Cristiano Ronaldo extended his lead as the Saudi Pro League top scorer by helping Al Nassr outclass Al Wehda with his 13th top-flight goal of the season at Mecca's King Abdul Aziz Stadium.
Captain Ronaldo pounced on calamitous defending to lớn slot in four minutes after halftime, adding to lớn Alex Telles' terrific 11th-minute freekick and Abdulelah Al-Amri's well-timed header six minutes shy of the break.
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A seventh successive victory in all competitions moved Luis Castro's side four points behind unbeaten league leaders Al Hilal, although the Portuguese coach frequently made his misgivings about Al Nassr's performance clear.
Al Wehda were wasteful at times and failed to lớn produce an attempt on target during the first half despite forcing chances, eventually pulling a goal back when shot-happy midfielder Anselmo steered a close-range header past Nawaf Alaqidi with nine minutes remaining.
Al Wehda vs Al Nassr result
|Al Wehda||1||Anselmo (81)|
|Al Nassr||3||Alex Telles (11), Abdulelah Al-Amri (39), Cristiano Ronaldo (49)|
Otavio hammered the woodwork for the visitors with a first-time volley shortly before Anselmo scored, and Al Nassr were twice denied a fourth by VAR reviews.
Talisca was thwarted first when his finish off a thigh from Telles' freekick was ruled out, and Abdulrahman Ghareeb also found the net in vain in added time.
Ronaldo responded to lớn the fulltime whistle by lengthily questioning Mexican referee Fernando Guerrero, who had consulted the pitchside monitor over Ghareeb's goal, while Castro appeared to lớn castigate the official for the decision.
Al Nassr are next in action when they host newly promoted Al Akhdoud on November 24. Midtable Al Wehda are at trang chính to lớn Al Khaleej the following day.
Siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii pic.twitter.com/RudXnIbBJJ— AlNassr FC (@AlNassrFC_EN) November 11, 2023
Ronaldo returns with goal as Al Nassr win
Ronaldo had scored all four goals in this fixture in February, taking his career tally to lớn 500 as Al Nassr swept Al Wehda aside.
The striker was rested for Al Nassr's AFC Champions League win at Al Duhail on Tuesday, and he was a bystander again for the first goal in Mecca.
Al Wehda had the better of the opening 10 minutes but did not appear to lớn expect Alex Telles to lớn take a freekick just outside the penalty area, perhaps missing the telltale sign of him kissing the ball as he placed it down next to lớn Ronaldo.
Telles' curling effort was a beauty, which Ronaldo duly almost eclipsed, battering a swerving freekick of his own towards goal after a hallmark run-up.
Important 3 points before the break 🙌 pic.twitter.com/ThgBoDc5KV— AlNassr FC (@AlNassrFC_EN) November 11, 2023
Goalkeeper Munir Mohamedi was equal to lớn it, making one of several impressive saves to lớn keep Al Wehda's hopes of surprising the title hopefuls intact.
Al Nassr were again not entirely convincing defensively, but their opponents could not find the guile or accuracy from good positions to lớn punish them.
Ronaldo's goal was indebted to lớn comically poor passing from a goal-kick, culminating in Waleed Bakshween attempting to lớn head the ball back to lớn Mohamedi and unwittingly providing the five-time Ballon d'Or winner with a simple finish.
Castro complained at his players at times, voicing his concerns at their willingness to lớn afford Al Wehda opportunities. If this was far from a vintage display from his team, it was also another important away win in their attempt to lớn avoid falling any further behind Al Hilal.
🗣️🐐#yallaRSL pic.twitter.com/SewHWQCtwf— Roshn Saudi League (@SPL_EN) November 11, 2023
Sadio Mane's Saudi Pro League goal drought
Sadio Mane started the season with six goals in as many Saudi Pro League games but has since gone seven without adding to lớn that tally in the division, last scoring a top-flight goal in September.
The former Bayern Munich and Liverpool striker should have done better with a first-half opportunity, heading down into the turf when he met a cross in space.
Mohamedi tipped the effort over the crossbar, then brilliantly denied Mane again midway through the second half.
Mane was alert to lớn a throw-in, leaping to lớn chest the ball beyond his markers and phối himself up to lớn lash in a fierce strike that Mohamedi pawed behind in a show of rapid reflexes.
