Serbia 2-2 Portugal

Portugal have missed the chance the go three points clear at the top of their 2022 World Cup qualifying group after late officiating drama at the Rajko Mitic Stadium, this Saturday, denied Cristiano Ronaldo and co. from going beyond a 2-2 draw away to Serbia.

Portugal will be one of favourites at the upcoming Euro. If you think the holders will retain their trophy, take advantage of the Coral bookmaker on bets-promo-code.co.uk and try your luck by betting on the Seleção this summer. 

The Seleção das Quinas were in rampant form in Belgrade after racing to a two-goal lead in the first half, secured by a couple of Diogo Jota headers. Portugal's hard work was quickly undone, however, as Aleksandar Mitrovic and Filip Kostic cancelled out the advantage garnered by Fernando Santos' men on his 1,000th game as a manager.

With the scores locked at 2-2, following a late red card for Serbia's Nikola Milenkovic, Ronaldo saw a 93rd minute goal, without goal-line technology to save him, go unnoticed after seeing his effort hooked away in a rush by Stefan Mitrovic and convincing the officials of a legitimate clearance prior to full-time.

 

With travel laws between France and Serbia allowing Santos to count on his Ligue 1 imports, the likes of Anthony Lopes, deputising for the injured Rui Patrício in goal, Danilo Pereira and experienced centre back José Fonte came straight into the XI for the clash between the two Group A heavyweights, Portugal and Serbia.

The visitors started the affair well against the fluid shape of the Balkan outfit, picking holes in the opposition's defence through Bernardo Silva before his cutback early into the affair was sent over by Cristiano Ronaldo.

Portugal made their positive start count with a headed finish by Diogo Jota in the 11th minute as Bernardo Silva again took control of the creativity, curling in a left-footed cross into the back post for his fellow English Premier League star to nod in after ghosting behind the Serbian backline.

The Liverpool star was at it again in the 36th minute with the Seleção firmly in command, reacting first to Cedric Soares' cross from the right flank and sending Portugal into the interval with a 2-0 lead after a second headed finish.

Second-half turnaround

Serbia, off the back of two half-time changes, were quick in their bid to make amends for their initial slow start, however, halving Portugal's lead a minute into the second period through target-man Aleksandar Mitrovic, also finding joy with his head after Nemanja Radonjic's cross.

Cat-like reactions from Anthony Lopes were required as the hosts pressed on, tipping over Dusan Tadic's deflected volley over the bar before Sergej Milinkovic-Savic's header from the subsequent corner, attacked at the near-post, raised further concerns after skimming the far-post in the 54th minute.

The second half continued to skip away from Santos' men with Serbia able to capitalise on the counter, crowned by a Kostic finish with Radonjic pulling yet more strings for his nation, assisting on the hour mark.

Further drama was in store for the contest that had, for a long time, looked like fizzling out with a 2-2 score before Nikola Milenkovic's straight red card for a challenge on Danilo with the studs showing, coming late into the night.

Just as the curtains were about the be drawn on the encounter, Ronaldo found a way to pip Marko Dmitrovic to a through ball and slot a shot in direction of the goal, supposedly cleared off the line by Stefan Mitrovic.

Portugal's night soured as replays sparked controversy when showing that Ronaldo's initial effort had edged itself over the line, denying the European champions of a second successive victory in qualification. 

“We were a different team in the first half and the second half. I have no explanation for that,” said Portugal coach Fernando Santos post-match. “After seeing the images on TV, the refeee called me to him and apologised for the mistake.”

By Patrick Ribeiro

Serbia XI: Marko Dmitrovic - Strahinja Pavlovic, Stefan Mitrovic, Nikola Milenkovic - Filip Kostic, Nemanja Gudelj, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, Darko Lazovic (Nemanja Radonjic,45') - Dusan Tadic (Filip Djuricic, 81') - Aleksandar Mitrovic (Luka Jovic, 88'), Dusan Vlahovic (Nemanja Maksimovic, 45')

Portugal XI: Anthony Lopes - João Cancelo (Nuno Mendes, 73'), Ruben Dias, José Fonte, Cedric Soares - Sérgio Oliveira (Renato Sanches, 73'), Danilo Pereira, Bruno Fernandes (João Palhinha, 91') - Diogo Jota (João Félix, 86'), Cristiano Ronaldo, Bernardo Silva

Goals:

[0-1] - Diogo Jota (11')

[0-2] - Diogo Jota (36')

[1-2] - Aleksandar Mitrovic (46')

[2-2] - Filip Kostic (60')

Comments (55)

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

We were robbed!

