Al-Nassr lost a dramatic Kings' Cup final featuring three red cards against Al-Hilal on Friday, with the Saudi Pro League champions claiming the treble with a 5-4 penalty shoot-out win.

Former Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrovic peeled away to the back post to head home the opener after just seven minutes, before Cristiano Ronaldo was denied by Yassine Bounou.

Al-Nassr looked to be imploding when David Ospina was sent off for a wild lunge on Malcom outside his penalty area shortly after half-time, but it was 10 versus 10 when Ali Al Bulayhi received his second yellow card late on.

Aiman Yahya took advantage to equalise in stoppage time, before Al-Hilal lost a second centre-back to a red card, Kalidou Koulibaly receiving his marching orders when he clattered into substitute goalkeeper Waleed Abdullah.

Neither team could find an extra-time winner, though, and it was Bounou who came up with the goods in the shoot-out. 

He pushed Meshari Al Nemer's tame kick onto the post after Ali Al Hassan and Saud Abdulhamid had traded misses, claiming the trophy for Al-Hilal.

Data Debrief: Domestic sweep for Al-Hilal

Having also won the Saudi Super Cup and the Saudi Pro League, going unbeaten throughout their league campaign, Al-Hilal capped a perfect domestic season with their 11th King's Cup. Only Al-Ahli (13) have won the competition more often. 

Al-Nassr, meanwhile, have now gone four seasons without a domestic trophy, with August's Arab Club Champions Cup all they have to show for their efforts in 2023-24.

Aleksandar Mitrovic produced a last-gasp winner for Al-Hilal as the Saudi Pro League champions signed off with a dramatic 2-1 victory over Al-Wedha on Monday.

Jorge Jesus' side finished the league campaign unbeaten across the 34-game season, though needed late heroics from top scorer Mitrovic to snatch all three points.

Mohamed Kanno opened the scoring for the visiting champions in the first half but Yahya Naji's second-half leveller pegged Al-Hilal back at King Abdulaziz Sports City Stadium.

Yet Mitrovic provided the decisive moment in the 92nd minute, converting a Mohammed Al Burayk assist for his 28th league goal of the season.

The Serbia international ranks only behind Cristiano Ronaldo in this campaign's scoring charts, after the Al-Nassr forward claimed a piece of Saudi League history in a 4-2 victory over Al-Ittihad.

Ronaldo moved past Abderrazak Hamdallah's 34-goal tally – in the 2018-19 season – after his deadly double took him to 35 strikes and broke the single-season scoring record in the competition.

Victory for Al-Nassr means they finish second behind the impressive Al-Hilal, while Al-Ahli had already secured third in the standings before their 1-0 victory over Al-Fayha.

Roberto Firmino scored the only goal of the game in that narrow triumph, finding the net after 85 minutes at Prince Abdullah al-Faisal Stadium.

At the other end of the table, Abha Club – who had Marcel Tisserand sent off late on – suffered heartbreak on the final day after losing 2-1 to bottom-placed Al-Hazem to seal their relegation.

Ahmed Abdu opened the scoring to boost Abha's survival hopes but second-half goals from Muhammed Badamosi and Mohammed Al Thani proved their undoing.

Al-Akhoud beat the drop after overcoming Al-Tai, who went down with Abha and Al-Hazem, 2-0 thanks to goals from Saviour Godwin and Leandre Tawamba at Prince Abdul Aziz bin Musa'ed Stadium.

Aleksandar Mitrovic scored a penalty in the 10th minute of second-half stoppage time as Al-Hilal denied Cristiano Ronaldo's Al-Nassr victory in a 1-1 draw.

Mitrovic netted his 27th Saudi Pro League goal of the campaign after Sadio Mane was harshly judged to have fouled Saud Abdulhamid in the area.

Mane stuck out an arm to shield the ball, catching his opponent in the throat, though the contact appeared to have been outside of the box.

Mitrovic made no mistake to keep Al-Hilal's unbeaten campaign going.

The Serbian's spot-kick cancelled out Otavio's first-minute opener, with Ronaldo having set up his compatriot.

Champions Al-Hilal remain 12 points clear of Al-Nassr at the summit of the Pro League standings.

Data Debrief: Ronaldo the provider

Ronaldo leads the scoring charts in Saudi Arabia this season, though he had to settle for an assist on Friday.

That came from the only chance he created, with the 39-year-old limited to 25 touches, though he did have four shots.

Al Hilal secured their fourth straight Saudi Pro League title after Aleksandar Mitrovic starred in Saturday's 4-1 thrashing of bottom side Al Hazm.

Faiz Selemani restored parity after Mitrovic's 15th-minute opener at Prince Faisal bin Fahd Stadium, only for Jorge Jesus' hosts to roar back and be crowned champions with three games remaining.

