Jeddah, Saudi Arabia: Yesterday, Cristiano Ronaldo showcased his goal-scoring prowess, netting twice from the penalty spot to lead Al Nassr to a commanding 5-2 triumph over Al Ittihad.
The eagerly anticipated clash also marked a reunion between former Real Madrid teammates Ronaldo and Karim Benzema, who recently joined Al Ittihad during the summer transfer window.
The match kicked off with Al Ittihad taking an early lead in the 14th minute, courtesy of Abderrazak Hamdallah’s clinical finish.
However, Al Nassr quickly responded as they were awarded a penalty just five minutes later, with Ronaldo calmly slotting the ball down the middle to level the score.
As the first half unfolded, Al Nassr seized the momentum, with Talisca finding the back of the net in the 38th minute to give his team the lead.
The rollercoaster continued into the second half, with Hamdallah once again proving his goal-scoring prowess by equalizing six minutes after the break.
Undeterred by the ebb and flow of the game, Ronaldo stepped up again in the 68th minute to convert his second penalty, marking his 53rd goal of the year.
Al Ittihad’s woes were compounded in the 66th minute when Fabinho received a red card, reducing them to 10 men.
Seizing the numerical advantage, Al Nassr capitalized on their dominance. Sadio Mane, demonstrating his attacking flair, struck twice in the 75th and 82nd minutes to secure a resounding victory for the home side.
The match not only showcased the individual brilliance of Cristiano Ronaldo but also underlined the collective strength and tactical prowess of the Al Nassr squad.
Talisca’s crucial contribution and Mane’s clinical finishing further highlighted the team’s well-rounded offensive capabilities.
For Karim Benzema, the reunion with Ronaldo on the opposing side ended in disappointment, as Al Ittihad struggled to contain the attacking onslaught from Al Nassr.
The red card for Fabinho added to their woes, leaving them with a mountain to climb in the latter stages of the game.
As the Saudi Pro-League continues to witness high-profile clashes and intense competition, Al Nassr’s convincing victory serves as a statement of intent, positioning them as strong contenders in the league.
The performance of Ronaldo, coupled with the collective efforts of the team, leaves fans eagerly anticipating future matches and the potential for more standout moments in the season ahead.