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
[1-0] - Bernardo Silva, 16'
[2-0] - Cristiano Ronaldo, 65'
[3-0] - Gonçalo Guedes, 89'
by Nathan Motz