Ahmed Al Juwaid's own goal handed the initiative back to the dominant Al Hilal, who led 4-1 at the break after Mitrovic added another to his tally and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic was on target.

The second of Mitrovic's strikes took him to a team-leading 26 league goals this term as Al Hilal breezed to another title, moving an unassailable 12 points clear of Cristiano Ronaldo's Al Nassr.

Jesus' side are unbeaten through all 31 games this season after securing their record-extending 19th top-flight crown in history, while Al Hazm need to win their last three matches to have any chance of staying up.

Al Hazm's relegation rivals Al Tai boosted their chances of survival in Saturday's earlier clash after a 1-1 draw away against Al Raed.

Al Tai are just a point away from 15th-placed Abha Club in their bid for top-flight safety after Ibrahim Al Nakhli's strike was cancelled out by Al Raed's Mohammed Fouzair in the second half.

Marcelo Brozovic scored twice – including a fine half-volley in second-half stoppage time – as Al-Nassr beat Al-Akhdoud 3-2 to delay Al-Hilal's Saudi Pro League title coronation on Thursday.

Former Inter midfielder Brozovic fired in a seventh-minute opener from outside the area before Cristiano Ronaldo tapped into an empty net to double the visitors' lead.

Sadio Mane struck the woodwork early in the second half and Al-Nassr relinquished control of the game from there, with goals from Hassan Al Habib and Saviour Godwin making it 2-2.

However, Brozovic blasted a bouncing ball home following a goalmouth scramble in the first of seven minutes of stoppage time to hand Al-Nassr a fifth straight win and keep them within nine points of Al-Hilal, with three games still to play.

They have only delayed the inevitable though as the leaders – who have only dropped four points all season – need just one more point to secure their crown ahead of facing Al-Hazm on Saturday.  

Data Debrief: Brozovic upstages Ronaldo

While it's usually Ronaldo writing the headlines for Al-Nassr, he was upstaged by Brozovic on Thursday as the Croatian found the net with both of his shots, also leading all players on the pitch for final-third passes (19) and completing 90.1 per cent of his passes overall (81/95). 

Malcom’s stunning solo goal finished Al Hilal’s second-half comeback to earn a 2-1 win over Al Ahli in the Saudi Pro League on Monday.

The forward started his run from inside his own half before slotting in the winner, after teeing up Aleksandr Mitrovic for the equaliser just after the interval.

Feras Al Brikan had given Al Ahli the lead in the 30th minute, but the hosts could not hold onto it against the league leaders.

Al Hilal continue their unbeaten league campaign to a 30th match, moving 12 points clear at the top of the table, while Al Ahli remain in third, now 22 points off the AFC Champions League spot.

Data Debrief

Malcom was one of Al Hilal's most influential players; as well as playing a hand in both goals, he had the joint-most shots (five), and the joint-most shots on target (two), and created two chances for his team.

Al Ahli also struggled to cope with Mitrovic's threat, as the Serbian created an xG of 0.61 from his five shots, having 11 touches in the opposition box.

Cristiano Ronaldo crafted a decisive hat-trick as Al Nassr hammered Al Wedha 6-0 in Saturday's Saudi Pro League meeting.

Portugal veteran Ronaldo found the net twice in the first 12 minutes at Al Awal Park before completing his treble after the interval.

Sadio Mane teed up Ronaldo's third finish, as well as an 18th-minute strike from Otavio, who returned the favour for the Senegal international to score on the stroke of half-time.

Mohammed Al Fatil added a late sixth as Al Nassr recorded their seventh straight league win since their March 7 loss against Al Raed, moving them back within nine points of leaders Al Hilal.

Jorge Jesus's Al Hilal swept Al Tauwoon aside in a 3-0 away triumph on Friday for their fourth straight victory across all competitions.

Talisman Aleksandar Mitrovic opened the scoring at King Abdullah Sport City Stadium before Saud Abdulhamid and Saleh Alsherhi wrapped up a win that kept Al Hilal in charge of the title race.

There was no such fortune for fifth-placed Al Ittihad as they fell to a third straight defeat in all competitions after a 3-1 loss away against Abha.

Jota levelled after Grzegorz Krychowiak's 57th-minute penalty, only for Hassan Al-Ali and Fabian Noguera to power hosts Abha to a comfortable win.

Al Hilal overcame Sergej Milinkovic-Savic's red card as Saud Abdulhamid's late goal sealed a 2-1 victory over Al Ittihad in the King's Cup semi-finals.

Without Karim Benzema, Al Ittihad ultimately lacked the firepower to make their numerical advantage count in Tuesday's clash.

Former Lazio midfielder, who joined Al Hilal as part of their spending spree last year, received a straight red card in the 42nd minute.

