Al-Nassr 0-0 Al-Ettifaq – King Cup LIVE: Two sendings-off and Jordan Henderson wades into brawl as Cristiano Ronaldo reignites rivalry with Steven Gerrard


Follow Mail Sport’s live blog for the latest team news, scores and updates as Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al-Nassr take on Steven Gerrard’s Al-Ettifaq.

Demarai Gray shot saved!

Demarai Gray cut inside from the left and cracked off a shot towards the near post, but the ‘keeper got low to divert it for a corner, which Al-Nassr defend solidly.

Gini Wijnaldum cross is defended

Wijnaldum flashed a cross in there but an Al-Nassr defender put it out for a corner.

From the edge of the area, Henderson pinged over a dangerous ball – maybe a shot, maybe a cross – but it edges just wide.

Al-Nassr go close!

Mane’s cross went across the face of goal but nobody was there and Ronaldo couldn’t resurrect the attack on the edge of the area.

Al-Nassr sub for extra time

Ghareeb on for Al-Kuwaykibi.

How did Jordan Henderson not receive a card?

A closer look at the incident that caused fireworks near the end of the half.

End of normal time: Al-Nassr 0-0 Al-Ettifaq

Ronaldo misses chance to equalise from Mane cross!

Sadio Mane flashed a cross across goal from the left but a stretching Ronaldo couldn’t reach it and it flies beyond him.

Could have been the winner right at the death!

Frustrations boiling over

Neither team is conducting themselves with much discipline here. Fouls flying in, crunching tackles, and the incident just gone where Henderson pushed ajn opponent and virtually everybody on the pitch was within a metre radius of the referee shouting. The intensity rises and rises.

There was lots of confusion – another outlet even reported that Henderson was sent off as it was unclear what was going on.

Game back underway

We’re lucky not to see more sendings-off there as that could have got out of hand. How Jordan Henderson didn’t go in the book, I’m not sure.

Ali Hazazi sent off for Al-Ettifaq!

That was a cheap red in the middle of the park for Ali Hazazi.

He brought down Otavio in the middle of the park and a brawl ensued, with Jordan Henderson steamrolling Otavio to kncok him over, then slamming into him again when he got up, but he isn’t booked.

Brawl kicks off!

Someone has been sent off.. but who?! We’ll get back to you on that.

Al-Nassr defend Henderson corner

Ronaldo’s team head it away but Al-Ettifaq come again and put them under pressure. Al-Nassr have hold of it but Gerrard’s team have picked up in the last few minutes and made inroad down the left.

Al-Ettifaq sub

Saad Al Mosa on for Abdulrahamn at right-back.

Ronaldo clashes with Jack Hendry!

Jack Hendyr slid in to tackle Ronaldo and the Portuguese striker wasn’t happy, handling him by the shoulders and head as he gets up. Nothing too malicious, just letting him know not to do it again.

Steven Gerrard looks frustrated

The former Liverpool man is sweating and looked annoyed as his side lost possession with a long ball. They’ve loooked second-best this half in every department.

Almost a goal for Al-Nassr!

Ronaldo’s knuckleball free-kick hit the wall, but he then looped a cross back post and Al-Amri was there but just hit it wide!

Al-Nassr free-kick; Ronaldo fires up the crowd

They are BAYING for a card here. The referee has given a free-kick for a handball outside the box after Ronaldo shot, but no card has been given. He swung his arms up to get the crowd even more pumped up in venom against the officials.

Poor officiating

Al-Nassr are livid here. The linesman has just put his flag up for an Al-Ettifaq throw against Otavia despite him dribbling it nowhere near over the line. The ball maybe touhced the line, but was even any of it over the line? Bizarre decision.

Al-Ettifaq sub: Al-Ghamdis swap

Ahmed Al-Ghamdi is on for Hamed Al-Ghamdi on the right wing.

Alex Telles misses!

Telles whipped it with his left foot across goal. it was more of a crossing angle, but he went for the far post and had the goalkeeper beaten! Just wide.

Goalkeeper Paulo Victor is now down and receiving treatment.

