Portugal 3-0 Luxembourg

Portugal returned home to Lisbon and completed a routine victory over Luxembourg tonight to stay in second place in Group B of Euro 2020 qualifying.

Bernardo Silva continued his run of brilliant form, scoring Portugal's first of the night, and Cristiano Ronaldo added another for good measure, his 699th for both club and country in his glittering career.

Gonçalo Guedes rounded out the win by continuing his own goal-scoring flourish with a late deflected effort.

With William out injured, Santos reverted to a 4-3-3 featuring Moutinho alongside Danilo and Bruno Fernandes in midfield. Fonte was exchanged for Pepe, while João Félix returned to the starting XI at the expense of Guedes.

Portugal were on the front foot right away and Ronaldo put threads to leather in the 2nd minute from 25 yards, but his effort sailed over the crossbar. The home side then had a couple penalty shouts waived off in quick succession after Bernardo and Ronaldo were brought down inside the area, but replays showed insufficient contact by the defenders.

A decent Ronaldo touch set up João Félix to shoot, but his scuffed effort was easily saved in the 13th minute. The youngster had an even better chance minutes later after a wonderful pass by Bernardo Silva. The ex-Benfica wonder-kid's first touch was excellent but his finish was directed wide of the upright.

But it was only a matter of time for Portugal, and the initial goal came after Nelson Semedo was put clean through down the right flank. Moris was quick enough to get off his line and block the Barcelona fullback's attempt, but the rebound fell to Bernardo Silva who found the back of the net with the keeper all at sea.  

Ronaldo nearly added to the lead in the 23rd minute after Félix released him through the left channel, but after several step-overs the shooting angle became too tight and Moris saved his low effort near-post. 

Luxembourg finally carved out a half chance for themselves and Turpel should have earned his side a corner when his shot was tipped wide for good measure by Rui Patrício. Thill was next to test Patricío after admirable build-up play from the visitors, and Portugal were surprisingly ineffective as the first half drew to a close. 

Portugal began the second half with greater urgency and Bruno Fernandes registered the first shot on target in the 49th minute although his effort was straight at the keeper. Ronaldo was next with a bicycle kick from inside the penalty area following a corner kick, but again Moris was well-positioned to make the save. 

Portugal remained on the hunt and once more Bruno Fernandes fired in a scorching effort after being teed up by Ronaldo, but Moris denied him again. Ronaldo brilliantly cut inside his marker and squeezed in a shot that Moris did very well to parry just wide of the upright as the tension mounted.

But Portugal were bristling and Ronaldo would not be denied as he added to Portugal's lead and to his impressive international goal tally with a delicate chip over the keeper after seizing onto a bad pass, his sixth goal of the qualification campaign. 

The ideas kept flowing from Portugal even if the execution was lacking, and Félix tried to notch his first international goal after being put through by Ronaldo but the play was blown dead for an apparent handball. There was enough time for several more chances to go begging before Guedes added Portugal's third following a corner kick. But the tie was already long-settled with Portugal deserving victors.

Though William's creative influence was missed, Moutinho and Danilo were sufficient to dictate the flow of events and good fullback play, especially from Nelson Semedo, was instrumental in earning another three points. Félix again was frustrated on the night despite several chances. Bernardo Silva was a menace down the right side and served up impeccable deliveries throughout his shift, and captain Cristiano Ronaldo kept Luxembourg's back-line busy with timely diagonal runs. 

Portugal will confidently travel to Kiev to face group leaders Ukraine on Monday.