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Disastrous game for the Seleçao. As much as I want to pin the blame onto Santos, I can’t because the team showed very little desire to win from the get-go. The VERY CLEAR goal at the end of the game was indeed, the cherry on top.

I thought we...

Disastrous game for the Seleçao. As much as I want to pin the blame onto Santos, I can’t because the team showed very little desire to win from the get-go. The VERY CLEAR goal at the end of the game was indeed, the cherry on top.

I thought we had already seen Fonte’s last game for the Seleçao...apparently not, but his age has caught up to him and I hope this is his last call-up. This team’s success is still dependant on the leadership of Patricio, Pepe, and Joao Moutinho, and it shows. I’m not sure what’s going on with Ronaldo right now - as much as we bash on him, he is the greatest player to wear the jersey in our history, and is still an absolute goal-machine.

Bruno where are you? Where is the player that we see on Man United? I can’t believe I’m saying I’m relieved he got a yellow which keeps his suspended against Luxembourg. Sérgio offered very little and Danilo was lethargic and timid, and looked unlike himself. I cringed a little when I saw Cedric in the XI, but the ball to Jota was great and his defensive solidity showed. Jota once again demonstrating his killer instinct to score goals. I thought Bernardo Silva was sublime and showed his unbelievable skill and work-rate.

At the end of the day, the result is not a huge issue but makes everything just a little bit more difficult. Congrats to Serbia for turning things around in the 2nd half, they played with an intensity that Portugal lacked throughout. Let’s see what happens on Tuesday against Luxembourg, in theory it should be straight forward, but there are clearly some things that need to be ironed out first.

Read More
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Cancelo did not do well defensively. Substituting him with Mendes basically cancelled all Serbian attacks.
Since Danilo started playing as a CB, he doesn't seem as sharp and dominating as he used to be in the midfield.

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Im from Serbia. You win. Its shame from as. Judge is wrong. Sorry Portugal. My goalkeeper is stupid man all match. Sorry Portugal. Destroy as in Portugal.

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

First things first....it's beyond ridiculous that there is no VAR implemented for European world cup qualification matches. WTF? We have it for every European league, even the second division in some countries...but not for the World cup...

First things first....it's beyond ridiculous that there is no VAR implemented for European world cup qualification matches. WTF? We have it for every European league, even the second division in some countries...but not for the World cup qualifiers or the Europa league? Absolutely abysmal, and shows what an absolute joke Uefa and Fifa are. We were totally robbed...that was a goal 1000% and that was 3 points for us. Either we have to have VAR for EVERY SINGLE IMPORTANT COMPETITIVE match on the football calendar (at least in Europe anyway)...or we don't have VAR at all. Simple as that in my opinion. How it can be used in some contexts, but not in others is, I repeat, beyond ridiculous!

As for the match itself, really woeful second half from us after a very positive first half. Typical selecao, thinking the game was won at half time and taking their foot off the pedal and relaxing. The selecao is always at it's worst when they feel they can relax and we saw it again tonight. After those first 45 minutes we should have comfortably won the 3 points. Where were the substitutions from Santos, when Serbia started to get confident after scoring their first goal? What took him so long with all that talent on the bench? I said it in my post the other day, what a terrible decision dropping William Carvalho from this squad. How we missed William's reliable protection of the back four, in both Serbia's counter attack goals. William dropped for Sergio Oliveira and Palhinha...for Christ sake! I don't care that Sergio Oliveira takes all the penalties and free kicks for Porto...he is a scrappy and slow player who was totally mediocre tonight and should have been substituted way sooner than he was. Hopefully that's the last we see of him for the Selecao, we just simply have too much quality in central midfield options right now, for the likes of Oliveira and Palhinha to be included, sorry!

