Al Ettifaq vs Al Nassr score

Al Ettifaq vs Al Nassr score, result, highlights, as Steven Gerrard and Jordan Henderson win in Saudi Pro League

Moussa Dembele scored the winner on his debut as Al Ettifaq’s first competitive game under manager Steven Gerrard and captain Jordan Henderson produced a 2-1 comeback victory over Al Nassr in their first Saudi Pro League match of the new season.

Former Lyon, Celtic and Fulham striker Dembele turned in half-time substitute Vitinho’s deflected cross as his new club recovered from falling behind to fellow newcomer Sadio Mane’s fourth-minute opener.

Jordan Henderson, who wore the armband and played alongside Mane when Liverpool won the 2019 UEFA Champions League final, captained Gerrard’s side and sent in the corner that led to Robin Quaison’s equaliser two minutes after the break, capitalising on Al Nassr goalkeeper Nawaf Alaqidi spilling the delivery.

Mane put Al Nassr ahead early when he clipped in Ali Alhassan’s cutback at close range for his first goal since joining the Saudi Public Investment Fund-owned team from Bayern Munich for £24 million ($30.4m) in August.

Mane almost had a second with a volley soon afterwards and was denied a late equaliser when an offside flag ruled out his ruthless first-time volley as Al Nassr slipped to an opening defeat in the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo.

Midfielder Abdulmajeed Al Sulayhem’s long-range strike was the first of two efforts from the visitors to rattle the woodwork, Ayman Yahya seeing his shot bravely blocked by the body of defender Marcel Tisserand from the rebound on the second occasion.

Exhaustion was a factor in sweltering conditions, with several players suffering cramp and injuries during the later stages, leading to 14 minutes of added time at the end of the second half.

Al Ettifaq vs Al Nassr final score

 FinalGoal scorers
Al Ettifaq2– Robin Quaison (47′)
– Moussa Dembele (53′)
Al Nassr1– Sadio Mane (4′)

Lineups:

Al Ettifaq (4-2-3-1): 48. Paulo Victor (GK) — 12. Al-Hawsawi (Yousef 72′), 32. Tisserand, 4. Hendry, 70. Khateeb — 16. F. Al-Ghamdi, 10. Henderson (Ozdemir 88′) — 15. A. Al-Ghamdi (Vitinho 46′), 11. Ali Hazazi (Mahzari 72′), 99. Quaison — 9. Dembele (H. Al-Ghamdi 85′)

Al Nassr (4-3-3): 44. Al-Aqidi (GK) — 12. Boushal (Sahlouli 90′), 4. Al Fatil, 21. Mukhtar, 13. Konan — 19. Al Hassan (Adam 71′), 17. Al Khaibari, 8. Al Sulaiheem (Al Najei 65′) — 46. Al Alawi (Al Ghannam 46′), 10. Mane, 29. Ghareeb (Aiman 71′).

Al Ettifaq play their first away game of the season on Friday at Ar Rass-based Al Hazem, who were the victims of a hat-trick from Brazil forward Roberto Firmino in a 3-1 defeat on Friday.

Luis Castro’s Al Nassr are at home to Al-Taawoun on the same day, facing opponents with a point from a 1-1 draw at Al Fateh on Sunday.

Henderson and Gerrard show steel in Saudi Pro League

When his first Premier League managerial role ended abruptly with his sacking by Aston Villa in October 2022, Gerrard might not have anticipated his next job arriving almost 4,000 miles away in the company of Henderson.

Gerrard is hoping to rebuild his reputation after struggling at Villa Park, where he took over midway through the previous season following a successful reign at Scottish giants Rangers.

Steven Gerrard is in the house 🙌#yallaRSL #RoshnSaudiLeague pic.twitter.com/58vdfNxJaE— Roshn Saudi League (@SPL_EN) August 14, 2023

While Gerrard’s switch was a surprise, Henderson’s Anfield exit to join the cast of high-profile players accepting lucrative offers in Saudi Arabia has resulted in controversy and criticism for the England international.

Henderson toiled for a team unable to produce any efforts on target during the opening 45 minutes, playing deep, struggling to advance into dangerous areas and sending a cross high and wide on one of his only entries into the final third.

As Champions League winners accustomed to playing among the very elite, Al Ettifaq’s most high-profile acquisitions would have made their exacting standards clear in the dressing room at halftime. Gerrard squabbled with counterpart Luis Castro before heading down the tunnel.