Al Ittihad's Abderrazzaq Hamed-Allah cancelled out Micheal's opener, but Abdulhamid popped up with the winner in the 81st minute.

Al Hilal are 10-time King's Cup winners, having won their 10th title last season.

The Saudi Pro League leaders, who are still without the injured Neymar, will now face either Al Khaleej or Cristiano Ronaldo's Al Nassr in the final at the end of May.

Data Debrief: Malcom in the middle

Al Hilal might be missing their star Brazilian Neymar, but his compatriot Malcom is delivering when it comes to playmaking.

The former Zenit attacker set up both of Al Hilal's goals, creating three chances in total and registering a pass accuracy of 92.6 per cent, better than any of his team-mates.

Al Hilal moved 12 points clear of Cristiano Ronaldo's Al Nassr at the top of the Saudi Pro League as Ruben Neves scored in a 3-1 win over Al Fateh on Friday.

Former Wolves star Neves slotted in from the penalty spot in the 74th minute, as Al Hilal completed a rapid comeback.

Having fallen behind to Lucas Zelarayan's 57th-minute opener, Al Hilal responded swiftly through Micheal before Salem Al Najdi fouled Mohammed Al Qahtani in the penalty area.

Ex-Barcelona winger Cristian Trello and Al Fateh coach Slaven Bilic were booked for their complaints, with Neves making no mistake, paving the way for Ali Al Bulayhi to seal victory in the 15th minute of an extended period of stoppage time.

Data Debrief

Al Hilal have now won 21 games on the spin in the league. They have scored 86 goals across their 28 matches this season, winning 26 in total.

They had 19 shots on Friday, accumulating 2.34 xG to Al Fateh's 0.25, with pass-master Neves creating three chances to go along with his goal.

What the papers say

Saudi Pro League side Al Hilal are reportedly considering a second attempt to poach Manchester United midfielder Bruno Fernandes. The Daily Mail, citing Portuguese outlet Record, says the Saudi side could make another run at luring the 29-year-old in the summer after failing to sign him in January.

Elsewhere, The Guardian reports Roy Hodgson is nearing the Crystal Palace exit following his side’s 4-1 loss to Brighton on Saturday. Chairman Steve Parish is said to be sounding out replacements to take over as manager, but is struggling to find a replacement willing to take over at this stage of the season.

The Liverpool Echo reports Bayer Leverkusen boss Xabi Alonso is the clear frontrunner to take over as Liverpool manager at the end of the season.

Social media round-upPlayers to watch

Michael Olise: The Daily Mirror says Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag views the Crystal Palace midfielder as the club’s next marquee signing.

Benjamin Sesko: According to, Chelsea and AC Milan could target the RB Leipzig and Slovenia forward in the summer.

Neymar’s move to Saudi Arabian club Al Hilal is set to be completed in the next 48 hours, the PA news agency understands.

Sources close to Paris St Germain say the club are set to receive up to 100 million euros (£86.3m) from Al Hilal for the 31-year-old Brazilian as they rebuild their squad around younger, up-and-coming players.

The deal has been sanctioned by PSG because Spanish coach Luis Enrique was open to letting Neymar leave. Selling Neymar would also shift his 25m euro annual wage off the club’s books, with his existing contract due to run until the summer of 2025.

News of Neymar’s imminent exit comes less than 24 hours after the club confirmed striker Kylian Mbappe had been reinstated to first-team training.

Mbappe is understood to have indicated his commitment to the club, who have offered him a contract with a “guaranteed sale” clause in it allowing him to seal a move to Real Madrid next summer for a fee.

The club had been convinced Mbappe was preparing to let his current deal run out, which would have allowed him to leave Paris and join Real on a free transfer next year.

The club acted by omitting the player from the pre-season tour of Japan and South Korea and forcing him to train away from the main first-team group, until the thaw in relations confirmed on Sunday.

They had also granted Mbappe permission to talk to Al Hilal after receiving a world record £259m bid for the player in July, but it was reported the 24-year-old refused to even meet with a delegation from the Saudi club.

The imminent exit for big money of Neymar and the news on Mbappe marks a major and positive turnaround for PSG.

The French champions are consciously moving away from what their president Nasser Al Khelaifi has called their “bling bling” era, with Argentina playmaker Lionel Messi also exiting the club earlier this summer.

Neymar’s signing for a world record £200m fee in 2017 arguably marked the start of that era, but the club’s incomings this summer indicate a difference in approach, with the likes of 22-year-old Portugal striker Goncalo Ramos changing the profile of the team.

Kylian Mbappe and his representatives refused to meet with Al Hilal officials in Paris on Wednesday to discuss a possible world-record transfer to Saudi Arabia, it has been reported.

