Riyadh derby

Updated 05 September 2012
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Riyadh derby

The last round of the Saudi league was full of excitement but the most important match was the Riyadh derby, where Al-Nasr met Al-Hilal at the King Fahad International Stadium.
This match was tough for both teams. Hilal lost most of its power this season, meeting a Nasr side that has become much better.
Nasr’s supporters gave their team an incredible pressure, believing that if they would not beat Hilal now in this situation, they would probably not ever.
But Hilal began the match stronger than its performance in the last four rounds. Not to mention, with the best lineup as well.
Hilal pulled through fearlessly, ending the match 3-1 in its favor. Hilal dominated especially during the second half. The coach made up for the three points loss against Ittifaq with a good lineup he created this time.
But the biggest credit went to Wesley Lopes, the striker the team has been needing since 2002. Hilal better be keeping this one. Also worth mentioning is the new local player, Yasser Alshahrani.
Good to know that the coach has learned his lesson during the Ittifaq match when he kept this gifted player off the field.
As for Nasr, I always say they still need a lot of work, time and patience. Losing to Hilal now should not be taken as a failure. They are improving, and that is a good thing. The management and supporters should not be too hard on them.
They should be given credit for developing into a better team. With enough motivation, I see this team developing into a very good one worthy of the respect from opponents in the future.
Hilal, on the other hand, should not view the win as a reason for complacency and overconfidence. Its recent victory must only be a reminder that with good tactic and focus, they can do it!
I hope that this win be a motivation for the long awaited match against Korea’s Ulasan in the Asian Championship League in two weeks.
This match is Hilal’s last hurrah for this season, losing even this will leave them with nothing.
Good luck with that!

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Liverpool return to top of the table with 3-1 win over arch-rivals Manchester United

Updated 16 December 2018
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Liverpool return to top of the table with 3-1 win over arch-rivals Manchester United

  • Shaqiri braces gives Reds deserved win over United at Anfield.
  • Mourinho's men well beaten as Liverpool leapfrog Manchester City ti return to top of the table.

LIVERPOOL: Two deflected Xherdan Shaqiri strikes handed Liverpool victory over Manchester United in the Premier League for the first time in nine attempts as Jurgen Klopp’s men moved back to the top of the table with a 3-1 win at Anfield on Sunday.
United manager Jose Mourinho claimed ahead of the game that the league leaders have had luck on their side this season, but while there was fortune in substitute Shaqiri’s two goals in the final 17 minutes, the visitors did not deserve anything more than a fifth defeat of the season.
Liverpool leapfrogged Manchester City to finish the weekend where they started, a point clear at the top, and move a mammoth 19 clear of United, who remain in sixth and are now 11 points off the top four.
The contrasting form showed by both sides this season continued as United strained to keep a rampant Liverpool at bay and were only level for so long thanks to a huge error by home goalkeeper Alisson Becker.
Sadio Mane had given Liverpool the lead before Jesse Lingard levelled when Alisson dropped a routine cross at the feet of the England international.
United had the ball in the net first on a rare foray forward but Romelu Lukaku was flagged offside despite not getting a touch to Ashley Young’s free-kick.
But Liverpool then laid siege to the visitors’ goal with David de Gea stretching to keep out a low drive from Roberto Firmino, Young clearing off the line and Fabinho firing wide from the edge of the box.
Only Manchester City have kept Klopp’s side from scoring in the Premier League this season and a United defense that has kept just one clean sheet in the league since September never looked capable of holding out like they had in their two previous visits to Anfield.
Mourinho’s men were finally breached when Mane controlled Fabinho’s chipped ball into the box on his chest and volleyed past the onrushing De Gea.
However, Liverpool’s momentum was punctured by an Alisson gift 12 minutes before the break.
The Brazilian was Liverpool’s hero with an injury-time save to secure the Reds’ place in the last 16 of the Champions League against Napoli on Tuesday.
But he spilled Lukaku’s simple cross into the path of the grateful Lingard to bundle the ball into an unguarded net.
The second half followed a similar pattern with one-way traffic toward the Kop as Liverpool sought the goal to take them back to the top of the table.
De Gea scrambled low to his left to palm Firmino’s prodded effort to safety, while Dejan Lovren and Virgil van Dijk saw efforts deflected behind.
Jurgen Klopp turned to Shaqiri to unlock the United defense 20 minutes from time and the Swiss international needed just three to put Liverpool back in front.
De Gea did well to prevent Ander Herrera turning Mane’s cross into his own net, but the ball fell for Shaqiri and his effort cannoned off Young and in off the underside of the bar.
Seven minutes later, Shaqiri got lucky again when, this time on his favored left foot, his shot flicked off the diving Eric Bailly to leave De Gea helpless.