Jordan Henderson leads his @Ettifaq_EN team out in the #RoshnSaudiLeague for the first time 💪#yallaRSL pic.twitter.com/0Akh43kKJv— Roshn Saudi League (@SPL_EN) August 14, 2023

The contrast was impressive once Al Ettifaq re-emerged. Sweden international Quaison’s goal was a fortunate one, but it would not prove against the run of play.

With their passing much more crisp, The Commandos created an overlap for Vitinho, the Brazilian latching on to a pass and whipping a cross in front of goal.

Dembele, who was barracked by Henderson for failing to provide a passing outlet during a later move, is unlikely to spend long reflecting on the scuffed finish that decided this game. The points it earned are all that really matter.

Al Ettifaq and Al Okhdood pick up massive results to finish off matchweek 1 👊#yallaRSL #RoshnSaudiLeague pic.twitter.com/e1eAzusbYl— Roshn Saudi League (@SPL_EN) August 14, 2023

Why did Cristiano Ronaldo not play for Al Nassr?

Al Nassr played in the Arab Club Champions Cup two days before this season opener, winning in dramatic fashion with goals from Ronaldo in the 74th and 98th minutes.

Ronaldo’s side had been reduced to 10 players three minutes before he scored the equaliser, and there was more bad news when the five-time Ballon d’Or winner had to be carried off the pitch before the end.

The former Manchester United top scorer was clutching his leg and clearly upset, which is the likely explanation for him missing their first league game.

Mané’s first goal 🙌💛 pic.twitter.com/Ll9eqAZ7AE— AlNassr FC (@AlNassrFC_EN) August 14, 2023

Two of their July signings, Alex Telles and Marcelo Brozovic, were also among the names missing from their teamsheet for a league match played in draining heat for 104 minutes including stoppage time.

Defender Telles has joined from Manchester United, while midfielder Brozovic left Inter Milan — and the pair should help to make Al Nassr a force to be reckoned with alongside Ronaldo.

Two-time African Footballer of the Year Mane remains an exceptional player, but the former Premier League Golden Boot winner might well have ended up on the losing side even if he had been partnered by Ronaldo.

Jordan Henderson leads his @Ettifaq_EN team out in the #RoshnSaudiLeague for the first time 💪#yallaRSL pic.twitter.com/0Akh43kKJv— Roshn Saudi League (@SPL_EN) August 14, 2023

Al Ettifaq were resolute, with Tisserand and Scotland centre-back Jack Hendry grittily solid at the back, keeping Mane quiet during the second half aside from his disallowed goal.

The Champions Cup win was Ronaldo’s maiden trophy in Saudi Arabia. In a much-improved competition — Firmino’s treble was an early reminder of the calibre of players to have followed Ronaldo to the country – the task of winning the league for the first time looks tough.

MORE: Why Jordan Henderson’s reported move to Saudi Arabia is so controversial

Al Ettifaq vs Al Nassr live updates, highlights, commentary

Final: Al Ettifaq 2-1 Al Nassr

There’s a roar from the benches as Steven Gerrard wins his first match as a Saudi Pro League manager!

Moussa Dembele is the matchwinner on his debut as Al Ettifaq recover from an insipid first half to turn the game around following Sadio Mane’s fourth-minute opener.

90 +9 mins: Al Ettifaq 2-1 Al Nassr

Not quite as convincing this time from Paulo Victor, punching a delivery which he probably could have caught.

Sadio Mane produced a razor-sharp turn seconds beforehand in a dangerous area. Can the two-time African Footballer of the Year find a super-late second for his team?

90 +8 mins: Al Ettifaq 2-1 Al Nassr

Brave and acrobatic goalkeeping from Al Ettifaq’s Paulo Victor, who races to the edge of his penalty area to produce a volleyball-style two-handed underarm punch to smash a difficult ball away from danger. Effective and entertaining.

90 +6 mins: Al Ettifaq 2-1 Al Nassr

A chance for Al Ettifaq to run down the clock: they win a free-kick deep in opposition territory. We’re almost at the midway point of added time.

90 +3 mins: Al Ettifaq 2-1 Al Nassr

Abdulfattah Adam has a go from near the edge of the penalty area in a central position, his low strike bypassing a crowd of players and being hooked away from the line by Abdullah Al-Khateeb.

Nervy moments for Al Ettifaq!

90 +2 mins: Al Ettifaq 2-1 Al Nassr

Al Nassr have a free-kick in a dangerous position just outside the penalty area on the right.

90 mins: Al Ettifaq 2-1 Al Nassr

Any frustration Sadio Mane might feel about being denied a goal may be perked a little by the sight of the fourth official’s board.

