Al-Nassr and Al-Ettifaq have faced each other twice in the 2023-24 season, once in the Saudi Professional League and once in the Saudi King’s Cup. Both matches were close and exciting, with Al-Ettifaq winning the league game 2-1 and Al-Nassr winning the cup game 1-0.
The league game was on August 14, 2023 at the Prince Faisal bin Fahd Stadium in Riyadh. Al-Ettifaq took the lead in the 18th minute through a header by Wijnaldum, who scored his first goal for the club since joining from Liverpool. Al-Nassr equalized in the 34th minute when Ronaldo converted a penalty after being fouled by Tisserand.
The game was decided in the 88th minute when Gray scored a stunning volley from the edge of the box, giving Al-Ettifaq their first win over Al-Nassr since 2018. The result also ended Al-Nassr’s unbeaten start to the season and gave Steven Gerrard, the Al-Ettifaq manager, a memorable victory over his former Liverpool teammate Sadio Mane.
The cup game was on October 31, 2023 at the King Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh. It was a tense and dramatic match, with both teams having chances to score but failing to find the net in the 90 minutes. Al-Nassr were reduced to 10 men in the first half stoppage time when Talisca was shown a straight red card for a dangerous tackle on Henderson. Ronaldo had a frustrating night, missing several opportunities and getting booked for dissent.
Al-Ettifaq also wasted some chances, with Gray hitting the post and Al-Kuwaykibi having a goal disallowed for offside. The game went to extra time, and Al-Nassr finally broke the deadlock in the 107th minute when Mane scored from a low cross by Yahya. Al-Nassr held on to the lead and advanced to the quarterfinals of the cup, while Al-Ettifaq were eliminated. It was a sweet revenge for Al-Nassr, who also had a goal by Laporte ruled out by VAR in the second half.