Source: China State Council Information Office
They are clear on top of their AFC Champions League group, but Beijing FC will take nothing for granted in Asia’s premier competition, according to head coach Bruno Génésio.
Goals from Fernando and A Lan helped Beijing secure an important 2-1 win over Korea Republic’s FC Seoul on Saturday, taking their tally to the maximum six points from two matches in the competition.
With their next two matches against a Melbourne Victory side which hasn’t played competitively since August, the team from the Chinese capital can already see a potential path to the knockout stage.
But Génésio rejected suggestions his side are benefitting from being in one of the easier groups in this year’s ACL, saying there is no such thing in a competition which brings together the continent’s top clubs.
“I’m not sure about that,” said the former Olympique Lyon head coach. “Every team here wants to win and they’re all difficult to play against.
“I think the one advantage we have is that we have good game rhythm, because we just finished the Super League in China. Maybe, for example, the Australian teams haven’t played for a while, so maybe it’s hard for them to catch that rhythm.
“But, overall, every game here is hard, and we need to try and win as many of them as possible.”
Winning more games appears likely if Beijing can keep up the level of performance they showed on Saturday. They dominated possession and looked worthy winners – particularly in the first half – although they perhaps should have put the game to bed earlier having led 2-0 at the hour mark.
“I think we did very well,” said Génésio. “We showed the team working well in terms of the possession, and the goal from Fernando was very important.
“In the second half we scored another important goal, but unfortunately we conceded a penalty and after Seoul scored that goal, we suffered a bit defensively, but overall I was very happy and satisfied with my team.
“In terms of our tactics, our team always plays that way, whether it’s in China or it’s here. We have lots of players with a good technique, so we are capable of taking control of the game.
“When we were 2-0 up, we needed to keep the ball a little bit and try to control the game more. Also, Seoul pressed us a lot, and left lots of space at the back, so we needed to use those chances to create good counterattacks.”
FC Seoul did improve as the match wore on, particularly after pulling a goal back via Park Chu-young’s 66th-minute penalty, but it was a case of too little, too late for the side led by interim head coach Lee Won-jun.
While Lee took some heart from his team’s more competitive second half display, he is fully aware the pressure will be on his side to get positive results in their next two matches, both against Thailand’s Chiangrai United.
“We have to try to forget these matches as soon as possible,” said Lee. “We have to prepare for the next game because that game will be very important.
“At half time we talked with the players about how we have to play with more confidence and not focus on our mistakes, and that we could improve step by step. I told the players the key would be to be more confident.
“As I said before, we are going to think that every game is like a final, so I think the important thing is to finish analysing this match and prepare for what we have to do next. The most important thing is to recover, both our condition and mentality.”