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Rafa Benitez able to smile for first time in nine months

4 weeks ago
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Not the best of starts for Rafa Benitez in the Chinese Super League this season.

His Dalian Professional side kicked off the season with three draws and four defeats to leave them bottom of their table.

The Chinese Super League having a changed format of two groups of eight due to the much delayed kick off, football beginning in July rather than the scheduled February 2020 start date.

Despite the poor start for the team, former Newcastle striker Salomon Rondon had scored five of his side’s ten goals in the opening seven games.

Going into the weekend, the record books showed the last win for Dalian Pro and Rafa Benitez was nine months ago, on the final day of the 2019 season.

However, the former NUFC boss can at last smile again.

Saturday seeing his side beat joint top of the group Shandong Luneng 1-0 and move to second bottom of the group.

Rafa Benitez has commented recently on the problems caused by the established top clubs currently have all of the top young Chinese players and that is why it is so important that Dalian Pro develop their own, with the club’s £200m new training complex crucial to that.

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