Ronaldo, Messi roll back the years in thriller

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi transported fanatics back in time to the heyday of their storied contention, as both forwards were given at the scoresheet in an exhibition healthy on Thursday before Hugo Ekitike earned 10-guy PSG a 5-four win over the Riyadh Season Team.

While the healthy may not have a good deal significance for the groups involved, soccer fans around the sector got lots of bang for his or her greenback as a story that has dominated the sport for over a decade seemed to come to an end in a memorable goalfest.

In an motion-packed first half of at the King Fahd Stadium in Riyadh, desires from Messi and Marquinhos had been cancelled out by means of a Ronaldo brace, whilst PSG’s Juan Bernat was sent off for a lunging address on Saudi global Salem Al-Dawsari.

Both teams kept their foot at the fuel in the second 1/2, but Ekitike’s 78th-minute strike ultimately made the distinction at the night.

“We noticed masses of dreams in a stunning stadium with an exceptional atmosphere,” PSG teach Cristophe Galtier said. “This evening, we played in a energetic stadium with lots of assist. I enjoyed the manner that they honoured the numerous stars that have been at the pitch.”

Decked in a brand new black and gold package, PSG made a blistering start to the game, racing into the lead inside the third minute way to a deft finish from Messi. Played through on goal with the aid of Neymar, Messi changed into capable of poke the ball past goalkeeper Mohamed Al-Owais, who he final confronted in Saudi Arabia’s shock World Cup win over Argentina in November.

Despite going at the back of early, the Riyadh Season Team – a mixed Saudi Pro League XI providing players from Al Nassr and Al Hilal – had severa chances. Ronaldo became an ever-present danger and received a penalty when goalkeeper Keylor Navas clattered into him.

Sporting a shiny purple bruise on his cheek due to the collision, Ronaldo picked himself up to evenly convert the spot kick and stage the game. Bernat become proven a pink card right after the equaliser, however the Ligue 1 membership spoke back properly to going a man down, scoring via defender Marquinhos.

Their lead could now not final long, as Ronaldo once again levelled the game on the verge of halftime, hammering home a rebound after Sergio Ramos botched a trustworthy clearance.

The goals persisted to come back thick and speedy after the break, as Ramos turned in a Kylian Mbappe go earlier than South Korean Jang Hyun-soo responded with a close to-post header from a nook to make it three-3.

A handball via Ali Al-Bulaihi gave the visitors a penalty, which turned into expertly dispatched by Mbappe at the hour. It become Mbappe’s remaining contribution, as he became taken off rapidly after, at the side of teammates Messi and Neymar, as well as Ronaldo.

Ekitike then prolonged PSG’s lead to 5-three with a thumping end following a lung-busting run from the midway line before Anderson Talisca scored a overdue consolation aim for the Saudis in added time.

Though he become not able to get his most modern chapter in Saudi Arabia off to a winning start, 37-12 months-vintage Ronaldo will take heart from his overall performance as he prepares to make his first competitive look for Al Nassr when they host Al Ettifaq on Sunday.

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