Ronaldo bags brace as Messi's PSG win 9-goal thriller

Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi were both among the goals as Paris Saint-Germain defeated a Saudi Arabia All-Star side in an exhibition clash on Thursday evening.

In this exhibition showdown, the battle lines between Ronaldo and Messi opened up again with captaining the all-star on his first game in Saudi Arabia,

It was a fast start from the Ligue 1 champions after Messi caught the opposition and turned home Neymar Junior’s delivery on just three minutes.

Ronaldo, who recently made the surprise move to join Al-Nassr in the Middle East, levelled when he tucked home from the penalty spot following a foul involving goalkeeper Keylor Navas.

PSG would be reduced to ten men shortly before the halftime break as defender Juan Bernat earned a straight red card for a dangerous challenge.

Although, the Ligue 1 giants restored momentum minutes before the close of the first half when Marquinhos bundled in the opposing net from decent spell of play.

There was time for more drama at the end of the half as PSG got a penalty following a decision from the Video Assistant Review (VAR), but Neymar saw the resultant spot-kick saved.

Riyadh weren’t done and did have the last say of the half when Ronaldo levelled it up again after pouncing on the end of a rebound from the post and tucked past Navas.

PSG coach Christophe Galtier coach responded with two changes after the break, as Vitinha entered for Renato Sanches and Danilo Pereira dropped in ahead of Marquinhos.

The French champions were back ahead minutes after the break when veteran defender Sergio Ramos finished off Kylian Mbappe’s assist.

Riyadh responded and evened up matters again as Gonzalo Martinez played in a telling ball which Jang Hyun-soo met to drive home.

However, the French giants pulled back before the closing exchanges of the match, after Mbappe converted from the penalty spot following a foul in the area.

PSG bagged a fifth goal in the final stages when substitute Ismael Gharbi played in a telling ball for Hugo Ekitike to drill in an unguarded net.

The French heavyweights looked to increase their tally ahead of fulltime, but Riyadh instead got a fourth in the closing seconds through a finish from Talisca although PSG had done enough to hold on for the win.

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