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Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al-Nassr Lost to Al-Ittihad in the Battle for Top Spot in Saudi Pro League, Portugal Captain Kicked a Bottle Out of Frustration

Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al-Nassr Lost to Al-Ittihad in the Battle for Top Spot in Saudi Pro League, Portugal Captain Kicked a Bottle Out of Frustration

Five-time Ballon d’Or winner and the all-time leading scorer in international level Cristiano Ronaldo looked to have settled into his new life in Asia, or Saudi Arabia to be exact, since making his illustrious move away from Europe to the Saudi region. The Portugal national team captain registered eight goals in seven matches in all competitions for his new club, but even a football great like him could not stay invincible in the Saudi Pro League, as Al-Nassr lost to Al-Ittihad at King Abdullah Sports City with a 1-0 score line and eventually let go of its top spot to the home team last night.


Ronaldo’s First Loss in Saudi Pro League

Rudi Garcia’s side came into the battle for top spot on a four-game winning streak and five-game unbeaten run in the league, with the previous loss came against its opponent last evening, Al-Ittihad. The French manager made four changes to his team that beat Al-Batin 3-1 at home last Sunday whereas Nuno Santo made only one change to his team that won the previous Saudi Pro League encounter against Khaleej FC on Friday.

First real chance for Al-Nassr to open the score line came in the 29th minute, when Ronaldo broke free from the left flank and strike the ball to the near post. His shot was saved by Marcelo Grohe while Abdulrahman Ghareeb’s follow-up effort was bravely blocked by Al-Ittihad’s defence. The 38-year-old Portuguese forward was seen in enormous ache after he was clashed into Madallah Alolayan inside the penalty box, before another Al-Nassr attack saw him holding the back of his head in pain three minutes before the first added time.

Al-Ittihad welcomed a great chance to draw first blood nine minutes after the restart, with Bruno Henrique’s header failing to hit the target. His teammate Abderrazak Hamdallah also missed another golden opportunity later and would have scored if he did not round the opposing goalkeeper to create an open chance for himself. The deadlock finally be broken in the 80th minute, when Romarinho was sent cleared in the penalty box. The Brazilian striker kept his cool and finished off the shot to give Al-Ittihad the lead and the 1-0 margin stayed till the final whistle of the match, giving Al-Nassr only its second league defeat this season.


Al-Nassr’s Second Loss Against Al-Ittihad in as Many Games

The nine-time Saudi Pro League champion’s last defeat came against Al-Ittihad in the Saudi Super Cup Semifinal back in late January, and last night’s result made it two successful losses for the Cristiano Ronaldo-led side versus Nuno Santo’s men and marked the Portuguese’s first ever defeat in a Saudi league game. Al-Ittihad’s win also snapped Al-Nassr’s excellent run of form and the former is now a single point above its title contender.


Ronaldo Stormed Out of the Pitch by Kicking a Bottle

Cristiano Ronaldo was clearly not a happy man after his side lost to Al-Ittihad and threw away their lead at the top of the table. Upon leaving the pitch, the 38-year-old not only threw his captain’s armband, but also kicked a bottle out of frustration. The Portugal national captain then wrote a statement on his official Instagram platform, thanking the fans for their support and vowing to lead the team to do better in future games.


Rudi Garcia: “We Did Not Deserve to Lose.”

The losing manager had this to say in the post-match conference: “We are disappointed because we did not deserve to lose. Al-Ittihad scored a goal the way they like, on the counterattack. The league is still long. We are now behind Al-Ittihad by a point. I am happy with my team. We played in a difficult stadium in front of a strong audience, and yet we played with a wonderful personality.” Cristiano Ronaldo and Rudi Garcia’s Al-Nassr will meet Abha in the King Cup of Champions at King Saud University Stadium next, with hopes of going back to winning ways soon.

Ronaldo’s former club, Manchester United beat Real Betis 4-1 at home in the first leg of the UEFA Europa League Round of 16. Here are the full details about the match.

Steven Mosier

"Eat, breathe and sleep sports" is the life motto of mine. My professional athlete career ended way earlier than I thought, but the passion remains till the present, which is why I am here writing you all the sports news you crave! Also, I am a huge fan of the Premier League as well the NBA.

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