Al-Ettifaq: Yellow card for Al-Shamrani

He cut Otavio down as he surged down the right. Free-kick level with the penalty line, Alex Telles on it.

Al-Nassr corner: Alagidi saves!

Wonderful dive from Al-Etifaq’s goalkeeper there!

Alex Telles whipped in a beautiful ball and it looked destined for Ronaldo’s head, but Al-Ettifaq’s ‘keeper dove out at full stretch and palmed it away.

Al-Ettifaq: Hamed Al-Ghamdi booked

He was late to a challenge against Aymeric Laporte. Could have been quicker. Shades of fatigue and frustration in that.

Al-Ettifaq enjoy possession

Not much to report from the last few minutes but Steven Gerrard’s team managed to keep hold of it for quite a while, which has been a rarity for them in this game.

Ronaldo almost assists Mane!

Not bad that from Al-Nassr. The pace is picking up.

Otavia released Ronaldo down the right side of the box, he gets to the byline, pulls it back, but a defender just beats Mane to it to clear.

Atmosphere check

There’s no denying that Saudi Arabia has genuine football fans.

Lots of flares and smoke in this half, a constant drum, chanting, and yellow flags waving adorned with the Al-Nassr badge. Sounds like the whole ground is joining in.

Mind, the stadium is nowhere near full. Certain sections are pretty empty higher up in the stands from the shots we’ve seen, but it’s a decent turnout and the support is strong.

Sadio Mane shot saved!

Mane was teed up on the edge of the ear and curled a shot with his right boot, but rather than spinning into the top right corner as he imagined, it went low and floated into the goalkeeper’s hands. Not a bad effort, just needed more power.

Henderson fouled by Al-Amri

Al-Amri lost control of the ball and stood on Henderson as he tried to recover it, but the former Liverpool man is fine.

Alex Telles skins his man!

Beautiful work there on the left flank from Alex Telles for Al-Nassr. Under pressure, he just slips it past his man, runs round him the other way, and leaves him in the dust. He hasn’t lost it.

Aymeric Laporte down injured but gets up

He went down quickly there and his team-mates are gathered around him. Looks like his toe was caught as he was kicked but nothing serious.

A look at the red card incident

Lots of protests on social media saying he was sent off for ‘nothing’ but it looks like he lashes out there with his arm and connects with the opponent’s head.

Ratings so far

Let’s have a look at how some of Al-Nassr’s stars have been getting on so far.

  • Ronaldo: 6.5/10. His presence looms over this game and he had a good impact in the first 30 minutes, but Al-Ettifaq have stifled him somewhat. When he gets on the ball, he is an instant danger.
  • Sadio Mane: 5/10. Not his usual sparkling self. has seemed anonymous on the left wing and Al-Ettifaq’s compact shape hasn’t left him much space to work with.
  • Marcel Brozovic: 7/10. The conduit through which everything flows. He is always an option, no matter what stage of an attack Al-Nassr are at. Often the first to pick up the ball from a defender, turn, and carry it.
  • Aymeric Laporte: 7/10. Looked solid when called upon and comfortable in possession.
  • Jordan Henderson: 6/10. Got on the ball a bit but hasn’t created much, besides a chance for Wijnaldum.
  • Georginio Wijnaldum: 5.5/10. Hasn’t had too much of an impact on the game so far.

Half-time: Al-Nassr 0-0 Al-Ettifaq – an explosive ending to the half

Well, what an ending to the half!

Al-Nassr thought they had taken the lead through Talisca, only for a VAR check to rule that he was offside.

Minutes later, Talisca is given a yellow for a foul, only for VAR to upgrade it to a red. Talisca’s worst enemy is either VAR or himself, it seems.

Luis Castro, Al-Nassr’s manager, is remonstrating with the referee in the middle of the park amid a throng of bodies as other players march down the tunnel. Ronaldo looked furious.

Red card for Talisca!

Talisca has been sent off after a foul! He was initially given a yellow card, but that has been upgraded after a check. He appears to have fouled an opponent and lashed out with his arm, hitting him in the face. Dramatic scenes.

