Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick powers Al Nassr to first SPL win of season

Sadio Mane scores a brace in 5-0 win over Al Fateh

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Cristiano Ronaldo put in the best performance of the season so far as he scored a sublime hat-trick and also provided an assist in a comprehensive 5-0 win over Al Fateh in the Saudi Pro League on Friday night.

After two defeats in the opening matches of the league, Nassr needed a big effort to get the season back on track. And they put in a near-perfect performance at the Prince Abdullah bin Jalawi Stadium.

Mane got things moving in the 27th minute following a superb back-heeled assist from Ronaldo.

Seven minutes before half-time, Ronaldo got his first goal of the campaign with a towering header from six yards out. He scored two more in the second half as Fateh goalkeeper Jacob Rinne was left stranded and the Portuguese star slotted in from close range.

In between, Mane got a second goal of his own as Al Nassr eased to victory.

After the brilliant performance, Ronaldo took to social media to join the celebrations.

"Another incredible team effort - let’s go," Ronaldo said on X, formerly Twitter.

It was a welcome result for Nassr who had suffered defeats to Al Ettifaq and Al Taawoun in the league. They had, however, fared much better outside the SPL, winning the King Salman Cup and the AFC Champions League play-off.

Nassr had already shown their fighting spirit when they came from behind to qualify for the Asian Champions League group stage after securing an injury-time 4-2 victory against Dubai's Shabab Al Ahli in Riyadh.

There was also a memorable start to life at Al Nassr for Aymeric Laporte.

The Spanish centre-back had joined the Saudi side from Manchester City in a deal worth a reported £23 million.

Laporte, who had won 12 major honours during his successful spell with City, was understandably happy after a successful night.

"The perfect start Al Nassr. Thank you for the warm welcome," Laporte posted on X, formerly Twitter.

Updated: August 26, 2023, 5:35 AM