Ding Junhui celebrated his 28th birthday at the China Open, for which he was again presented with a cake by the media, and also delighted the crowd with his dramatic quarter-final victory over John Higgins.

But the home hero had to share the Beijing sporting honours on the Friday evening of his thrilling win over the Scot. The Beijing Guoan v Shanghai Shenhua derby football match earlier in the evening was variously described as like “Barcelona v Real Madrid” or “Liverpool v Manchester United” by locals.

It was pretty clear in the stadium there was no love lost between the players or fans in a bitter rivalry, but goals from Darko Matic and Erton Fejzullahu settled matters in favour of Beijing to send the team top of the Super League and get the weekend off to a flier out in the bars and clubs.

There was also a half-time presentation of a green Guoan shirt to Stephon Marbury, as big a sports hero as there is in Beijing having just led the Ducks to a third CBA title in four years in the basketball-mad city.

Point guard Marbury is a former NBA All-Star who played for the New York Knicks and the Phoenix Suns - but has now been in Beijing for four years.