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Guangzhou Evergrande 'is not a great team' - Lippi

Guangzhou Evergrande boss Marcello Lippi has criticised his side for losing the second leg of the Asian Champions League Round of 16.

The reigning Chinese and Asian champions had essentially booked their spot in the quarter-finals when beating Cerezo Osaka 5-1 in the first leg last week but their Italian manager Lippi was unhappy with their 1-0 home defeat in the return bout.

"We didn't do well today. Our goalkeeper, defenders and midfielders made lots of mistakes which led to a sense of insecurity for the entire team," said Lippi.

"Today's opponents didn't send their best team, so mentally our team was too relaxed. This game will be worth reviewing, and it also proved that Guangzhou Evergrande is not a great team because a great team wouldn't show such a loose attitude in an important match like this.

"Sometimes our players seem lost, even though we are at the top in the domestic league and have also qualified in the AFC Champions League. But we need more and to improve continuously, and that is how we can become a great team.

"However, the most important thing is that we qualified. Not all the Chinese teams were able to reach the last eight of the AFC Champions League. We have three games to play before the next round, and in the second half of the year we have to sprint in every competition."

Guangzhou have been joined in the ACL quarter-finals by Pohang Steelers and FC Seoul (both South Korea), Al-Ain (UAE), Al-Hilal and Al-Ittihad (both Saudi Arabia), Western Sydney Wanderers (Australia) and Al-Sadd (Qatar).

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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