Portugal 3-0 Sweden

Portugal have boosted their chances of qualifying for the semi-finals of the UEFA Nations League after defeating Sweden 3-0, this Wednesday, levelling France at the top of Group A3 on ten points.

In a frenetic encounter, the Seleção’s front three, without Cristiano Ronaldo, made all the difference with goals from Bernardo Silva and Diogo Jota firming up a 2-0 lead going into half-time. 

Jota concluded a memorable night with his second goal of the game in the second half, rubber-stamping Portugal’s authority on a 3-0 win.

In their bid to defend their Nations League title, Portugal unleashed a Premier League trident of Jota, Bruno Fernandes and Bernardo Silva in attack, crowned by Atlético Madrid’s João Félix, as they welcomed Sweden to the Alvalade.

The frontline immediately made its presence felt on the counter with Jota running at the Swedish defence within the first minute, sending the Seleção’s first warning with a shot past the near post.

Just a couple of minutes later, the dancing João Cancelo was on hand to serve William Carvalho with a cross, aimed at the far post before the Real Betis man’s nod onto the woodwork brought Portugal closer to the opener.

Sweden issued their response via a corner, glanced in Mikael Lustig’s direction by Pepe before the full-back sliced his effort over the bar from a prime position, 11 minutes in.

Portugal would have the pleasure of breaking the deadlock, however, winning the ball high up the pitch in the 21st minute before Jota was played through on goal to gift Bernardo Silva the chance to tuck home on his favoured left foot, making it 1-0.


Portugal 3-0 Sweden goal highlights


Meanwhile the hosts looked to be at their usual best going forwards, the gaps at the back for the Scandinavians to explore continued to appear, with Marcus Berg, turning onto his right foot, coming close to taking advantage with a powerful strike against the outside of the post in the 35th minute.

Fernando Santos’ men relieved some pressure on the brink of half time after João Cancelo spotted Jota’s run into the box with an early cross, enabling the Liverpool man to double Portugal’s lead in the 44th minute on the half-volley.

The first half wouldn’t conclude without another chance going Sweden’s way, again from Berg, but the Krasnodar man, this time striking with his shin, saw his attempt fly high and over the mark before the interval.

A quick start was back on the agenda for the second half as Viktor Claesson’s low strike, stopped by Rui Patrício in the 55th minute, was sandwiched by a couple of dangerously-deflected Portugal efforts.

Bruno Fernandes and João Félix looked to combine to devastating effect in the 66th minute, with the latter set through on goal by the Manchester United man, but a third goal would evade the Seleção upon the ex-Benfica starlet’s strike over.

Jota wouldn’t encounter the same difficulties, however, being played in down the left flank by William before cutting inside, leaving defenders in wake and finding the bottom-left corner in the 72nd minute.

Sweden almost claimed a consolation goal from a downwards header executed by Alexander Isak, but the Real Sociedad man would find no way through Patricio, securing a 3-0 win come full-time in Lisbon.

By Patrick Ribeiro

Portugal XI: Rui Patrício - Raphäel Guerreiro, Pepe, Rubén Dias, João Cancelo - William Carvalho (João Moutinho, 79’), Danilo Pereira - Diogo Jota (Rafa Silva, 88’), Bruno Fernandes (Renato Sanches, 88’), Bernardo Silva (Daniel Podence, 74’) - João Félix (André Silva 74’)

Sweden XI: Robin Olsen - Pierre Bengsston, Victor Lindelöf, Pontus Jansson, Mikael Lustig (Matthias Johansson, 54’) - Viktor Claesson, Albin Ekdal, Kristoffer Olsson, Dejan Kulusevski (Sebastian Larsson, 88’) - Marcus Berg, Robin Quaison (Alexander Isak, 62’)

 

Goals:

[1-0] - Bernardo Silva (21’)

[2-0] - Diogo Jota (44’)

[3-0] - Diogo Jota (72’)

Comments (21)

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Another day, another victory and positive performance by Fernando Santos. Much like everyone else has said before, I would not want this mans job. So much Portuguese quality is going to be left out when the final cuts come across and people will...

