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Rafa Benitez and Salomon Rondon are now on a roll after hitting top form

3 weeks ago
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It wasn’t 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.

The first six games of the season producing four defeats and two draws, meaning the last win for Dalian Pro and Rafa Benitez was nine months earlier, on the final day of the 2019 season.

However, nine days ago Dalian Pro got an excellent 2-2 draw with top of the group Guangzhou Evergrande.

Them Saturday saw Rafa’s side beat second in the group Shandong Luneng 1-0.

Rafa Benitez had 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.

Now on Thursday, the Spaniard’s side produced their most comprehensive performance of the season so far, Salomon Rondon scoring after only two minutes and Dalian Pro going on to hammer Henan Jianye 4-0, Rondon getting two assists to go with his goal.

Salomon Rondon moves on to six goals from nine games and Rafa Benitez sees his side climb to sixth in the group after picking up seven points from the last nine including playing the top two teams.

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