The veil has been lifted from the Saudi Professional League’s European star-studded roster.
Al Ahli defeated Al Hazem 3-1 in the first round of the Saudi Professional League 2023-24 season at Prince Abdullah Al Faisal Stadium in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday.
Al Ahli came out with a colorful 메이저사이트 starting lineup, as befits a team that has attracted European stars this summer. The goalkeeper’s gloves were worn by Chelsea’s Edouard Mendy. The backline was anchored by AS Roma’s José Ibáñez. In the middle was Franck Kessie, who joined from FC Barcelona, flanked by Alain Saint-Maximin from Newcastle and Riyad Mahrez from Manchester City. Up front was Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino.
Firmino opened the scoring with a sensational header in the sixth minute. He added a second four minutes later. It was a joint effort from three Premier League players. Saint-Maximilien drove the ball forward and played a pass to Mahrez on the flank. Mahrez assisted Firmino’s second goal with a sharp cross.
Five minutes into the second half, Al Hazem pulled a goal back. It came from a mistake by Mendy. Mendy’s ground ball from the edge of the box found its way to Al Hazem’s Viña, who slotted home a sensational chip shot.
But once again, it was Firmino who shone. In the 27th minute, he scored his third goal of the day to complete his hat trick. Firmino got on the end of a Saint-Maximilien cross and tried to head it in, but when the ball hit the keeper, he fired a second shot into the net. Al Ahli held on for a 3-1 victory, thanks in large part to their European league players.
The Saudi league has attracted a number of European stars this summer, thanks to a huge influx of ‘oil money’. As a result, the opening match drew global attention. And the players from the European leagues showed their class.