Cristiano emerged victorious from the confrontation between the two Ballon d'Or winners.
“Al-Nasr” of the Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo defeated “Al-Ittihad” of the French striker Karim Benzema in the away match of the 17th round of the Saudi Arabian championship – 2:5 .
The hosts were the first to score in this meeting – in the 14th minute, Benzema gave an assist to the Moroccan Abderrazaq Hamdalla. Five minutes later, Al-Nasr got even – Ronaldo converted a penalty.
In the 38th minute, the visitors took the lead – Anderson Talisca scored after a pass from Alex Telles.
At the beginning of the second half, the score became equal again – in the 51st minute, Hamdalla scored a double.
In the 66th minute, Al-Ittihad remained in the minority – former Liverpool defender Fabinho waved off an opponent in his own penalty area and “brought” a penalty, receiving a second yellow card.
Ronaldo missed from the penalty spot and thus scored a double in the match, scoring his 19th goal in the current Saudi League.
Towards the end of the match, the charges of ex-Shakhtar Donetsk coach Luis Castro increased their advantage in the score, twice catching their opponent on counterattacks. Sadio Mane scored a double, scoring in the 75th and 82nd minutes. Senegalese Taliska and Otaviou assisted.
Note that both Ballon d'Or winners – Ronaldo and Benzema – were in the starting lineups of their teams and played the entire match on the field.
Review of the match “Al-Ittihad” – “Al-Nasr”
After this victory, Al-Nasr (43 points) remained in second place, but reduced the gap from leader Al-Hilal to 7 points. Al Ittihad, which is the current champion of Saudi Arabia, is in sixth position with 28 points – Marcelo Gallardo's men have lost each of their last three matches.
In the next round, Ronaldo and Co. will play away against Al-Taawon on December 30. On the same day, Al-Ittihad will go to visit Al-Tai.