There will be 14 minutes of added time. Will Steven Gerrard regret taking Jordan Henderson off?

89 mins: Al Ettifaq 2-1 Al Nassr

Sadio Mane has the ball in the net with an excellent first-time volley across goal and into the far corner of the net from inside the penalty area on the right – but it’s not to be as he’s adjudged to have crept just beyond the Al Ettifaq backline when the cross from the left was played in.

88 mins: Al Ettifaq 2-1 Al Nassr

Jordan Henderson is one of an increasingly small number of players not to have obviously suffered from cramp during the second half, but he’s replaced anyway.

Defensive midfielder Berat Ozdemir takes his place.

85 mins: Al Ettifaq 2-1 Al Nassr

Moussa Dembele makes way for Al Ettifaq, presumably a satisfied striker after scoring what’s headed to be the winner on his debut.

Midfielder Hamed Al-Ghamdi replaces him. It looks like Steven Gerrard is shoring things up as his players close in on victory.

82 mins: Al Ettifaq 2-1 Al Nassr

Scotland centre-back Jack Hendry has been solid for Al Ettifaq. This time he does well to athletically head a cross from the right away while under pressure in a dangerous area.

79 mins: Al Ettifaq 2-1 Al Nassr

Al Nassr want a penalty for a handball against Marcel Tisserand. They don’t receive one.

77 mins: Al Ettifaq 2-1 Al Nassr

Al Nassr so nearly score! After the ball strikes the angle of post and crossbar, Yayha’s half-volley from a tight angle at close range is bravely deflected behind by Marcel Tisserand, who gets his body in the way of the ball at point-blank range.

75 mins: Al Ettifaq 2-1 Al Nassr

Another potential casualty: Robin Quaison goes down with cramp inside the penalty area on the right.

He’s stretching his right leg in an attempt to rectify the situation, and has to go off for treatment.

72 mins: Al Ettifaq 2-1 Al Nassr

Al Nassr had the only shot on target of the first half but they’ve created precious little since the break. Sadio Mane has hardly been involved.

69 mins: Al Ettifaq 2-1 Al Nassr

Not a good few minutes for fans of fully-working hamstrings. Al Ettifaq’s Sanousi Hawsawi stretches for an overhead ball and feels a ping, requiring treatment on the turf and, subsequently, by the side of the pitch.

The unfortunate defender will be playing no further part in this game.

66 mins: Al Ettifaq 2-1 Al Nassr

Jordan Henderson has a pop at Moussa Dembele because the striker didn’t provide an outlet for a pass.

No letting up from the England midfielder in his first Saudi Pro League game.

63 mins: Al Ettifaq 2-1 Al Nassr

Al Nassr’s Mohammed Al-Fatil pulls up with what looks like a hamstring strain by the technical areas. Not a huge surprise to see this test of stamina taking its toll on players’ bodies.

Steven Gerrard, who’s the nearest person to him, checks on Al-Fatil’s welfare.

61 mins: Al Ettifaq 2-1 Al Nassr

As well as their greater attacking ambition, Al Ettifaq have been notably sharper with their passing on their way to taking the lead during a start to the second half as blistering as the temperature.

They needed to create chances for Robin Quaison and Moussa Dembele – and they’ve been rewarded for improving the supply lines.

58 mins: Al Ettifaq 2-1 Al Nassr

Steven Gerrard and Jordan Henderson share a few words on tactics on the sideline. Safe to say they’ll be much happier now than they were at half-time.

55 mins: Al Ettifaq 2-1 Al Nassr

Abdulmajeed Al Sulayhem is unlucky not to have brought Al Nassr level! The midfielder sends in a terrific shot from well outside the penalty area to the right of centre, curling against the near post and away!

53 mins: Al Ettifaq 2-1 Al Nassr

Steven Gerrard was willing that cross to go in as Vitinho raced onto a pass as part of an overload on the left.

The substitute sent in an inviting low cross which took at least one deflection on its way into the path of new signing Moussa Dembele in front of goal, who scuffed it in. Another debutant scores – what a start to the half for Al Ettifaq!

52 mins: GOAL – Al Ettifaq 2-1 Al Nassr (Moussa Dembele)

Steven Gerrard has both arms in the air as Al Ettifaq turn the game around!

💪 @MDembele_10 bags the winner on his #RoshnSaudiLeague debut 🇫🇷 #yallaRSL pic.twitter.com/FlffzPPPko— Roshn Saudi League (@SPL_EN) August 14, 2023

49 mins: Al Ettifaq 1-1 Al Nassr

The goal is confirmed! It’s a messy way for Steven Gerrard’s side to establish parity, but the Liverpudlian won’t care in the slightest.