Santos should have made attacking substitutions way earlier too. Felix coming on for the last 5 minutes? No Andre Silva at all? Bad selection decisions all round from Santos for these two games, it has to be said. Too much tinkering and experimenting. With national teams in particular, no matter how much strength in depth you may have (and we have loads)....you have to have a core spine of a first 11 to bring stability and cohesion. Santos just never seems decided on his first choice 11 and always changes things around from match to match. I say it again, on paper and in terms of strength in depth, there is no stronger national team in the world than us right now, but I'm starting to really believe that there are other coaches who could get the very best out of all this talent that we have, a lot more than Santos.

Anyway the positive is that we got an away draw against the toughest opponent of the group. I guess if you gave me an away draw against Serbia before this qualifying group started, I would have taken it. But after seeing the first 45 minutes tonight, it's clearly 2 points lost. Anyway we just have to move on from this setback and get the 3 points against Luxembourg next week and in the rest of the matches in the group. But the players have to learn the lesson from tonight and keep focused and giving 100% for the entire match...and Santos has to learn the lesson by selecting the very best players we have in their positions, and not simply selecting inexperienced (at this level) players just because they have been in good domestic form over the last few weeks or months. One thing is the Portuguese league, and another is international football.

Read More
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Lots of reasons to be upset, but a draw away should still be enough for what we needed. Deep breaths, deep breaths.

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

It was a legitimate goal. The whole world saw it. But let’s talk about the match.

Santos yet again getting it wrong. First half was fine but that second......what kind of team talk did he give these guys that they completely imploded? Also what...

It was a legitimate goal. The whole world saw it. But let’s talk about the match.

Santos yet again getting it wrong. First half was fine but that second......what kind of team talk did he give these guys that they completely imploded? Also what on earth was going on through his head with those substitutions? He sees we’re struggling and his first subs come on at the 73rd minute. Then he doesn’t bring Felix on until the 85th. WTF. I repeat WTF.

I thought he might have learned his lesson after the France game that Fonte has no place starting against any meaningful opposition and yet here we are. It’s clear as day that he’s completely past it. Year after year hoping he would address the CB situation and this is what we get. We better hope that Pepe can stay fit otherwise Portugal are completely screwed. With Pepe being as injure prone as he’s been I don’t see that happening.

Thank you Santos for the Euro but this team is too talented to be managed by you.

Read More
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Ronaldo possibly done

https://portugoal.net/selecao/904-portugal-s-world-cup-assessed#comment-5368,0

I wrote this comment 2.5 years ago regarding Ronaldo's effectiveness as a starter for the national team predicting a steep decline between the...

Ronaldo possibly done

https://portugoal.net/selecao/904-portugal-s-world-cup-assessed#comment-5368,0

I wrote this comment 2.5 years ago regarding Ronaldo's effectiveness as a starter for the national team predicting a steep decline between the ages of 33-35. Presently, just 2 months after turning 36.. the signs are becoming increasingly clearer that this unfortunately appears to be the case.

The way he lightly jogs around the pitch when pressing opponents is flat out ineffective and purely done for optics. On 50-50 balls you'll find him simply waiting for one to fall at his feet.

His free kicks look abysmal as ever as if he's forgotten how to take them. That's 4?consecutive attempts where he's failed to even hit the target in the last two games from some fairly good distances. Why does he freely roam the final 3rd? He no longer has the agility to curl around defenders while driving into the box, and his through-ball ability is average at best. The best bet is for him to camp in or on the edge of the box and only if A.Silva or Jota line up adjacently as Ronaldo has never been impactful as a solo forward.

Also - Where are the attacking midfielders? We need someone who can trail the forwards when they all jump in the box. A cut-back option would prevent the defence from collapsing and overcrowding the area on every crossing attempt. Nobody's ever there..

But to finish up on Ronaldo, if he's going to continue being a starter into 2022 as i'm sure he expects.. he has to earn it. He can't only turn on the jets on a fast break when the rest of the team has to exhaust themselves in a 10 v 11 scenario to win the ball back.

Felix can't only be getting 5 minutes at the end of a game either. I say give Ronaldo 65-70 minutes to start, if he plays well keep him the whole 90 but be ready to sub him if things go like today. We are at that point. I'll take 65 minutes of effort over I only show up when there's a clear goal scoring opportunity.

P.S hope this comment section isn't filled with the fall out from the disallowed goal. Portugal did not deserve to win and perhaps dropping will cause more questions to be raised over the latter half of Fernando Santo's tenure with the national team. We are on the brink of another embarassing tourny exit as he continues to preside over this squad given the obvious shift in our team's strengths and weaknesses and his failure to adapt.