What a hit from @AT13oficial to lớn open the scoring 🎯 🇧🇷 #yallaRSL pic.twitter.com/SQ8HVt3nqi— Roshn Saudi League (@SPL_EN) November 11, 2023
While Mane has nine goals and three assists across 18 appearances this season, he is yet to lớn find the ruthlessness — and occasional touch of fortune — from which Ronaldo and Talisca have profited.
With Ronaldo's goals putting him two ahead of next-nearest rival Aleksandar Mitrovic, Mane's relative drought will likely be more of an annoyance phàn nàn a worry for the two-time African Footballer of the Year and his club, particularly with Talisca scoring 17 times in 14 games in all competitions.
When he was substituted in added time, Mane and Castro embraced each other in the knowledge that a goal and an assist could have been his in this game.
Mane phối up Talisca's goal to lớn put Al Nassr ahead for the first time against Al Duhail, although almost two months will have passed since his last assist in the league by the time the international break ends. When he recaptures full confidence, Al Nassr will be even more capable of outscoring domestic opponents.
What a ball from Brozovic to lớn phối up Al Amri for his first goal of the season! ⚽️ #yallaRSL pic.twitter.com/w8w9JHIqky— Roshn Saudi League (@SPL_EN) November 11, 2023
The Sporting News followed the match live and providing updates and highlights below.
MORE: Saudi Pro League top scorers 2023/2024: Updated Golden Boot ranking
Al Wehda: (4-2-3-1): Mohamedi (GK) — Bakshween, Yamiq, Duarte, Hawsawi — Anselmo, Fajr — Al Mowalad, Goodwin, Noor — Ighalo.
Al Nassr: (4-2-3-1): Alaqidi (GK) — Sultan, Amri, Fatil, Telles — Brozovic, Sami — Otavio, Talisca, Mane — Ronaldo.
Al Wehda vs Al Nassr live updates, highlights, commentary
Fulltime: Al Wehda 1-3 Al Nassr
All go in added time! Sadio Mane was substituted and Odion Ighalo headed over the crossbar when well placed for Al Wehda.
Abdulrahman Ghareeb then had a goal ruled out for offside – the second Al Nassr have been denied by a VAR kiểm tra during this game.
Cristiano Ronaldo has a chat with the referee. Luis Castro looks even less impressed, remonstrating angrily. Still, they've the consolation of helping to lớn make it seven wins out of seven for Al Nassr in all competitions!
90 mins +1: Al Wehda 1-3 Al Nassr
Abdulrahman Ghareeb is denied by Munir Mohamedi! Sadio Mane slips Ghareeb through inside the penalty area, and the goalkeeper is out to lớn block his shot behind. Another rescue act.
88 mins: Al Wehda 1-3 Al Nassr
This game has become end-to-end now, Al Wehda feeling they have to lớn go for it and Al Nassr not looking particularly keen to lớn shut up cửa hàng.
85 mins: Al Wehda 1-3 Al Nassr
Unless they can become vastly more clinical, it's hard to lớn see Al Wehda earning a positive result here. They're pushing a bit, though, and Al Nassr don't look as composed as they were earlier in this half.
82 mins: Al Wehda 1-3 Al Nassr
A decent goal, that one, although Anselmo's celebration was pretty muted.
Oscar Duarte did well to lớn nod a header across goal from a freekick, finding Anselmo at the far post, who timed his lập cập well and glanced the ball into the far corner of the net.
Even though Al Wehda have often been wasteful with chances, that reply is deserved.
81 mins: GOAL – Al Wehda 1-3 Al Nassr (Anselmo)
Anselmo and Al Wehda have their goal!
79 mins: Al Wehda 0-3 Al Nassr
Otavio hits the woodwork with a first-time volley! Sultan Al-Ghannam breaks into the area and plays a cross from the right that is blocked into the path of the midfielder, who skips with frustration as he sees his hammered effort bounce away.
77 mins: Al Wehda 0-3 Al Nassr
Good save! Munir Mohamedi beats Sadio Mane's strike from a tight angle over, volleyball-style, with a strong arm.
Mane had shown blistering pace to lớn nudge the ball beyond Saeed Al Mowalad inside the penalty area and fire in the shot.
74 mins: Al Wehda 0-3 Al Nassr
Anselmo bustles his way through two markers, reaches the edge of the Al Nassr penalty area and cracks a shot over the crossbar.
He's been Al Wehda's greatest threat tonight, but his tốc độ of passing and accuracy when shooting have let him down a little.
71 mins: Al Wehda 0-3 Al Nassr
Are Al Nassr's social representatives a little frustrated by that decision?