Nawaf Al-Aqidi made a hash of catching Jordan Henderson’s delivery from the right, dropping the ball in front of goal. Quaison stabs in with an even more straightforward than Sadio Mane had for the first goal!

48 mins: GOAL – Al Ettifaq 1-1 Al Nassr (Robin Quaison)

Sweden striker Robin Quaison pokes the ball in from close range following a Jordan Henderson corner!

It’ll go to VAR, though, in order to check a challenge on goalkeeper Nawaf Al-Aqidi…

47 mins: Al Ettifaq 0-1 Al Nassr

Each side has made a change: striker Victor Tavares dos Santos has replaced Ahmed Al-Ghamdi for Al Nassr, while Khalid Al-Ghannam is on for Abdulaziz Saud Al Elewai for Al Ettifaq.

46 mins: Al Ettifaq 0-1 Al Nassr

Al Nassr, attacking from left to right, restart the action, Ghislain Konan attempting an early attack down a flank.

Halftime: Al Ettifaq 0-1 Al Nassr

The most eventful incident since the goal comes as the half-time whistle blows: opposing managers Steven Gerrard and Luis Castro are arguing about something, with Gerrard losing characteristically stern as he makes his point.

Luis Castro puts an arm around him, but it still doesn’t look over-friendly as they slowly make their way off. Both bosses, you suspect, will be asking their players to do more in attack at the break, which is no easy task in this energy-sapping heat.

45 +1 mins: Al Ettifaq 0-1 Al Nassr

We’re into five minutes of added time. Abdulmajeed Al Sulayhem, who’s had an impressive half in an attacking midfield role, goes down – that could be an issue or merely a chance to take a breather.

43 mins: Al Ettifaq 0-1 Al Nassr

The action’s quietened somewhat, perhaps reflecting the gruelling conditions these players are competing in.

One fan is wearing a Real Madrid shirt and honking a horn. Steven Gerrard is in his seat, making a point to his coaching staff.

40 mins: Al Ettifaq 0-1 Al Nassr

A grimace from Jordan Henderson after he starts a move from the halfway line, picks up the ball on the left of the penalty area, finds space and lofts a cross well clear of the target.

Al Nassr are closing in on a half-time lead.

37 mins: Al Ettifaq 0-1 Al Nassr

Aside from Sadio Mane skimming Al Nassr ahead, it’s been a game of few chances – in fact, that’s been the only attempt on goal.

Al Ettifaq have had 57% of possession, almost all of which has been outside of the final third. Captain Jordan Henderson is playing deeper than you suspect he might like.

34 mins: Al Ettifaq 0-1 Al Nassr

There are patches of empty blue seats around this stadium, and plenty of colourful sights among the fans: some are wearing yellow and blue scarves around their heads, with others brandishing green and white flags as they make their allegiances loud and clear.

31 mins: Al Ettifaq 0-1 Al Nassr

Steven Gerrard watch: The new Al Ettifaq head coach is in a dark t-shirt tonight. That’s about as riveting an update as there is on the Liverpool legend as he makes his managerial debut in this division.

29 mins: Al Ettifaq 0-1 Al Nassr

Sadio Mane has a point to make to the referee after the scorer ends up momentarily prone on the turf as a result of a hefty challenge for an aerial ball by Al Ettifaq goalkeeper Paulo Victor.

It looked fair but Mane had to absorb a nasty impact. He’s as drenched in sweat as everyone else – it’s sweltering out there.

27 mins: Al Ettifaq 0-1 Al Nassr

Moussa Dembele briefly looks like he’s through on goal just outside the Al Nassr penalty area, but he’s well stewarded by experienced defender Omar Hawsawi.

The newly-signed attacker ends up checking his run and cantering away from the penalty area to the left, the danger fizzling out accordingly.

24 mins: Al Ettifaq 0-1 Al Nassr

Jordan Henderson looks up inside the centre circle, sees nothing to attract his attention in front of him and plays a pass backwards.

Al Ettifaq build again, working their way down the left and winning a throw-in almost level with the opposition penalty area.

22 mins: Al Ettifaq 0-1 Al Nassr

Ivorian left-back Ghislain Konan enters the Al Ettifaq penalty area on the left, looks up and fails to find a team-mate with a cross.

Al Nassr clear unconvincingly. Their new Portuguese manager, Luis Castro, gulps from a bottle of water inside his technical area, looking sweaty.