Another day, another victory and positive performance by Fernando Santos. Much like everyone else has said before, I would not want this mans job. So much Portuguese quality is going to be left out when the final cuts come across and people will not be happy (Andre Gomes, Joao Mario, Adrien Silva, Gelson Martins, etc..). What is truly remarkable about Santos was the reactions by fans everywhere when he was first hired. The man has brought structure and belief in a team that I felt had no identity besides Ronaldo. These men have finally believed in themselves to push forward and play together. I can remember the days when Portugal couldn’t play for Themselves and tried to force it to Ronaldo every time.. not anymore!

I’ll be the first to admit that I had some doubts with Diogo Jota. He has that bulldog mentality and is so calm in front of goal. Such calm finishes, wouldn’t mind him up top in a 4-3-3. Maybe it’s because I’m so used to Portugal not having a ‘Pure Striker’ over the years? Just look at Andre Silva. He seems to have fallen off form and not what he showed off in Porto years ago.

As long as Pepe keeps putting in rock solid performances for the National Team, it will be hard to dismiss him. I’m shocked when I hear fans say he’s too old. It’s such a pity that people want to force a youth movement instead of leading through experience. I truly think he has surpassed Ricardo Carvalho and Fernando Couto as the best Defender we have seen.

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Excellent performance from start to finish. Jota was without a doubt, the man of the match, Pepe was superb at the heart of the defense, and William was showcased his class in midfield.

We did, however, look a bit disjointed at times without...

Excellent performance from start to finish. Jota was without a doubt, the man of the match, Pepe was superb at the heart of the defense, and William was showcased his class in midfield.

We did, however, look a bit disjointed at times without the ball. Not sure if it was down to fatigue or a lack of concentration, but I felt we gave Sweden too much time on the ball in our defensive third. Nevertheless, we restricted them to just a couple of decent opportunities. Guerreiro continues to look a bit shaky when left without support, but the Pepe-Ruben Dias partnership is quickly evolving into one of the strongest in all of international football.

Jota has more than earned a spot in the starting 11 ahead of Felix. Ronaldo, Felix, Bernardo, and Fernandes are our most naturally talented options for the front four, but none of those guys lack the pace, tenacity, and dynamism of Jota.

The double pivot of William and Danilo should also be here to stay, especially against quality opposition.

Looking forward to hosting France in November!

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Pepe positioning in the last few games for Portugal have been nothing but near perfection, he is also no longer a bellend making silly fouls and getting red cards honestly when he goes Portugal will certainly feel his impact in defense thats for...

Pepe positioning in the last few games for Portugal have been nothing but near perfection, he is also no longer a bellend making silly fouls and getting red cards honestly when he goes Portugal will certainly feel his impact in defense thats for sure. Since that stupid red card against Germany in 2014? He plays with his head and doesn't let his emotions take over.

I feel like Joao Felix is feeling the pressure, he should've scored against Spain in the friendly and should have scored today against Sweden. Perhaps he needs to stop starting games and rather join them later as a sub but aside from his lack of finishing he is clearly still preforming good enough.

For me Jota is certainly at this moment with his form the worthy replacement for C. Ronaldo, people taking about Joao Felix taking over C. Ronaldo but for me Jota is for now the man.

Sure Portugal played risky but that works for us as we can counter attack and are second to none in that.

Also big shout out to Rui for a couple of trying solid saves, he is such a solid goalkeeper.

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he was too outstretched in the Spain game, he would have needed legs like Bruno Alves

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Renato needs more than five minutes a games. Santos is in danger of losing the kid. Play him over Bruno. Rui, Pepe, William, Jota, Bernardo, and Renato better than the rest.

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I agree with Jon on Pepe, second only to Ronaldo this decade.
Made Team of the Tournament in 2012, 2016, Final MotM 2016

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Rui
Pereira, Pepe, Dias, Raph
William, Danilo
Sanches
Bernardo, Jota, Ronaldo

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Well what’s happening with the recent emergence of Jota for some of you isn’t surprising to me at all. I’ve wanted him up top with Ronaldo for over a year now. I religiously watch a lot of the epl and wolves games in particular and I always liked...

Well what’s happening with the recent emergence of Jota for some of you isn’t surprising to me at all. I’ve wanted him up top with Ronaldo for over a year now. I religiously watch a lot of the epl and wolves games in particular and I always liked his tenacity and grit plus he’s fast. Next up I’d absolutely love it if Pedro Neto gets the call up.