 

Portugal XI: Rui Patrício - Raphael Guerreiro, Rúben Dias, Pepe, Nelson Semedo - Danilo, Moutinho (Neves, 90'), Bruno Fernandes - Bernardo Silva (Guedes, 77'), João Félix (Mário, 88'), Cristiano Ronaldo 

Luxembourg XI: Moris - Jans, Carlson, Chanot, C. Krogh Gerson, Bohnert - Barreiro, V. Thill, O. Thill - Turpel, Rodrigues 

Goals:

[1-0] - Bernardo Silva, 16'

[2-0] - Cristiano Ronaldo, 65'

[3-0] - Gonçalo Guedes, 89'

by Nathan Motz

 

Comments (14)

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Highlights here if anyone missed game;

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seleçao still miles behind the big teams,for example j.m had a good chance to shoot he opted to pass to ronaldo 1 foot away,you cant be doing that guys,im happy to see joão back in the team,but the team needs to play woth confidents take risks...

seleçao still miles behind the big teams,for example j.m had a good chance to shoot he opted to pass to ronaldo 1 foot away,you cant be doing that guys,im happy to see joão back in the team,but the team needs to play woth confidents take risks ans not always pass to cr7 too shoot,we have so mush talent in all areas bar you could say the full back option for pepe,but the rest is gold.

i hope rafa comes back i found him veey good in the last game for those 15 minutes,no sight of bruma to night, felix wasted chances i feel hes still need to grow up a bit.

with the help of god will smash Ukraine on monday,so i dought will be seen a mush chnaged side or ricardo Pereira our best right back.

but lets hope we win and get top spot forcaaaaa

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Joao Félix isn’t a winger first and foremost, I don’t care if he plays there for Atletico Madrid or on the moon. He needs to be in the middle of the field sort of like where David Silva plays for city. I’ve said before that Santos is out of ideas...

Joao Félix isn’t a winger first and foremost, I don’t care if he plays there for Atletico Madrid or on the moon. He needs to be in the middle of the field sort of like where David Silva plays for city. I’ve said before that Santos is out of ideas progressing forwards with an attacking team and this is an example of it. Playing out on the wing you need to be really quick or strong, Joao Felix is neither of those. Bernardo Silva can play on the wing because he’s very quick even though he’s not strong. I really want to see a 4-2-1-3 with Joao Felix being in that 1 spot behind the front 3. The two players behind him can be Danilo and William for defensive cover because Joao Felix certainly can’t defend to save his life. The front 3 can be any combination of Ronaldo, Leao, Bernardo, Guedes, Bruma, Rafa Pizzi(they’re both the same to me) and whoever else in the future. Our front 3 need to be strong and quick, that’s the bottom line. If you look at any of these top clubs in the world, their front 3 are dynamic and interchangeable but they all have those two characteristics of strength and speed. Do you remember during the World Cup when we all said Bernardo needs to be in the middle?! Well here’s the deal, Joao Felix needs to play, he’s way to good and promising to simply not start so now we need him to play the role Bernardo could have played for us, Bernardo is an automatic starter and he’s fine on the wing, Joao Felix isn’t a winger. End of rant.

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Good post. I like where you’re going.

To me, Felix was arguably the worst Portuguese player on the field. Maybe playing centrally would make a difference. I know not everyone loves Guedes. But, I think he’s a better option upfront.

Maybe...

Good post. I like where you’re going.

To me, Felix was arguably the worst Portuguese player on the field. Maybe playing centrally would make a difference. I know not everyone loves Guedes. But, I think he’s a better option upfront.

Maybe the 4-2-1-3 you mention would allow Felix to open up a little. You would definitely need to reinforce the midfield with William/Neves and Moutinho (Sorry...I just love the guy. His form at Wolves is impeccable. And, he would be VERY strong defensively).

Another option would be Jota up front with Silva and Ronaldo

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Seems like with the logjam of talent we have right now it is inevitable that some players do not get to fill the role for which they are possibly best suited. This is frustrating to me too of course, but if I know anything about Santos it is that...

Seems like with the logjam of talent we have right now it is inevitable that some players do not get to fill the role for which they are possibly best suited. This is frustrating to me too of course, but if I know anything about Santos it is that he is patient. More patient than most in fact. João Félix has probably the most potential of any attacking talent we currently have on the roster which is saying a lot because Guedes, Jota (injured), and others are still young and could become world class each in their own right.

