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Something strange is happening to Malcolm. But his team still shows space

Date: April 20, 2024 Time: 06:34:32

Something strange is happening to Malcolm. But his team still shows space

Kirill Zakatchenko February 26, 2024, 19:35 Moscow time Audio version: Your browser does not support the audio element.

Al-Hilal defeated Gerrard’s Al-Ittifaq. This is already the 24th consecutive victory in all tournaments!

Saudi Arabia’s championship leader Al-Hilal played its second match in the tournament in 2024. This time its opponent was Steven Gerrard’s team.

To realize how powerful Al-Hilal seems, just look at the statistics. Jorge Jesús’s team has been beating its rivals since September 21. His winning streak amounted to 23 matches in all tournaments. Cosmic numbers! Al-Ittifaq was in eighth place in the championship before the match, but has been doing poorly lately. Two wins in the previous 13 meetings is clearly not what Gerrard’s team expected.

The first half passed with Al-Hilal’s advantage. The hosts had the ball for only 32% of the playing time and shot on goal only once. Surprisingly, given these figures, Al-Ittifaq earned 0.83 expected goals, while their opponents earned 0.89. It is true that the guests took six shots (three on goal), but the most important thing is that they scored two goals.

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The league leader opened the scoring in the 39th minute, but could have done it much earlier. Al-Ittifaqa goalkeeper Paulo Victor first stopped Kalidou Koulibaly’s difficult shot and then blocked Alexander Mitrovic’s shot from the goal line. And although the Serbian ended up in an offside position, the goalkeeper’s performance cannot be overemphasized.

But Mitrovic’s compatriot Sergei Milinkovic-Savic made the most of his opportunity. Ruben Neves executed such a precise kick from the corner flag that Sergei didn’t even have to jump. The Serbian headed the ball into the far corner while the Al Ittifaq defense watched the ball. By the way, Milinkovic-Savic scored the ninth goal in the Championship and in this indicator he caught up with Malcom.

Al-Hilal beat Steven Gerrard’s team

Photo: Al-Hilal FC

Italian referee Fabio Maresca added 10 minutes to the main time of the first half, and this time was enough for the guests to score the second. Salem Al-Dawsari (Al-Hilal’s second scorer) escaped from the defender on the wing, entered the area and shot just under the goalkeeper into the far corner. Jesús’ team stepped forward at the right time and, in fact, turned the second half into a formality.

It is true that the guests played far from ideal in defense. Al-Ittifaq scored a couple of points. In the first case, Moussa Dembélé’s shot was blocked at the last moment by Kalidou Koulibaly. What a great entry! And then Dembélé, from an advantageous position, missed his header. In a match with an opponent like Al-Hilal, it is important to take advantage of opportunities carefully, but Gerrard’s team failed to do so.

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After the break, the situation on the field did not change radically. The visitors still had more possession of the ball and Koulibaly reigned in his own area, repeatedly attacking the rival. The championship leader could have scored the third, but Milinkovic-Savic, after a good discount, finished off Malcom at the far post. By the way, the former Zenit footballer generally did not play so actively and only participated occasionally. And Malcolm scored for the last time in the championship at the end of November. The goalless streak has now lasted six days, although before that the former Zenit player scored nine goals in 14 games. Strange!

Al-Hilal led the match to victory (24th in a row) and increased the lead over Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al-Nasr to seven points. The leader of the Saudi League will play the next matches against Al-Ittihad. On March 1 they will meet in the Championship and on March 5 in the quarterfinals of the Asian Champions League.

* This website provides news content gathered from various internet sources. It is crucial to understand that we are not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information presented Read More

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.
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