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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Bruno Fernandes Does His Duty To Send Portugal To Quarter-Final

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Portugal scraped through their Euro 2024 round of 16 clash with Slovenia on Monday night, winning 3-0 in a penalty shootout following a goalless draw.

While Portugal enjoyed 72% possession and took 20 shots, they were largely ineffective in the final third, creating only one major chance throughout the encounter.

For Bruno Fernandes, it was largely a night to forget.

Taking 120 touches, the Manchester United skipper was one of the most pivotal players in Portugal’s lineup throughout the 120-minute encounter.

Bruno Fernandes

Completing 65 of 85 passes for a 76% passing accuracy, Fernandes’ passing was short of its usual standards and he only managed to complete five of 13 crosses.

On the bright side, he was highly involved in creating attacking opportunities for his team, producing four key passes and completing eight of 14 long balls.

Fernandes had little involvement in the attacking sense, making no shots on target and only attempting a single dribble all evening. He lost possession on a horrifying 40 occasions.

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In terms of physicality, the Portuguese playmaker struggled against a dominant Slovenian side. He only won four of his 13 ground duels while losing both aerial battles.

Still, a resilient Fernandes exhibited a very high work rate, not only in possession but also tracking back to support his defence.

Fernandes made three tackles, which was not an easy feat against a rough Slovenian side. He also made a clearance and one successful interception.

Bruno Fernandes

Despite a mixed performance during the match, Fernandes proved his worth by stepping up when his country needed him most.

After Cristiano Ronaldo’s penalty during extra time was saved by Jan Oblak, Fernandes couldn’t have been blamed for feeling apprehensive about stepping up when the time came to take Portugal’s second penalty in the ensuing penalty shootout.

Still, the Man United playmaker maintained his cool, taking a brisk run-up and slotting the ball into the bottom left corner, sending the keeper the wrong way and putting Portugal 2-0 up.

While many facets of Fernandes’ play were not up to their usual standard, he no doubt played his role in earning Portugal’s victory and aiding his side when they needed him the most.

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