Al-Nassr 0-0 Al-Ettifaq: Talisca’s goal is ruled out!

A chorus of boos rises from the stands as the referee reviews footage of the goal and decides that Cristiano Ronaldo was offside immediately before Talisca scored.

The cross from the left side was beautiful and looping, but Ronaldo’s boot was beyond his marker as the ball was played and they judged that he interfered with play. Tricky call. Talisca was nowhere near offside and ran from deep but Ronaldo certainly got near the ball.

Otavio chance!

Another Al-Nassr chance there. Another bit of danger from Otavio. He hit a shot from a tight angle but Victor saved.

Ronaldo chance… but offside!

That free-kick looked so well-worked!

Al-Ettifaq stood stock still as Marcelo Brozovic dinked the ball over the top down the right, but the goalkeeper got out to smother Ronaldo’s shot and it turned out he had mistimed his run anyway.

Sadio Mane shut down on the left

Not much luck so far for Sadio Mane – Al-Ettifaq are compact down their right flank and containing him well.

Al-Nassr defend Henderson corner

Jordan Henderson just put a delicious outswinging corner in the penalty spot region, but Al-Nassr wanted it more and headed away.

Ronaldo’s influence wanes

Al-Nassr are really competent in possession, but it’s not leading anywhere. Ronaldo looks on the edge of things – he’s well-marked and hasn’t been getting on the ball much in the last ten minutes.

Al-Nassr dominate possession; Brozovic shoots

It’s a backs-against-the-wall operation these last few minutes for Al-Ettifaq.

Lots of nice building form Ronaldo’s team, but then Marcel Brozovic takes a shot from range, semeingly out of frustration, and it’s pretty limp and easy to save.

Demarai Gray open goal shot saved!

There was a crunching tackle on Otavio in Al-Ettifaq’s penalty area, but the referee wasn’t having any of it. While Otavio stayed down, Gerrard’s team counter.

Demarai Gray found himself one-on-one with the goalkeeper, then rounds him with a deft touch, but a sliding defender makes sure his shot doesn’t go in. Should have been 1-0, really.

Al-Nassr injury

Right-back Nawaf Boushal has come off injured to be replaced by Abdullah Al-Khaibari.

Quick break for drinks

Steven Gerrard was in deep discussion with Demarai Gray and the winger was gesticulating, seemingly about tactics. Back playing now.

Ronaldo watch: first 25 minutes

Ronaldo is clearly the most dangerous man on the pitch:

  • Al-Nassr are using him as their target man down the middle through which most attacks go, or he’ll peel off to the side between a centre-back and full-back to get beyond the back line.
  • Perfectly weighted passes to bring team-mates into play.
  • Has had a shot blocked.
  • When he gets on the ball and starts dribbling, the opposition back off. Al-Ettifaq have a pretty low block.

Ronaldo shot blocked!

Ronaldo came at Al-Ettifaq there with his trademark stepover and twisted the defenders inside out, but his shot was blocked!

He had tried to squeeze it through the morass of legs into the far corner with his left and the ‘keeper looked beaten enough had it got through, but fortunately for Al-Ettifaq a defender was there.

Al-Ettifaq penalty shout waved away

That was a marauding run from Al-Nassr left-back Hamdan Al-Shamrani there, and he looked as if he was tripped as he went into the area, but his penalty shout was dismissed.

Al-Nassr chance goes begging!

Al-Nassr got beyond the backline of their opponents there but Otavio couldn’t make the most of it. He got to the goalline and tried to pull it back, but his team-mates had already ran beyond the pass onto the goalkeeper. Wasted chance.

Ronaldo booked for dissent

Ronaldo’s anger has got him a yellow card after he shouted in the referee’s face.

Ronaldo incandescent as foul shout waved away

Ronaldo is irate and screaming in the referee’s face after he fell under a challenge on the edge of the area. Lots of boos from the crowd but nothing is given.

Henderson almost assists Wijnaldum!

