Cristiano Ronaldo stars in Al Nassr's win over Al Khaleej to 'keep pressure' on Al Hilal

Portuguese forward scores the first and assists the second in 2-0 Saudi Pro League victory

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Cristiano Ronaldo praised Al Nassr's "solid win" over Al Khaleej in the Saudi Pro League on Saturday as the Portuguese forward took his tally for the season to 12 goals in 11 matches.

Ronaldo, 38, opened the scoring at Mrsool Park in the 26th minute with a superb strike from outside the area, before turning provider for Nassr's second when he cushioned the ball back across goal from a wide free kick for defender Aymeric Laporte to score a tap-in.

Sadio Mane thought he had scored Nassr's first goal in the ninth minute but his finish was chalked off by VAR for offside.

In a game that pitted second against 15th, Nassr were expected to run away with the victory, and while they deservedly collected all three points, Khaleej had their chances.

The visitors could have taken a surprise early lead but Nassr goalkeeper Nawaf Alaqidi produced an excellent save to keep out a glancing header from defender Mohammed Al-Khabrani, while Khaleek also struck the crossbar during the first half.

The result moves Nassr back to within four points of leaders Al Hilal, who earned their fifth straight league win on Friday by beating Al Fateh 2-0.

Posting on social media following Nassr's victory, Ronaldo wrote: "Solid win! We keep the pressure on!"

In Saturday's other Saudi Pro League matches, Al Ettifaq were held to a goalless draw by bottom side Al Raed as Steven Gerrard's side continued their inconsistent run of form. Ettifaq have now won only one of their past five league games.

Meanwhile, Abha secured a thrilling 3-2 victory over Al Akhdoud.

On Friday, in addition to Al Hilal's win at Al Fateh, champions Al Ittihad suffered another setback to their title defence with a 1-0 defeat to resurgent Al Shabab. The Jeddah giants have now gone five league matches without a win.

Friday's other match was a six-goal thriller between Al Ta'ee and Al Feiha, which saw Feiha fight back from 3-1 down to claim a 2-2 draw.

The round concludes on Sunday with three fixtures: fifth-placed Al Ahli will aim to close the gap at the top of the table when they host Al Riyadh, following Al Wehda's trip to Al Hazm and third-placed Al Taawoun's home game against Damac.

Updated: November 05, 2023, 8:13 AM