Al Hilal storm back to stun Al Ittihad in Saudi Pro League classic

Mitrovic scores a hat-trick before Al Dawsari settles seven-goal thriller

Aleksandar Mitrovic scores hat-trick as Al Hilal beat Al Ittihad in seven-goal thriller

Aleksandar Mitrovic scores hat-trick as Al Hilal beat Al Ittihad in seven-goal thriller
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Aleksandar Mitrovic scored a stunning hat-trick as Al Hilal roared back from 3-1 down to beat bitter rivals Al Ittihad 4-3 in Jeddah on Friday night.

The Serbian striker unleashed a spectacular volley after 20 minutes but was helpless as hosts Ittihad rampaged into a deserved lead at the interval.

Mitrovic's goal of the season contender was sandwiched in between Romarinho's opener and an Abderrazzak Hamdallah goal which made it 2-1. Karim Benzema's cheeky flick opened up a two-goal cushion and everything was going Ittihad's way.

Hilal coach Jorge Jesus brought on Brazilian Michael at the break to help the visitors gain some control. They did just that and Mitrovic got them back in it, scoring at the second attempt after his initial header was saved.

He then scored a penalty after Michael was tripped inside the box. Momentum had fully swung back in Hilal's favour and Salem Al Dawsari met Sergej Milinkovic-Savic's header across goal to win it and send Jesus, his 69-year-old manager, sprinting down the touchline.

The game had been billed as Neymar versus Benzema, but the former remains injured and didn't even make the Hilal matchday squad, while the latter scored but ended up on the losing side.

Instead, it was Mitrovic, a £50 million signing from Fulham, who grabbed the headlines with a treble that is sure to cement his status as an Al Hilal fans' favourite.

The win sends the Riyadh giants to the top of the formative SPL league table, with four wins and a draw from their opening five games.

Previously unbeaten Ittihad drop down to second having conceded their first goals of the fledgling campaign in this chastening defeat.

Updated: September 02, 2023, 4:44 AM