I guess I would add that even though Félix, and also Bruno Fernandes, have not performed to their potential yet, it remains essential they build chemistry with the starting XI and hopefully find some confidence to reach their best. It is true that they may never be able to reach that without being moved to a different position, especially in João Félix's case, but let us remember that we have been wrong before. I screamed for Bernardo to move centrally saying he could not make it on the wing and, well, Bernardo is resilient and skillful enough to make it on the wing despite the fact he is not a speed merchant nor particularly strong.

A lot to read, maybe just better summarized by saying let's see where this goes and trust that Santos can eventually get the best out of him.

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I was only able to catch the second half, but from what I watched, it looked like a fairly comfortable victory.

We switched to a 4-3-3 at the start of the Nations League group stage in order to maximize Bernardo's influence on the pitch so it...

I was only able to catch the second half, but from what I watched, it looked like a fairly comfortable victory.

We switched to a 4-3-3 at the start of the Nations League group stage in order to maximize Bernardo's influence on the pitch so it comes as no surprise to see just how much better he -- and the seleção - have been playing since that switch.

Ronaldo is still there to provide a ruthless cutting edge in the final third but it's becoming increasingly clear than our captain is no longer our primary playmaker. He still sees plenty of the ball but we aren't force feeding him every time we win the ball back like we used to. Bernardo has been given the keys to the car and he's pretty much been our best player in virtually every single game since that switch.

João Félix is taking some time to find his feet in this offense, much like Bernardo a few years back, but I have no doubt that he will start dominating alongside his world class teammates.

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People need to calm down with this team. We won 3-0 and C.Ronaldo was denied two penalties. I think most fans have become too spoiled now after winning the Euros and the round of 16 WC exit didn't even lower expectations by a little, feels like...

People need to calm down with this team. We won 3-0 and C.Ronaldo was denied two penalties. I think most fans have become too spoiled now after winning the Euros and the round of 16 WC exit didn't even lower expectations by a little, feels like it actually increased expectations. If this was 5+ years ago we would have tied luxembourg and have to sneak by bosnia in a playoff. Remember how close we were to missing out on not one but two tournaments in the last 10 years. I see people trashing joao felix for missing what was a little more than just a "sitter". I ponder when did these people started watching the seleccao. Somebody tell me how many tap ins did hugo almeida miss in his career. Felix played with lots of energy and still has much to learn.

Anyway, this was a good win. I agree with the commenter who said Moutinho should have shot that. That was pathetic, CR has got to allow him to take that shot.

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Well said, Fernandos Santos gets the job done.

I think Moutinho was just trying to feed Ronaldo so he breaks the records. If it was a more important game he might have taken it.

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P.S I've got to say the enthusiasm for the national team has been lacking of late because of how much we've won recently. I think maybe its time we start losing again.

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I have been saying it for over a year Fernanda Santos and his coaching staff are a detriment to the team. They need to be sacked/ fired. Lots of world class managers are available like Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho to name a couple. Today...

I have been saying it for over a year Fernanda Santos and his coaching staff are a detriment to the team. They need to be sacked/ fired. Lots of world class managers are available like Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho to name a couple. Today is a must win game for us against Ukraine. Hope Santos selects the right team and gets his tactics spot on. That would be a lot to ask of him. The tools are there, time for a much needed xhange.

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Given their track record I’ll say you might be over reacting

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Sorry about the typo meant change

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We have the winningest coach in the history of the Portugal team and people are here making comments like they have a clue about coaching.

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Big match match in the link bellow the extended Highlights if someone missed the game
watch here

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QUOTE OF THE DAY

“When I said Portugal were contenders to win Euro 2016 they said I was crazy. I say the same thing now. Portugal are not favourites for Euro 2020 but we are contenders and will be fighting to win it. We've won 2 tournaments in the last 4 years.”

Fernando Santos
(Portugal coach after the Seleção clinched qualification to Euro 2020) 

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