Carlos Tevez and Shanghai Shenhua are taking inspiration from Manchester United’s rivalry with Manchester City after suffering a humbling derby defeat.
The Chinese Super League side were crushed 6-1 in their latest outing, with an out of shape Tevez given just 45 minutes off the bench.
Even that introduction was enforced, with Giovanni Moreno picking up an untimely knock.
With morale in the Shenhua camp having taken a battering, the club are now hoping to emulate the progress made by United in closing the gap on old adversaries City in the Premier League.
Caretaker manager Wu Jingui told reporters following another heavy defeat for his side in a tough season: “We understand the fans’ frustration and we feel gutted by this result as well. Our sorrow was amplified by the fact that it was a derby.
“When Man City rejuvenate and dominate, Man United feel awful too.
“Shenhua are a club with a rich history and we are convinced that the club will rise above the problems, just like Man United.”
Wu added on Tevez, who he had branded “overweight” in the build-up to the contest: “Moreno told me at halftime that he was tired and suffered an injury to his thigh.
“I can’t take a chance on him. We will play another important game in three days, so he was replaced by Tevez.”
The Argentine forward did net Shenhua’s goal, but they were already three down by that stage and were unable to stem the tide in a fixture which saw Wu Lei and Brazilian striker Hulk both bag braces.