Mbappe’s club Paris St Germain are understood to have given the Saudi Pro League side permission to speak with the France striker over personal terms after receiving a £259million bid for the player in writing.

An Al Hilal delegation was reported to have been hoping to sell their project to Mbappe in Paris while finalising the signing of Brazil striker Malcom from Zenit St Petersburg.

But, according to French sports newspaper L’Equipe, Mbappe and his team have refused to enter into any discussions with the Saudi club and he has never considered the option.

Mbappe’s PSG future has been in serious doubt since it emerged in June that he would not extend his existing deal through to 2025, meaning he would become a free agent next summer and be able to discuss a pre-contract agreement with another club as early as January.

PSG have not confirmed the reports that Mbappe has snubbed Al Hilal’s approach, but are understood to be convinced that Mbappe has already agreed a free transfer to Real Madrid next summer.

Parisian sources have said the 24-year-old would benefit from a 160m euro (£138m) signing-on fee if he wound down his existing contract and moved to the Spanish capital in 2024.

Premier League chief executive Richard Masters is “not too concerned” for now about Saudi Arabia’s ascendancy in football as he reasoned it takes time to become a dominant force.

Al Hilal submitted a world-record £259million offer for Paris St Germain forward Kylian Mbappe, who has 12 months left on his current deal and been given permission to speak to the Saudi club.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema have already joined the country’s Pro League while Liverpool have agreed a deal with Al-Ettifaq – managed by Steven Gerrard – to sell their captain Jordan Henderson.

“Something new is obviously happening,” Masters told BBC Sport. “The Saudi Pro League have stated they want to be a top 10 league by 2030.

“They are investing in players and managers to try to raise the profile of the league and clubs.

“It has taken us 30 years to get to the position that we have in terms of profile, competitiveness and the revenue streams that we have.

“I wouldn’t be too concerned at the moment but, obviously, Saudi Arabian clubs have as much right to purchase players as any other league does.

“In the end, the Premier League is a £6billion-a-year operation in terms of revenue and that money is spent reinvested into the pitch. All good competitions have to have revenue streams to back them up.”

Saudi Pro League club Al Hilal have submitted a world record 300 million euro (£259m) bid for Paris St Germain forward Kylian Mbappe, the PA news agency understands.

Mbappe’s future in Paris is in serious doubt after the 24-year-old was left out of the club’s pre-season tour of Japan.

PA understands Al Hilal have submitted a bid in writing for the player, who is out of contract next summer.

Sources close to the French club say there has also been interest in the player from other clubs in recent days, including Chelsea, Manchester United, Tottenham, Inter Milan and Barcelona.

The current world record transfer fee was paid by PSG, when they signed Neymar from Barcelona for a deal reported at the time as £200m.

Lionel Messi showed "he doesn't care about money" by turning down a hugely lucrative offer from Al Hilal to sign for Inter Miami, according to Hristo Stoichkov.

Messi confirmed his intention to join Miami in June, after it was announced he would be leaving Paris Saint-Germain as a free agent.

The 36-year-old was officially unveiled as a Miami player on Sunday, and trained with his new team-mates – including Sergio Busquets – for the first time on Tuesday.

Al Hilal, one of the four Saudi Arabian clubs bankrolled by the Gulf state's Public Investment Fund (PIF), wanted to sign Messi, but former Barcelona star Stoichkov thinks the Argentine proved his priority is football, not cash.

"We didn't play for money, we played for love," Stoichkov, who was one of Barca's greatest players in the 1990s, told Stats Perform.

"This shows greatness. It didn't matter to me to know my salary or the bonuses, for me it was more important to play and that people value me.

"The agents take care of the other things. Messi comes to compete and play and he doesn't care about money because he loves football."

Messi confirmed he could have returned to Barcelona, though ultimately decided against the move as the Catalan giants continue to tussle with financial difficulties.

Stoichkov, who played in MLS in the early 2000s, was not sad to see Messi turn down his former club, with the Blaugrana legend suggesting a deal was never feasible.

"I knew that he was not going to return because of the way and the impact of what happened when he left Barcelona," he said.

"He wanted to stay at all costs to finish his career at Barcelona, but he couldn't.

"I didn't believe it, even though I had the opportunity to talk with him, with his father and his brothers. I, as a former Barcelona player and partner, have always liked having the best players and Messi did not deserve that exit [in 2021].

"Many people criticise him because he did not want to return, but they do not think about how he left. 

"Messi has done something that few people would do, say that he was not going to return so that his team-mates do not suffer. This shows his greatness, because he could return but surely the president was going to have to lower the salaries of the players and cut other costs for this to happen.

"Messi never wanted a team-mate to experience those things. The claims that he did not want to return are not true."

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