19 mins: Al Ettifaq 0-1 Al Nassr

Al Nassr winger Abdulrahman Ghareeb shows his speed, bursting down the left after interrupting Al Ettifaq’s prolonged passage of possession. His side can’t create a meaningful chance, and Al Nassr then end an attack of their own with a cross into the penalty area which is confidently claimed by Paulo Victor, the goalkeeper advancing from his line.

17 mins: Al Ettifaq 0-1 Al Nassr

Al Ettifaq have done little with it in an attacking sense, but they’ve dominated possession during the last few moments, playing passes around near the halfway line and spreading play in pursuit of an opening.

14 mins: Al Ettifaq 0-1 Al Nassr

Jordan Henderson curls an outswinging corner from the right into the penalty area as Al Ettifaq seek a reply. Al Nassr head clear.

12 mins: Al Ettifaq 0-1 Al Nassr

Al Nassr midfielder Abdulmajeed Al Sulayhem ends up in a heap just outside his own penalty area after competing for a 50-50 ball.

It looks like a painful one, but he’s back up and running admirably quickly.

11 mins: Al Ettifaq 0-1 Al Nassr

Here’s that goal!

8 mins: Al Ettifaq 0-1 Al Nassr

Having got off the mark for the season with one of the easiest goals he’ll ever score, Sadio Mane is clearly confident he can score more.

This time his volley from distance drops narrowly wide of a post.

5 mins: GOAL – Al Ettifaq 0-1 Al Nassr (Sadio Mane)

That goal came from a slick Al Nassr move inside the penalty area on the right, Saudi Arabia midfielder Ali Alhassan ultimately cutting a low pass from the byline back into the path of Sadio Mane in front of goal, who swept in!

4 mins: GOAL – Al Ettifaq 0-1 Al Nassr (Sadio Mane)

No Cristiano Ronaldo, no problem (when you’ve got Sadio Mane) – the Senegal striker requires less than five minutes to open his account for Al Nassr!

1 min: Al Ettifaq 0-0 Al Nassr

Al Nassr, in yellow shirts and blue shorts, have had more of the early play here. Al Nassr are in green shirts with white shorts and red socks.

Kickoff

20 mins to kickoff: Al Nassr’s confirmed starting lineup (possibly 4-4-2): Al-Aqidi (GK) — Bushal, Al Fatil, Konan, Mukhtar Ali — Al Khaibari, Al Sulayhem, Al Aliwi — Ghareeb, Mane

Jordan Henderson and Moussa Dembele start for Al Ettifaq. Here’s their lineup, in a potential 4-2-3-1 formation:

Paulo Victor (GK) – Al-Hawsawi, Tisserand, Hendry, Khateeb – Ali Hazazi, Al-Ghamdi –  Henderson, Quaison, Al-Ghamdi – Dembele

40 mins to kickoff: Team news! It’s big, too: Cristiano Ronaldo is not in the Al-Nassr matchday squad but Sadio Mane starts.

Full details on the way…

1 hour to kickoff: Cristiano Ronaldo and Sadio Mane are some strike pairing to have. We’ll know shortly whether they’ll be starting tonight.

It would be quite an achievement for either superstar to perform as well as Malcom tonight. The Brazilian has completed his hat-trick for Al-Hilal at Abha, where they’re closing in on a 3-1 win.

1 hour 20 mins to kickoff: Elsewhere in the Saudi Pro League this evening, Al-Ittihad – who have reigning men’s Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema in attack – are 2-0 up as part of a dominant display at Al-Raed after 75 minutes, although their most high-profile signing is yet to find the net.

Al-Hilal are 2-1 ahead at Abha, former Barcelona forward Malcom scoring both of their goals.

1 hour 40 mins to kickoff: Al Ettifaq finished seventh last year but have taken points off Al Nassr in three of their last four meetings.

One aspect the betting market has decided on is that goals will flow in this game, with the option of at least three total goals a clear favourite and both teams projected to find the back of the net by bookmakers.

2 hours to kickoff: Hello and welcome to The Sporting News’ live coverage of the first game of the 2023-24 Saudi Pro League season for these clubs.

As pre-season signings go, a two-time African Footballer of the Year and an England international aren’t bad acquisitions. Al Nassr have added to their firepower in style with the arrival of Sadio Mane, while Al Ettifaq manager Steven Gerrard has been reunited with Jordan Henderson.

We’ll have build-up, news on whether Mane and Henderson are starting and live coverage of the game coming up!

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