What I’m really starting to wonder and it’s hard for me to come up with an explanation...what’s the deal with Bruno Fernandes? I’ve seen him play every game for Man U and he’s so important to that team but with Portugal he’s like half of that player. I think I’d rather have Renato Sanches in that spot but I don’t think santos would ever do that. I have this odd suspicion that some players are sort of untouchable under the Portuguese federation, Ronaldo and Pepe were and still are apart of that and I think the next wave of guaranteed players is Joao Felix,Dias, Bernardo and Bruno. Of those 4 players I think Joao Felix and Bruno should never be considered automatic starters on this team.

Anyways getting back to Renato, I’m afraid that he’s going to lose his drive to want to be apart of this team. I get the sense that he’s not happy when I watch his facial expressions and his frustration. He almost seems like an outcast in a way like he’s different from his teammates and I’m not going to discuss race here because god knows that never ends well. I follow Renato on Instagram and let’s just say that he’s more like a hip hop artist with attitude rather than a typical Portuguese kid like Joao Felix. Where I’m going with this is I’m afraid that he’s going to lose his drive to play for Portugal if he only gets 5-10 minutes a game every 4 months and he starts to get the feeling that he’s not given the same opportunities as other players. Let’s not forget here, Renato was the one in 2016 there for us not Joao Felix or Bernardo Silva or Bruno Fernandes etc. Renato deserves the same opportunities for minutes on Portugal if he’s playing well for Lille like he has been. Perhaps santos is testing him to see if he’ll fight harder but I just think it’s a situation that might end up going badly. Renato the last 5 minutes against Sweden was better than Bruno and Joao Felix were for 85 minutes to me.

Before this gets to long it would be great to see a William, Danilo, Renato midfield but I highly doubt we’ll see that. Lots more I could say but it would take me way to long to type it all.

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Justin,

I agree but lets not forget how everyone wanted to murder Eder, Bernardo Silva, Joao Cancelo, Rui Patricio, Quaresma, even Ronaldo at one point. Fans are fickle and emotional and Fernando Santos isnt a moron (like Bento-Box). For the...

Justin,

I agree but lets not forget how everyone wanted to murder Eder, Bernardo Silva, Joao Cancelo, Rui Patricio, Quaresma, even Ronaldo at one point. Fans are fickle and emotional and Fernando Santos isnt a moron (like Bento-Box). For the first time in forever, the best players get called up and play. Can anyone truly argue Portugal isnt calling up its best of the best? With all due respect, if Portugal has to call up Pizzi or Rafa that means we have a severe problem at a certain position.

Clearly our Mister will play Jota from now on or give him more and more time. He did the same with Bernardo Silva when he was cruxified on this very site.

The talent ceiling on Bruno F is immense and I put him in the same boat as the others I mentioned, it just takes time. Bruno is in the feeling out process and one day (like the others) he makes that breakthrough and everything is good again.

Another thing, Andre Silva falling off? What the hell league are some of you watching? Andre Silva is playing his best football since Porto and probably ever. He is the single player who has a clear case to make for playing/starting. I know it wasnt you Justin, just reading comments and scratching my head.

Renato Sanches, Joao Felix, Andre Silva are good problems to have. It means Portugal actually have depth and unfortunately only 11 can play. TBH Bruno F needs to play and adapt as we NEED Bruno at his best to win Nations, Euro or WC.

Anyhow all the best as always Justin and forca Portugal!

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Patricio
Cancelo - Pepe - Dias - Raph
William - Danilo
Sanches
Bernardo - Bruno - Ronaldo

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Boy oh boy do I feel vindicated. I've been banging on about Diogo Jota for at least a couple of years now on here, saying he should play alongside Cristiano Ronaldo, and his performance in this game showcases all the reasons why I've felt that...

Boy oh boy do I feel vindicated. I've been banging on about Diogo Jota for at least a couple of years now on here, saying he should play alongside Cristiano Ronaldo, and his performance in this game showcases all the reasons why I've felt that way. Simply put, he brings something DIFFERENT. He brings pace, stamina, urgency, finesse, intelligence, aggression, versatility, and perhaps most importantly - a workmanlike spirit. Oh, and he scores goals... Very important for a forward. I've always seen him as the perfect partner for a slower, increasingly-conservative Ronaldo; he will willingly do all the things CR7 can't or won't do like press, foul, and generally defend from the front. I've said it before and I'll say it again: Jota can be to Ronaldo/Portugal what Karim Benzema was to Ronaldo/Real Madrid. Only he'll be even better because he's fast and can turn on the afterburners.

