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Rafa Benitez makes it only 1 win in 113 days with latest on Saturday

2 weeks ago
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Rafa Benitez is having his struggles in China.

Taking over at Dalian Yifang in July after Mike Ashley forced him out of Newcastle United.

The Spanish manager went on a run of five wins, one draw and only one defeat in his first seven games.

Dalian Yifang had been in danger of relegation but Rafa’s intervention took them to early safety.

However, since reaching realistic safety with a win on 2 August 2019, it has been pretty much all downhill since then.

Only one win in 112 days and that became only one win in 113 days when playing against lowly Hebei CFFC on Saturday.

With the match at 2-2, Salomon Rondon scored a penalty on 71 minutes that looked to have won the game, only for Hebei to grab a point with five minutes to go.

That was Rondon’s fourth goal in five starts (four sub appearances) in the Chinese league since rejoining Rafa Benitez.

That means since 2 August, it is only one win, with two draws and five defeats.

Only two league games remain before the season wraps up on 1 December.

Rafa Benitez has been at pains to stress in interviews that he is working throughout the Chinese club to improve it longer-term. The new near £200m training complex is due to open shortly and Rafa has already brought in 20 coaches from Spain to work across all age groups.

Speculation has been rife about Rafa Benitez potentially being a target for a number of European clubs, West Ham in particular.

That speculation will only grow now with West Ham losing their derby match against Spurs at home on Saturday, trailing 3-0 the Hammers had a bit of a fightback but that helped little in the end as they still lost 3-2.

That makes it six defeats and a draw in their last seven games and massive pressure for Manuel Pellegrini, especially with Chelsea away up next for West Ham.

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