Read More
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Imagine that Fernando Santos would leave the National Team after the Luxembourg match. Who do you think should be replaced for him and would make the most of this team?

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

I have a confession to make: I don't understand what people see in Joao Cancelo for Portugal. Even now in reading the few comments that have been posted so far, only Samuel's mentioned his name. And according to WhoScored - Cancelo was our...

I have a confession to make: I don't understand what people see in Joao Cancelo for Portugal. Even now in reading the few comments that have been posted so far, only Samuel's mentioned his name. And according to WhoScored - Cancelo was our highest-rated defender. THE HELL WERE THEY WATCHING?! He was pathetic all match long, and the fact that an 18 year old had to come in to give the team more defensive stability on that side is truly embarrassing. I've said it before and I'll say it again: Cancelo does NOT work for Portugal at LB. The defensive collapse came down to 2 players in my opinion, and he was one of them. Constantly out of position inviting Serbia to counter, constantly giving up on the play, constantly making poor decisions... And how many times was he nutmegged today? 3? At least 2 because I remember those clearly. Simply put, the man's a disgrace to defending. I don't care what he does for Manchester City, a Pep tiki-taka-inspired club that dominates possession in 90% of the matches they play, and where he's rarely stationed in the backline as it is - I care about how he plays DEFENSIVELY as a FULL-BACK since, unless Fernando Santos changes formations, or, we only play minnows for the next 10 years, that's where he'll be tested the most. And, based on what I've seen of him in that context, he just doesn't cut it; he's more of a liability than anything else. Personally, if 2 of Cedric Soares, Nelson Semedo or Ricardo Pereira are healthy... I wouldn't include him in the squad at all. He's my 4th-choice RB and 7th-choice LB. Unless he dedicates himself and improves defensively, or, Santos shifts to a 3-4-3/3-5-2, I've seen enough of him. And even then I want him nowhere near the left.

The 2nd player I blame for the defensive collapse is Danilo. I won't be harsh on him though - he was clearly rushed back and not match-fit to play. Man looked 50 years old out there, and, when you pair that with a slower CB in Jose Fonte and a lost LB in Cancelo, counter-attacks were always going to be a massive threat. My dad and I watched the game together and we thought he looked off at the jump. Why Santos kept him on the entire match I have no idea. Even against France when it was Danilo and William Carvalho in front of Fonte and Ruben Dias, you seen how plodding and sluggish we were in the middle of the park. Today was the same - when the game was stretched, neither Danilo, Fonte, or even Dias could keep up. And Cancelo didn't want to keep up... but I've talked enough about him already.

I'm not as disenchanted with Fonte as Teresa seems to be. He's actually had a fantastic season and is a big reason why Lille is challenging PSG for a Ligue 1 title. The problem is at Lille he's surrounded by quick players, particularly in midfield, and every time he plays for Portugal he's not. Danilo, Carvalho, Ruben Neves, Joao Moutinho... they're all speed-challenged and need to be surrounded by pace to get the balance right. And that's one of the reasons I believe Joao Palhinha should be our starting DM right now: He's got a mobility that the others simply don't have. Not sure why Andre hates him so much, but to me, he's our only in-form DM and should be getting more consideration. And I'm confident if Santos trusted him in the same way he trusted Nuno Mendes, the outcome today would've been much different.

I don't want to talk about the robbery at the end, instead I'll just heap praise on some players who I feel deserve it... Diogo Jota showed why I've been pushing for him to partner Cristiano Ronaldo for months. If he can iron-out a bit of the decision-making (his breakdown helped lead to the counter that tied the game) he'll be a world-class player in no time. Bernardo Silva: Was that his best game for us? Me thinks so. That was the Bernardo I see at City - literally everywhere and helping to dictate play. And he's clearly got some kind of 6th-sense connection with Jota. Long may it continue. I actually thought it was Bruno Fernandes' best game for Portugal as well. He didn't force anything and wasn't turning the ball over a million times. He also, perhaps for the 1st time, looked comfortable dictating play and combining with Bernardo. I hope that also continues and their chemistry continues to grow. And lastly - Cedric Soares. Dude, I love Cedric. Very happy to see him back in the team! In my opinion, he's our best defensive FB and should be getting far more praise than he does. Hopefully he continues to get minutes at Arsenal and we see him in the summer. He certainly helps put my mind at ease when he's on the pitch.

