STEVEN GERRARD and Jordan Henderson’s El-Ettifaq came from behind to beat Sadio Mane’s Al-Nassr on their Saudi bows.
Boss Stevie G and England midfielder Henderson won the Liverpool reunion 2-1 after Mane’s opener.
Steven Gerrard’s El-Ettifaq came from behind to beat Sadio Mane’s Al-Nassr[/caption]
Jordan Henderson and ex-Liverpool team-mate Sadio Mane[/caption]
They were also due to meet Cristiano Ronaldo in the Saudi Pro League opener but the Portugal legend was out injured.
Skippers Henderson and Mane, who lifted Prem and Champions League titles together at Anfield, shook hands for the toss as flares went off in all directions.
And Mane – in his fifth game since leaving Bayern Munich – took just four minutes to bag his first goal, smashing home a low cross at the near post.
The Senegalese forward, 31, then fired a volley inches wide moments later with El-Ettifaq all over the shop.
Gerrard and Al-Nassr counterpart Luis Castro left the pitch at half-time having a heated dispute.
But the Liverpool legend was jumping for joy three minutes into the second half when Henderson’s corner was headed in by Swede Robin Quaison.
Former Lyon striker Moussa Dembele then took advantage of a goalkeeping howler to turn the game on its head and put El-Ettifaq 2-1 up.
Al-Nassr’s Ayman Yahya crashed a header off the bar and Mane had a late goal ruled out for offside as Gerrard and Henderson got off to the perfect start.
Jordan Henderson of Al-Ettifaq and Ghislain Konan of Al Nassr battle for possession[/caption]