Guangzhou Evergrande went into their derby with Guangzhou R&F expecting to take home all three points, but even though they were forced to settle for a 2-2 draw, the performance of their Brazilian forward, Alan, still gave their supporters plenty to cheer about.

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The former Red Bull Salzburg star’s runs in behind the Blue Lions’ defence were particularly dangerous on the night, however. The intelligence attached to his forward bursts gave him a brilliant platform to really unsettle and place confusion into the minds of his markers throughout. Moreover, his teammates complimentary movements only amplified his worth in this regard.

The strong, athletic centre forward’s goal on eight minutes was a fine testament to the aforementioned aspects, which will be explained using the Wyscout Playlist and Draw App.

Following Wen Jiabao’s venture infield, he and Alan put themselves into an advantageous 2v2 situation as they embarked on their runs. As the ball is about to be launched forward into their path, the Evergrande attackers are in an excellent position to make something happen, for the defenders have little room for error with there being no additional cover present if one of them makes a mistake.

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Gladly for Luiz Felipe Scolari’s men, one of their trackers did make an error by getting sucked into marking Jiabao’s run, consequently giving Alan the chance to latch onto the ball on the blindside of his opponent to instinctively tuck his volleyed finish into the back of the net.

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Another terrific example of his threat whenever setting off on his well calculated forward runs arose in the 21st minute. In this instance, Alan had cleverly started his run in the left half space to give himself plenty of room to receive possession and then charge upfield. Again, he’s got great support from his colleagues, who ensure the home side have 3v2 numerical superiority, enhancing their chances of creating a goalscoring opportunity.

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Once nearing the box, Alan’s movement has crucially drawn his marker towards him, thus creating a brilliant central opening for Ricardo Goulart to run into. Goulart then exploits this space and Alan obliges his run, playing a slick through ball to him. Unfortunately, though, Alan’s countryman couldn’t finish the move with a goal, but nonetheless this was an craftily worked passage.

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This component of Alan’s armoury would continue to be a major weapon for the Southern China Tigers, with his ability to persistently manipulate the opposition’s defensive structure, in combination with his ability to time, angle and direct his runs, proving hugely important in terms of manufacturing space for both he and his teammates.

In addition, his capacity to read the play, his searing pace, and his strong relationships with his colleagues only punctuated the clinical finisher’s effectiveness.

The 27-year-old’s most recent outing was just another demonstration of why Evergrande were willing to pay a hefty transfer fee of €11.1 to secure the services of the tremendously talented Alan roughly two years ago.

Edward Stratmann

Freelance football writer and blogger he writes regularly about the on-field aspects of the game, with a particular focus on tactics and analysis. In addition to featuring on several football websites, including AS Roma’s and Everton’s Official Websites, find his work at Licence to Roam, a football blog he co-founded in 2013.