Thiago Neves and Ali Mabkhout help Al Jazira steady the ship in Arabian Gulf League

Abu Dhabi club register a win after parting with Abel Braga.

Al Jazira's Ali Mabkhout. Christopher Pike / The National
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Al Jazira 4 Emirates 0

Story of the match

Abu Dhabi // After the 4-0 thrashing at Fujairah 10 days ago that cost Al Jazira’s coach Abel Braga his job, a victory, no matter how it was achieved, was paramount.

Jazira did that in some style by thumping Emirates 4-0 last night at the Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium and moved up to ninth in the Arabian Gulf League table.

Thiago Neves provided the breakthrough to give Jazira a 1-0 lead at half time and Ali Mabkhout (two) and Sultan Al Shamsi were also on target to complete the rout.

Neves timed his run to perfection inside the area to receive a long ball from teammate Salem Ali, chested it down and knocked it past goalkeeper Ahmed Al Shaji for a 38th-minute lead. Mabkhout doubled that when he volleyed home Mohammed Jamal’s header from just outside the area four minutes into the second half.

Al Shamsi picked up a short pass from Mabkhout and took the play inside the area before unleashing a right-footer to the far corner and beyond Al Shaji’s reach to clinch the game on the 71st minute. Mabkhout completed the rout with a spectacular chipped shot from a difficult angle for his second goal of the match in added time.

Man of the match

Thiago Neves, Al Jazira

To take a grip on the match through an opening goal was vital for Jazira. They pushed for it and achieved it thanks to a clever move from the Brazilian Neves, whose intelligent run split the Emirates defence.

What they said

Ali Khamis Al Junaibi, the caretaker Al Jazira coach: “It was an important win.

“We needed it and the players did a great job on the night. We played better by balancing the three lines at the back, middle and front. The result would certainly motivate the players.

“It is my first league win as a coach and hopefully looking forward to the next game to achieve the same result.

“What we achieved tonight was a collective effort with inputs from the players and the management.”

Paulo Comelli, the Emirates coach: “We started the first half in a good way and created a couple of chances but Jazira scored first to get a good hold on the match. Then we made a couple of mistakes and conceded two more goals. After that it became difficult for us.

“We can only keep working hard with the limited resources we have, but hopefully we’ll try to bring in some new players during the transfer window.”

The National’s verdict

We are still waiting for Jazira to name a new manager.

There were a lot of new faces in the technical staff and on the pitch at the end of the game, though. Among them was Piet Hamberg, a former coach of Jazira who was in the dugout in his first game as the new assistant coach.

Is Hamberg the mystery man to fit in the Jazira puzzle?

Fred Rutten, the former PSV Eindhoven coach, is another name in the fray while the appointment of an Italian sporting director and several Italian backroom staff suggests Jazira might look to that country for their new man.

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