Lastly, a word for CR7... I get that Juventus sucks and you've had to carry them as an old(er) man for going on 3 years, and that, in all likelihood, has left you incredibly frustrated, but, keep your Juventus baggage in Turin thank you very much. There are players on this team who can not only take free-kicks but take them better than you now. If this team's talent clicks and we manage to find the right balance, you have the chance to win a World Cup here. Do that and you undoubtedly go down as the GOAT. Ask yourself this question: Do you want to score, or, do you want to win? If you want to win, like I think you do, let your teammates help you in that endeavour. You don't need to do it on your own anymore; trust in your teammates and your teammates will trust in you. Ask any fighter and they'll tell you the easiest way to land a knockout punch is to take a step back before you throw... Do it Ronnie. For the good of your team, your country, and your legacy - Step back.

Confucius out.

Read More
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

agreed ? Ronnie needs to play for thr team of be subbed like every one else...

a fit paulinho as number 9 would b nice with cr7 and a mix of felix or jota on the other wing...

A strong defensive left side because cr7 wowmt rush back mm...

Santo...

agreed ? Ronnie needs to play for thr team of be subbed like every one else...

a fit paulinho as number 9 would b nice with cr7 and a mix of felix or jota on the other wing...

A strong defensive left side because cr7 wowmt rush back mm...

Santos can stay for the euros but he should not be part of tje WC ...

leanardo jardim ruben jesus who else

Read More
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

can't wait for Ricardo to get back ..

cancelo really sucked yest

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Agree with some of what was said. Fonte has been having a great domestic season with Lille, and they are indeed a fast team. If you’ve watched Lille you’ll also notice how important Botman has in been in defence, a young, outstanding CB. For...

Agree with some of what was said. Fonte has been having a great domestic season with Lille, and they are indeed a fast team. If you’ve watched Lille you’ll also notice how important Botman has in been in defence, a young, outstanding CB. For Portugal - Fonte has been burned for his lack of pace.

Santos has some decisions to make: Will he opt for defensive solidity at the cost of perhaps weakening our offence? While Kieran Tierney was injured, Cedric filled in at LB and was pretty solid. The problem with Cancelo is his lack of concentration - but the Cancelo we saw yesterday was not the one that’s been playing for Man City. In my opinion, the most difficult thing about the Seleçao for as long as I can remember is having a great well of talent to draw from, but they all play on different clubs. Bernardo and Cancelo have proven chem with one another on the pitch, and Santos should take advantage of this. Germany’s international success time and time again I believe is in part due to the fact that a lot of the squad play together on Bayern Munich. Cancelo and Bernardo occupying that right side is absolutely LETHAL.

I would be intrigued to see Santos adopt a back 5. Have Danilo drop into CB, and have Cancelo and Mendes occupy the wingback positions. It’ll allow Cancelo to get forward and cut him some slack on defensive duties.

Please please please don’t mention Nelson Semedo as starting over Cancelo though...you surely haven’t been watching Wolves this season. A bargain-bin Cancelo at best.

Read More
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Oh for sure Botman's helped Fonte look good but surely if Botman can play that role then Dias can as well? They performed really well together once Pepe got hurt in the 2019 Nations League Finals against strong opposition (Switzerland and...

Oh for sure Botman's helped Fonte look good but surely if Botman can play that role then Dias can as well? They performed really well together once Pepe got hurt in the 2019 Nations League Finals against strong opposition (Switzerland and Netherlands) and now they've just fallen off a cliff as a partnership despite both of them having their best seasons of their careers thus far? Something's not right and doesn't make sense. Which is why I'd rather point to Danilo being unfit or Cancelo playing poorly or a slower midfield in general than Fonte being past the point of no return. I'm not gonna say I've seen every single Lille match this season but I catch quite a bit and every time I watch them, and him specifically, he looks nowhere near as slow as he has for Portugal in these last few games. I genuinely think if you put someone like Palhinha ahead of him, or, more defensively-capable FBs either side of him, we'd see a very different version of him.