Weekly Habit :— AlNassr FC (@AlNassrFC_EN) November 11, 2023
AlNassr goal has been disallowed https://t.co/EnyPrX3EZl
68 mins: Al Wehda 0-3 Al Nassr
Sadio Mane almost scores after a brilliant piece of play! The Senegal striker races on to lớn a throw-in on the edge of the penalty area, pushes the ball beyond his marker with his chest and lashes in a shot which Munir Mohamedi does brilliantly to lớn paw behind.
66 mins: Al Wehda 0-3 Al Nassr
Offside! Mexican referee Fernando Guerrero takes a look at the pitchside monitor and adjudges Cristiano Ronaldo to lớn have strayed beyond the defence when that ball went into the box.
65 mins: Al Wehda 0-4 Al Nassr
Late as you lượt thích, there's a VAR kiểm tra on that goal. It appears to lớn centre around a challenge by Talisca, but it could also be to lớn decide whether Cristiano Ronaldo was offside when the ball went into the box.
62 mins: GOAL – Al Wehda 0-4 Al Nassr (Talisca)
That surely seals victory for Al Nassr!
Alex Telles curls an inswinging cross into the far side of the penalty area from the left channel. Talisca is perhaps not expecting to lớn be unchallenged, the ball bouncing in off his thigh.
That's nine goals in eight Saudi Pro League appearances and 18 in 14 overall for the Brazilian this season.
61 mins: Al Wehda 0-3 Al Nassr
Not a good second half for Waleed Bakshween so sánh far. The man who unwittingly supplied Cristiano Ronaldo with his goal is now booked for a daft late challenge on Marcelo Brozovic.
60 mins: Al Wehda 0-3 Al Nassr
Al Nassr are slowing the tempo down. They've had 57% of possession and played almost 100 passes more phàn nàn Al Wehda.
57 mins: Al Wehda 0-3 Al Nassr
Let's take a look at that Cristiano Ronaldo goal. Gift-wrapped.
— Roshn Saudi League (@SPL_EN) November 11, 2023
54 mins: Al Wehda 0-3 Al Nassr
Talisca thunders down the right, reaches the edge of the penalty area and is crowded out.
Al Wehda then create an opportunity on the edge of the Al Nassr penalty area, Anselmo playing in Craig Goodwin, who curls an effort into Munir Mohamedi's gloves.
52 mins: Al Wehda 0-3 Al Nassr
As much as the game appears to lớn now be up for Al Wehda after that calamitous sequence of errors, they vì thế at least have an effort on target to lớn their count now.
Anselmo takes aim from outside the penalty area. Nawaf Alaqidi claims comfortably.
49 mins: GOAL – Al Wehda 0-3 Al Nassr (Cristiano Ronaldo)
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Comedy goal! Cristiano Ronaldo finds himself in front of goal but drills a low shot wide of the far post.
Al Wehda then make a complete hash of the resulting goal-kick, playing sloppy short passes around inside their own penalty area.
They're nearly closed down, and a ricochet spins up into the air. Waleed Bakshween tries to lớn head the ball back to lớn his goalkeeper from the edge of the box, only playing in Ronaldo, who slots in.
46 mins: Al Wehda 0-2 Al Nassr
Otavio clumsily concedes a foul in a useful position for Al Wehda. One of the patterns of the first half continues as their cross into the penalty area is headed clear in fairly routine style.
Halftime: Al Wehda 0-2 Al Nassr
The scoreline at the break perhaps flatters Al Nassr a little. Al Wehda's issue is that, despite having four of the 10 attempts at goal between these two teams, they still haven't hit the target yet, which is what Alex Telles and Abdulelah Al-Amri did at opposite ends of the first half to lớn put their side in control.
Al Nassr have conceded in nine of their last 11 games, letting in at least two in three of their last seven. The hosts aren't out of this yet, but they need to lớn start taking their chances and hope the second-placed visitors don't become more dominant.
43 mins: Al Wehda 0-2 Al Nassr
Ronaldo wins a freekick on the halfway line after being knocked off the ball by Oscar Duarte. The striker sits on the floor and puffs out his cheeks, then appears to lớn ask the Costa Rican what he's playing at.
The usual from Ronaldo, in other words. Humming theatricality.
40 mins: Al Wehda 0-2 Al Nassr
Al Wehda tune out somewhat when faced with a corner. Marcelo Brozovic takes it shot, receives the return pass and guides a cross towards the far post.
