Cristiano Ronaldo endures a frustrating night as Al-Nassr are BEATEN 1-0 by title rivals Al-Ittihad and leapfrogged into top spot, with the Portuguese star losing for the first time in the Saudi Pro League and failing to score for second game in a row
- Al-Nassr faced title rivals Al-Ittihad in a crucial match on Thursday evening
- Cristiano Ronaldo’s side were beaten 1-0, and are no longer top of the table
- It was the first time that Ronaldo has lost a league match in Saudi Arabia
Cristiano Ronaldo lost for the first time in the Saudi Pro League as title rivals Al-Ittihad beat his Al-Nassr side 1-0 to take top spot in the table.
After scoring eight goals in four matches in February, all eyes were on Ronaldo to make the difference in the showdown between Saudi Arabia’s top two sides.
But the 38-year-old struggled to get into the game and could not inspire his team to victory as they fell to a deserved defeat.
In a first half that lacked any real quality, it was the hosts that had the better of the chances, but they couldn’t find a breakthrough.
Ronaldo had one chance before the interval with his snap-shot being well-saved by Al-Ittihad goalkeeper Marcelo Grohe, but the Portuguese star was offside anyway.
Cristiano Ronaldo lost for the first time in the Saudi Pro League as Al-Nassr were beaten by Al-Ittihad
Nuno Espirito Santo’s Al-Ittihad are now top of the league following their home win
Al-Ittihad found a winning goal with 10 minutes to go to move a point clear of Al-Nassr
Knowing that they needed a win to leapfrog their opponents, it was Al-Ittihad who seized the initiative after the interval as they pushed for the opening goal.
Brazilian star Romarinho had a volley cleared off the line, but made no mistake 10 minutes from time.
After the ball was played into him on the edge of the area, he produced a fine first touch to move into the box, and calmly swept the ball into the net to give Nuno Espirito Santo’s side the lead.
Al-Nassr rarely looked like getting back into the contest, yet there was still time for Ronaldo to have one last chance to secure his team a point.
With his only clear-cut opportunity of the game, Ronaldo found space in the box and hit his left-footed shot towards the near corner, but it was brilliantly kept out by Grohe.
Ronaldo has now failed to find the net in his last two outings, and he was clearly frustrated at the final whistle as he stormed off the pitch and down the tunnel.
There was delight for the home fans, though, with Al-Ittihad moving a point above Al-Nassr at the top of the Saudi Pro League.