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Ronaldo turns provider as Al-Nassr take Saudi Pro League summit

Cristiano Ronaldo set up both of Al-Nassr’s goals in Friday’s 2-1 victory over Al-Taawoun - a result which puts them top of the pile.

MECCA, SAUDI ARABIA - FEBRUARY 17: Cristiano Ronaldo of Al Nassr in action during the Saudi Pro League football match between Al-Nassr and Al-Taawoun at the Mrsool Park in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on February 17, 2023. (Photo by Stringer/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Anadolu AgencyGetty

Al-Nassr went clear at the top of the Saudi Pro League table on Friday with Cristiano Ronaldo setting up both of the team’s goals in a 2-1 home win over Al-Taawoun. Earlier this week, it was confirmed that the Saudi champions will take part in the 2023 Club World Cup later this year as the host nation representative. The Club World Cup is a competition which Ronaldo knows well - he is a four-time winner, having lifted the trophy with Manchester United and Real Madrid.

Perfect pass

He followed up his four-goal haul against Al-Wehda in Al-Nassr’s last outing with another match-winning turn on Friday. Having set up Abdulrahman Ghareeb’s 17th-minute opener, Ronaldo supplied his second assist of the game to set up Abdullah Madu for the winner with 12 minutes of normal time remaining. Ronaldo’s first assist was a wonderful, first-time, sweeping pass which landed sweetly into the path of Ghareeb, who still had some work to do to shrug off his marker before beating the keeper.

The 38-year-old Portuguese ace might not have known too much about his touch for the winner as he, perhaps unintentionally, cushioned a team-mate’s shot back for Madu to drill into a gaping net, with the VAR awarding the goal after Ronaldo was initially flagged for offside.

Tight at the top

The victory takes Al-Nassr back above Al-Ittihad on goal difference - two of three teams on 40 points (Al-Shabab being the other). “Top of the league and three important points,” Ronaldo tweeted after the match. “Great team work!”


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