Rafa Benitez bemoaned his side's inability to stop Marouane Fellaini after the former Manchester United player scored a header hat-trick to help Shandong Luneng beat Dalian Pro 3-2 in the first round of the Chinese Super League (CSL) on Sunday. Benitez's team scored first through Jose Rondon in the 57th minute, before Fellaini headed in a hat-trick from the 79th to 86th minute, Xinhua news agency reported.
"We have to be aware that he is quite good in the air and then needed to be close to him, but the delivery was good, the timing was good, and he had the quality with his header to make the difference," Benitez said about Fellaini's performance at the post-match press conference. "We knew that we worked on that, but sometimes you cannot stop good players," he said.
Silva's Final Manchester City Appearance
Meanwhile, in the English Premier League, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola lavished praise on playmaker David Silva ahead of his last Premier League game with City against Norwich City on Sunday.
Silva had announced prior to the season that this year will be his last with the Premier League giants. When asked to explain Silva's career at the Etihad Stadium in one word, Guardiola told Man City's official website: "Extraordinary".
"The number of games, the huge quality in the games he played, the titles he helped win... he's alongside five or six others who made this Club what it is now. And this club will always be grateful," Guardiola said.
Will Return for a Farewell Match
Silva joined City from LaLiga side Valencia in 2010 and has since gone on to win four Premier League titles and two FA Cups. He has also scored 77 goals and assisted 140 times so far for the club.
Guardiola had earlier confirmed that Silva will return to Etihad Stadium for a farewell match once fans are allowed back into the stadium. Football matches across Europe are taking place currently behind closed doors in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.