Jordan Henderson did really well there. he picked up the ball 25 yards out and took on a man before dinking a neat through ball past the oncoming defenders, but Georginio Wijnaldum could only fire straight at the ‘keeper from the right edge of the area.

Flurry of chances for Al-Ettifaq!

Al-Ettifaq just had three shots, but three times they were denied.

Al-Nassr were open down the left and Gerrard’s team countered and should have done better. Goalkeeper Alagidi made fine saves despite the likes of Demarai Gray having a go. Could have been a goal there.

Al-Nassr win corner

Otavio lofted in a cross from the left and Talisca tried to win it, but Al-Ettifaq deal with it and it’s out for a corner.

Al-Nassr struggle to threeaten with the set-piece from the left and eventually Al-Ettifaq get a free-kick in their own half.

Al-Ettifaq have their first go on the ball

Steven Gerrard’s men have finally seen some possession but haven’t done much with it.

They looked panicked and booted it long, losing it. When they won it back, they immediately ran into danger.

Al-Nassr enjoy possession and have a chance

Swaddled in a royal blue with golden players names and numbers, Al-Nassr have seen most of the ball so far and are just feeling their way around.

Talisca picked up the ball on the edge of the areaand cut onto his left, but his shot is wild and wide across goal.

Moments to go

Steven Gerrard is on the touchline surverying the view before him while his counterpart, Luis Castro, sits in his dugout.

Players lining up

A gigantic green drape is being shaken over the centre circle as an anthem plays, which the players sing.

Players walking out of the tunnel

Players and staff exchanged embraces in the tunnel and music is playing as they walk out.

Some of the stars warming up

Not long to go now – kick-off expected in under ten minutes.

What sort of form are the sides in?

Al-Nassr sit second in the Saudi Pro League, while Al-Ettifaq sit seventh. They contest this round of 16 tie having both won by a margin of four goals in the previous round.

  • Al-Nassr are unbeaten in their last 14 games and have scored four or more in seven of those games.
  • Al-Ettifaq have only won one of their last four, but did win four in a row before that.
  • Cristiano Ronaldo is the top scorer in the Saudi Pro League with 11 goals.
RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA - OCTOBER 24: Cristiano Ronaldo of Al-Nassr is seen during the AFC Champions League Group E football match between Al-Nassr and Al-Duhai at the KSU Stadium in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on October 24, 2023. (Photo by Mohammed Saad/Anadolu via Getty Images)

Hello and welcome

Good afternoon and thanks for tuning in to Mail Sport’s live blog of Al-Nassr vs Al-Ettifaq in the King Cup of Champions!

We’re set to see lots of big names take part in the form of Cristiano Ronaldo, Sadio Mane, Marcel Brozovic, Aymeric Laporte, and Alex Telles for Al-Nassr, while Al-Ettifaq field Jordan Henderson, Georginio Wijnaldum, and Demarai Gray and are managed by Steven Gerrard.

Key Updates

  • Al-Nassr go close!

  • Extra time begins

  • How did Jordan Henderson not receive a card?

  • End of normal time: Al-Nassr 0-0 Al-Ettifaq

  • Ronaldo misses chance to equalise from Mane cross!

  • Frustrations boiling over

  • Ali Hazazi sent off for Al-Ettifaq!

  • Brawl kicks off!

  • Alex Telles misses!

  • Al-Nassr corner: Alagidi saves!

  • Ronaldo almost assists Mane!

  • Atmosphere check

  • Half-time: Al-Nassr 0-0 Al-Ettifaq – an explosive ending to the half

  • Al-Nassr 0-0 Al-Ettifaq: Talisca’s goal is ruled out!

  • Demarai Gray open goal shot saved!

  • Ronaldo watch: first 25 minutes

  • Ronaldo shot blocked!

  • Ronaldo booked for dissent

  • Ronaldo incandescent as foul shout waved away

  • Henderson almost assists Wijnaldum!

  • Flurry of chances for Al-Ettifaq!

  • Al-Ettifaq’s starting 11

  • How Al-Nassr line-up