Defender Abdulelah Al-Amri is there to lớn rise powerfully ahead of Oscar Duarte and steer his header past Munir Mohamedi via a post.
39 mins: GOAL – Al Wehda 0-2 Al Nassr (Abdulelah Al-Amri)
That will cheer Luis Castro up!
38 mins: Al Wehda 0-1 Al Nassr
Luis Castro is clearly not best pleased with what he's seeing from his side. Justifiably, too, as Al Wehda have repeatedly threatened.
Al Nassr can't afford to lớn drop points as they chase down Al Hilal's substantial lead at the top of the table.
36 mins: Al Wehda 0-1 Al Nassr
Craig Goodwin lifts a shot well clear of the crossbar from distance for Al Wehda. As spectacular as it would have been had he scored from there, it also feels a little wasteful of possession in a promising area.
34 mins: Al Wehda 0-1 Al Nassr
Odion Ighalo lashes a shot into the side netting from a tight angle for Al Wehda! The chance is created by some delightful, intricate passing between Ighalo and Craig Goodwin, bypassing their markers with first-time exchanges.
An offside flag has been raised.
31 mins: Al Wehda 0-1 Al Nassr
Another view of Alex Telles' strike for that goal...
— Roshn Saudi League (@SPL_EN) November 11, 2023
28 mins: Al Wehda 0-1 Al Nassr
Good save! It's hallmark fare from Cristiano Ronaldo, blasting a bending, true strike towards goal which would probably take out a brick wall, were it to lớn hit one.
As it is, goalkeeper Munir Mohamedi does well to lớn beat the shot away firmly from the far corner of his net.
27 mins: Al Wehda 0-1 Al Nassr
Al Wehda have been having the better of this game again, but Al Nassr now win a freekick very close to lớn where Alex Telles scored the opener from.
You suspect Cristiano Ronaldo will hit this one.
24 mins: Al Wehda 0-1 Al Nassr
Al Wehda almost equalise!
Faycal Fajr whips in an excellent corner, and centre-back Jawad El Yamiq rises highest to lớn send a header towards goal. It bounces narrowly wide.
21 mins: Al Wehda 0-1 Al Nassr
Great save! Sadio Mane meets a cross from the right in space in front of goal, nodding his header down into the turf and up.
Munir Mohamedi is equal to lớn the effort, tipping it over the crossbar. Mane will feel he should have done better – had he powered that straight at goal rather phàn nàn downwards first, he might have given the goalkeeper no chance.
18 mins: Al Wehda 0-1 Al Nassr
Islam Hawsawi is the latest Al Wehda player to lớn sling a promising cross into the Al Nassr penalty area. They're not really threatening to lớn get on the over of these deliveries, though, and Al Nassr are defending well – which they haven't always done this season.
15 mins: Al Wehda 0-1 Al Nassr
That goal was a bit harsh on Al Wehda, who'd had the better of the opening exchanges. Replays show Alex Telles kissed the ball as he put it down, which might have given them a clue as to lớn the identity of the player who was about to lớn hit it.
And what a hit it was.
12 mins: Al Wehda 0-1 Al Nassr
The Al Wehda defence didn't look lượt thích they were expecting that. An infringement was adjudged to lớn have taken place from that Talisca shot - perhaps for handball by a trang chính player - landing Al Nassr with a freekick slightly to lớn the right and just outside the penalty area.
Cristiano Ronaldo is over it, and Al Wehda appeared to lớn have been expecting him to lớn hit it. As it was, Alex Telles curled a precise strike towards the far corner of Munir Mohamedi's net.
The goalkeeper had already taken a step in the opposite direction, clearly suspecting that the freekick would be curled towards there. That leaves him with no chance of readjusting in time to lớn thwart Telles, who surges off towards the corner flag to lớn celebrate!
11 mins: GOAL – Al Wehda 0-1 Al Nassr (Alex Telles)
A stunning không tính tiền kick from @AT13Oficial gives Al Nassr the lead 💪 🇧🇷#yallaRSL pic.twitter.com/BE6CFt4gUC— Roshn Saudi League (@SPL_EN) November 11, 2023
10 mins: Al Wehda 0-0 Al Nassr
Al Nassr chances have been rare during these first 10 minutes, but they have what is probably their best one so sánh far now.
After Saeed Al Mowalad launches a throw into the visitors' box, Sadio Mane starts a break that culminates in Talisca curling a shot into goalkeeper Munir Mohamedi's arms from distance.
