x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Champion stuff from Al Jazira

Al Jazira put in a performance worthy of their status as favourites for the Pro League title with a scintillating 5-1 demolition of Al Nasr.

DUBai // Al Jazira put in a performance worthy of their status as favourites for the Pro League title with a scintillating 5-1 demolition of Al Nasr at the Al Maktoum Stadium in Dubai on Saturday. Jazira came from two goals down to beat Sharjah 4-2 in their previous league match and the display against Nasr again confirmed the quality and character of Abel Braga's team. The Brazilian's men had the game won at half-time, running up a stunning 5-0 lead in 37 minutes. They could not add to their tally, but there was no need to after they had blown away the home team's hopes in a ruthless opening period.

Nasr pulled one back through their Dutch Moroccan Ali Boussaboun in added time, but that was only some consolation. Ricardo Oliveira, the Pro League's most expensive player, opened the floodgates with two early goals. The Ivorian striker Tony added a brace, including one from the penalty spot, either side of a Salem Masoud strike, The victory keeps the Abu Dhabi side top of the table, four points clear of their city rivals Al Wahda.

Braga was impressed by his side's display, but knows it was just one match. "It is true we have won the last two matches like a champion unit, yet we are not the champions," he said. "We have not even reached the halfway mark in the league. We must try to win every game until we have a nine-point lead to feel we are safe in front." Jazira face Al Wasl in the Etisalat Cup on Sunday before taking on the reigning champions Al Ahli in the league on December 20.

Wahda kept in touch with Jazira by beating Emirate 2-1 away last night. Fernando Baiano scored both goals, one in either half, with Emirate's strike coming from a Hassan Tiar penalty. @Email:apassela@thenational.ae