As for who should be dropped - I'm sorry but it's Joao Felix for me. I get that he's young and still developing, and, I get that he isn't playing that badly, but, there's not a game that goes by without him squandering a glorious chance to score. If we keep persisting with him as our striker, it's going to come back to bite us eventually. We are far too good to wait on him playing through these mistakes. If this was 2010, and we had no other options - then sure... but those days are long gone. We need to field the players who are perfoming up to standard, especially in forward positions, and right now Felix isn't doing enough in my opinion. Perhaps being used as a super-sub will take the pressure off.

I was kinda surprised Fernando Santos fielded virtually the same line-up as against France seeing as the boys ran themselves ragged in that match. I feel like fatigue played a part in how disjointed we were at times. Then again, the oldest guy on our team (Pepe) looked the freshest outside of Jota, so, I dunno. We played very well again, but I thought we could've benefitted from some fresh legs in the midfield like a Renato Sanches or Ruben Neves for example. Or, at least, make a substitution a little earlier to freshen up the midfield; I thought the Joao Moutinho sub came too late. But anyway, this is just a bit of nitpicking on my part.

Bruno Fernandes put in a much better performance than against France which was great to see. After playing loose with the ball on Sunday, I think I read that he had a 95% pass accuracy against Sweden, which is, quite frankly, like night and day. I suspect Santos had a stern word with him. Aside from the accuracy, Bruno was immensely creative tonight and had 3/4 chances to score himself that were blocked. That's the Bruno we need to see consistently - the one who doesn't try to play it "cute". I wish Bernardo Silva could get a shot alongside him in the midfield just to see what that'd look like, but I understand now's not the time to experiment, and William Carvalho is turning into quite the creative player himself.

Last player I want to mention is Raphael Guerreiro: He was sloppy in defense yet again. One game he's great, then next he's poor; it's become painfully obvious that we need some depth on that left side to give him a break. We can't expect him to defend and bomb up and down the flank game after game and put in consistent, quality performances against tough opposition - it's not gonna happen. It can work on the right because we interchange our right-backs, keeping them fresh. On the left? As it stands, it's just Raphael... Not good. We need to bleed in another quality left-back ASAP. It will make Raphael, and in turn the team, so much better.

That's all I gotta say. Over the moon with our present and future right now! November can't come quick enough! Vamos, Força Portugal!

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Excellent performance that shows how great our depth is. Special shout out to Pepe who is eternal. What a player. If only he was a few years younger. The only disappointing player was Felix. Something that really bothers me when I watch him play...

Excellent performance that shows how great our depth is. Special shout out to Pepe who is eternal. What a player. If only he was a few years younger. The only disappointing player was Felix. Something that really bothers me when I watch him play for the national team is how often it looks like his mind is elsewhere. It’s as if he’s just going through the motions. I understand Santos wanting him to gel with the team so he can get to his best asap but it’s not working, in fact this might have a negative effect as his confidence must be getting lower with each poor game. It’s clear that Jota should take over his spot for now both because he deserves it and also to take away the pressure and spotlight off of Felix. Let João come on as a sub.

Really hope Nuno Mendes continues his great trajectory and gets called up next month. No better time to get your feet wet than against Andorra.

My 23

GK: Rui Patrício, Anthony Lopes, Rui Silva;
RB: Ricardo Pereira, João Cancelo;
CB: Pepe, Rúben Dias, José Fonte, Domingos Duarte;
LB: Raphaël Guerreiro, Nuno Mendes;
MF: William Carvalho, Danilo Pereira, Rúben Neves, João Moutinho, Renato Sanches, Bruno Fernandes;
FW: Cristiano Ronaldo, Bernardo Silva, João Félix, Francisco Trincão, Diogo Jota, André Silva;

Still so many players left out it’s ridiculous and yet so many of these “experts” in the media etc give us no chance. Idiots.

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Bruno Fernandes
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