unhappy that his tactics are being questioned.

"We created many opportunities to score and played very hard to stop counter-attacking from the Japanese side. If the boys were more determined in attack, we would have scored more goals today," said the 64-year-old Italian after Guangzhou edged out Japanese Emperor's Cup winner FC Tokyo 1-0 in his first Asian Champions League test on Wednesday.

Lippi's team has scored only three goals in its past three games, in the Chinese Super League and the AFC Champions League, since he took charge last month.

Lippi goes on offensive over team's defensive play

Before the win against FC Tokyo on Wednesday, Guangzhou had drawn 1-1 with Shandong Luneng and defeated Qingdao Jonoon 1-0 in the domestic league.

On Wednesday night, Lippi used more attacking 4-2-3-1 formation, different from the 4-3-2-1, which he prefers.

He moved international player Zheng Zhi from centerback to a defensive midfield position.

Lippi attributed the 1-0 win over the Japan side to a stronger lineup, especially following Brazilian striker Muriqui's recovery from an injury.

"As a club with an international approach, we should have at least two or three formations. We should change the lineups according to players' form," Lippi said.

"I may make further changes in the matches ahead as we have at least three months to recover from this season's hard schedule. We only have matches in the domestic league before the opening of the last eight finals (of the Champions League) in September," he said.

Lippi said the club plans to introduce more international players during the break this month.

"But it is not an appropriate time to talk about the details," he said.

The Guangzhou side is the first Chinese team to enter the final eight of Asia's premier club competition since Shanghai Shenhua reached the quarterfinals in 2006.

"My team played as we expected before the game. Our opponents were not tall, but they had good technique and played fast. I am very satisfied with the result as we left little room for them to attack," Lippi said.

(China Daily 06/01/2012 page24)

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