Beijing, July 26
Marouane Fellaini, who spent three weeks in hospital with coronavirus, scored a hat-trick of headers in lower than 10 minutes to provide Shandong Luneng a 3-2 victory over Rafa Benitez’s Dalian Pro in the present day. Former Newcastle United striker Salomon Rondon regarded to have given Benitez’s aspect a successful begin to the delayed Chinese Super League (CSL) season with a stooping 57th-minute header of his personal.
But former Manchester United midfielder Fellaini then roared to the fore with three towering headers within the 79th, 83rd and 86th minutes in Dalian. Two of his objectives got here off corners.
Spanish coach Benitez, who took Liverpool to Champions League glory in 2005, might solely look on in surprised bemusement.
Swedish worldwide defender Marcus Danielson pulled a objective again for Dalian deep into stoppage time.
The 32-year-old Fellaini is the one identified coronavirus case within the CSL and spent three weeks in hospital in China earlier than his launch in mid-April.
Shandong stated he was asymptomatic and the large Belgian posted photos on social media of him doing workout routines whereas in confinement. After his hospital keep he then spent two weeks in quarantine. “The feeling is good, always good to score, always good to win… it was a tough, but good game,” stated Fellaini, who was deployed in assault within the absence of Italian striker Graziano Pelle, one other former Premier League star now in China.
“I am not a number nine but if I can help the team, I can do it,” added the 7.2-million-euro purchase from United in February 2019.
Benitez has now received solely seven of his 18 matches in command of Dalian since arriving a yr in the past from Newcastle and stated that set-pieces made all of the distinction “because Fellaini is quite good in the air, obviously”. “We knew that, we talked about that, but sometimes you cannot stop good players,” stated the 60-year-old, calling his aspect “nervous”. — AFP