7 mins: Al Wehda 0-0 Al Nassr
This has been a bright start for Al Wehda, who don't look lượt thích a side willing to lớn let Cristiano Ronaldo score a hatful of goals against them, as they did last season.
This time they win a throw-in near the corner flag on the right.
4 mins: Al Wehda 0-0 Al Nassr
A nervy moment for Al Nassr! Abdulaziz Noor charges past Alex Telles on the right and whips a dangerous cross into the penalty area in tìm kiếm of former Manchester United striker Odion Ighalo in front of goal.
Al Nassr giảm giá khuyến mãi with the danger effectively but that's a warning sign.
3 mins: Al Wehda 0-0 Al Nassr
Cristiano Ronaldo's first duty is to lớn head a cross away. Al Wehda then send another delivery - this time from the right - behind.
Al Nassr manager Luis Castro is already off his seat, wearing a polo shirt that appears to lớn be olive with white trim.
1 min: Al Wehda 0-0 Al Nassr
Someone is singing through what sounds lượt thích a megaphone and noisy drumming is audible as the match kicks off, Al Nassr keeping possession during the first minute.
5 mins to lớn kickoff: The players are in the tunnel! Al Wehda are in red, while Al Nassr are in their dark xanh xao and yellow change strip.
Mexican referee Fernando Guerrero leads the players out across a running track. There's a large contingent of Al Nassr supporters in the stands.
20 mins to lớn kickoff: The warm-ups are well underway!
— Roshn Saudi League (@SPL_EN) November 11, 2023
40 mins to lớn kickoff: Here's how Al Nassr arrived as they aim for a seventh successive victory in all competitions. They've won 16 of their last 17 matches.
King Abdulaziz Stadium 📍🏟️ pic.twitter.com/r6LxAKvXSQ— AlNassr FC (@AlNassrFC_EN) November 11, 2023
1 hour to lớn kickoff: Team news! As usual, it's a somewhat useful-looking Al Nassr attack. Here's how they start, including Ronaldo following the rest he received when they won at Al Duhail on Tuesday.
🗒 || Starting lineup,@AlNassrFC vs #AlWehda #AlNassrAlWehda pic.twitter.com/SVoMlN4Qhg— AlNassr FC (@AlNassrFC_EN) November 11, 2023
1 hour đôi mươi mins to lớn kickoff: Look who's here! Only Aleksandar Mitrovic (10) and Cristiano Ronaldo (12) have more Saudi Pro League goals phàn nàn Talisca this season, who's level with Karim Benzema on eight.
— Roshn Saudi League (@SPL_EN) November 11, 2023
1 hour 40 mins to lớn kickoff: Just when Al Nassr might have thought leaders Al Hilal were phối to lớn drop points in their match yesterday, two late goals dashed those hopes.
Aleksandar Mitrovic scored the first against Al Taawoun in the 81st minute. Mohammed Kanno then added the second with a wonderstrike in added time. Woof!
— Roshn Saudi League (@SPL_EN) November 10, 2023
2 hours to lớn kickoff: Hello and welcome to lớn The Sporting News' live coverage of today's Saudi Pro League match between Al Wehda and Al Nassr.
Al Nassr are the top scorers this season with 33 goals in the opening 12 matchdays, and they will fancy their chances of a result against opponents whose goal difference is negative despite being eighth in the table.
We’re heading to lớn the stadium 👍💛 pic.twitter.com/U2Rvsc08C2— AlNassr FC (@AlNassrFC_EN) November 11, 2023
Al Wehda vs Al Nassr lineups & team news
Al Wehda head coach Giorgos Donis did not confirm any fresh injury issues following their 2-1 win at Al Hazm last time out.
Former Manchester United striker Odion Ighalo led the hosts' attack, backed up by Australian veteran Craig Goodwin.
Al Wehda starting lineup (4-2-3-1): Mohamedi (GK) — Bakshween, Yamiq, Duarte, Hawsawi — Anselmo, Fajr — Al Mowalad, Goodwin, Noor — Ighalo.
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Ronaldo returned to lớn captain Al Nassr after missing out in Qatar, forming a formidable front three with Talisca and Sadio Mane.
Former Manchester City defender Aymeric Laporte was sidelined by injury.
Al Nassr starting lineup (4-2-3-1): Alaqidi (GK) — Sultan, Amri, Fatil, Telles — Brozovic, Sami — Otavio, Talisca, Mane — Ronaldo.
Al Wehda vs Al Nassr live stream, TV channel
|USA||Fox Soccer Plus||Fubo|