Carrasco, Gaitan and Fonte start but Dalian Yifang stunned 8-0 by SIPG
There was to be no fairytale start to life in the Chinese Super League for Yannick Carrasco, Jose Fonte, Nicolas Gaitan or Dalian Yifang as the China League One champions were handed an 8-0 humiliation in their season opener by last year's runners-up Shanghai SIPG.
Oscar and Wu Lei both scored hat tricks in SIPG's first league game under new coach Vitor Pereira, who set about rapidly erasing the memory of predecessor Andre Villas Boas with a thumping win as Shanghai set down a marker for the new season.
Hulk and Lu Wenjun were also on the scoresheet for SIPG as they handed out a devastating defeat for Dalian, who embarked on a spending spree late in the transfer window to acquire the high profile trio.
"To win 8-0 is the result of team work," said Pereira. "It wasn't me out there scoring the goals, but the players. I appreciate the spirit they showed and I want to also thank the fans.
"We had limited information on Dalian but I know their foreign players well. We knew we couldn't afford to give them any space to hit us on the counter-attack and I used some videos to show my players how we needed to deal with losing possession.
"It was a very entertaining game and of course I'm satisfied with the team and our young players. We didn't concede any goals. As you know, usually when we score our organisation at the other end is poor, but today we managed not to concede and that's the main reason why I'm so happy."
All three of Dalian's new signings started the game, but it took Oscar less than a minute to put SIPG in front and the visitors eventually crumbled.
Oscar scored his second in the 24th minute and Hulk ensured SIPG went into half-time with a three-goal lead when he struck from the penalty spot eight minutes before the interval.
Dalian fell apart in the second half as SIPG ran riot. Two goals from Wu - in the 60th and 65th minutes - were followed by a third for Oscar with 15 minutes remaining, and Wu completed his hat-trick with just seven minutes to go. Lu finished the rout a minute later.
Elsewhere, Alan Kardec scored from the penalty spot as Chongqing LIfan handed the other promoted side Beijing Renhe an opening 1-0 loss, while Manuel Pellegrini had Zhang Chengdong to thank for his equaliser four minutes from time as Hebei China Fortune shared the points with Tianjin Teda in a 1-1 draw.
Michael Church has written about Asian football for more than 20 years and mainly covers the Chinese game for ESPN FC. Twitter: @michaelrgchurch