Cristiano Ronaldo avoided a potential red card after snapping an opponent by the neck in Al Nassr’s 2-0 loss to rivals Al-Hilal on Tuesday.
Former Manchester United striker Odion Ighalo scored two penalties for Al Hilal, sending Al Nassr to their third loss of the season and a serious damper on their hopes of winning the Saudi Pro League title.
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In the 56th minute, Ronaldo was sideways 1-0, chasing a high ball as he jumped and landed on an opposing player’s back before wrapping his arm around his neck and dragging him to the ground. However, the Portugal international was only shown a yellow card by former Premier League referee Michael Oliver.
The defeat only adds to Al Nassr’s recent woes. Last week, the Riyadh-based club fired head coach Rudi Garcia amid reports of a strained relationship with Ronaldo.
Ronaldo later posted an Instagram Story with a photo of him and Garcia with the message: “A pleasure to have worked with you. I wish you all the best for the future.”
Al Nassr lost the Saudi Super Cup final to Al Ittihad in January but has yet to beat their closest rivals Al Ittihad, Al Hilal or Al Shabab in the league this season.