Mix of youth and experience helping Rafa

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It seems like Rafael Benítez is having a positive impact in China as his Dalian side now sits in seventh place. This comes after joining the club in July with them still in a relegation battle, all talk of fighting the drop is gone now though and they just narrowly miss out on a top-four place.  

Back to winning ways 

Since the arrival of the Spanish boss from Newcastle United Dalian's fortunes has approved. It's not been plain sailing but things are definitely going in the right direction.

This is thanked in no small part to his sides great blend of young and old with 30-year-old Rondón helping 23-year-old Boateng provide the goals for the side.

Then in goals, he has 31-year-old Zhang Chong with a mixture of youth and experience in defence with 24-year-old Wang Yaopeng and 40-year-old Zhou Ting.

As has been expected with this side under new guidance they bounced back over the weekend with the three points having lost the previous time out to Wuhan Zall.

Following that defeat, the team had come under pressure for the first time with Benitez's team selection and players performances coming under pressure.

He fought back though from this with a 2-0 home win over Shenzhen, this was done without two key players with Li Jianbin and Zhu Xiaogang missing because of suspension.

His ability to change the team up against a side fighting for their lives in the league is a positive indication for the remainder of the season and if he stays around next season it will be interesting to see what he can do with this side. 

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