Do I prefer Nelson Semedo to Cancelo? 1000000% yes. I watch Wolves all the time - you have to if you're Portuguese, as I understand it, it's like, a law or something now - and you're right: he's been poor this season. BUT, poor guy's confidence has been shot after being blamed for everything that went wrong in that Bayern 8-2 Barcelona debacle, and he's still getting used to a new country, league, coach, etc. Add to that Wolves' only consistent goal-threat Raul Jimenez went down long-term, forcing them into more formation changes than a high school marching band, and, I tend to cut him a bit of slack. In fact his situation kinda reminds me of another player: Joao Cancelo. Boy did he struggle to adapt at City last season; spent most of his time daydreaming on the bench. This season he's settled into the team and is showing what he can do. I expect to see something similar from Nelson next season. But yeah - why do I prefer him over Cancelo? Even now..? Because, unlike with Cancelo, I've actually seen him defend well for Portugal from the RB position. Not saying it ALWAYS happens (I'm sure people can point to mistakes) but, I know he can perform in that context. And in highly stressful, big-game situations against very tough opposition too: I thought he was one of our better players against the Netherlands in the NL Final, and in our NL group match in France, I thought he was our best player as well, especially defensively. That's why as things stand, in this version of Portugal, with these tactics and this style, I choose Nelson.

Now I'm totally with you if we change things up and opt for 3/5 at the back. A system that allows Cancelo and Raphael Guerreiro to be themselves with Portugal? Sign me up! Who's gonna deliver the memo to Santos, me or you? It should probably be you... I don't do well with cigarette smoke. I've been leaning in that direction for years (a 3-5-2 or 3-4-1-2 or 5-3-2) but I always worried that our players would take too long to get used to it. Now? I think most of our players play, or have played, in that kind of system. As we speak, every single defender and goalkeeper on our team has experience. So do Raphael, Nelson, and Ricardo Pereira. In midfield, guys like Palhinha, Bernardo, Renato Sanches, Sergio Oliveira, the Wolfpack all have experience... This is a no-brainer and something that I think most of us on the site are at least intrigued by. Is Santos? Probably not unfortunately. But time will tell.

Not sure how long you've been here but you seem to be relatively new. Or, at least, new to me. I'm enjoying reading your opinions. They need to be longer though. I like that essay-type s**t (as you can probably tell). Welcome Aboard!

Read More
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Haha - thanks George. I’m new, thanks for the welcome, and I appreciate the essay style responses/comments. As we all know, a back 3/5 is a pipe dream/fan experiment at best.

I’ve been trying to watch every Lille game that I can. Huge talent on...

Haha - thanks George. I’m new, thanks for the welcome, and I appreciate the essay style responses/comments. As we all know, a back 3/5 is a pipe dream/fan experiment at best.

I’ve been trying to watch every Lille game that I can. Huge talent on that team, some Portuguese players, and Jonathan David a very exciting Canadian no. 9 who I’ve been following for some time now. Fonte’s leadership and wisdom is clearly there, we cannot dispute that. What scares me is when we have to play France and Germany and it is very possible that their pace will KILL the Seleçao. We have had two recent solid showings against France, but we saw what happened in that 2nd game. If we know one thing for sure from being Portuguese, just because you’ve been playing well at a club level, it doesn’t mean you’ll play well for the Seleçao! This has been the case with Fonte recently, as well Bruno, Cancelo, and a handful of others. Danilo was lethargic and played poorly and I’ve always preferred William, but until now Danilo has done an acceptable job of deputizing.

I 100% agree that Palhinha should be starting, he’s experienced, is very mobile for a CDM, has a great range of passing, and is extremely strong. Neves lacks the defensive quality that Palhinha possesses, although he’s been having a pretty good season by his personal standards.

Let me say this - some of our best games in recent times, even when we lost 1-0 to France last year, have come via the use of a double pivot. Perhaps this will provide the extra defensive cover that Fonte needs, or that will allow Cancelo to get forward, I don’t know.

Where we will have to agree to disagree, will be over Cancelo vs Semedo, and seems the whole comment section is divided on it. I’m sure we both watch every Wolves game and have been screaming at the TV synchronously! I also hope that Semedo gets out of this bad spell, and although he plays almost every minute for Wolves, I’m praying next season he will find his groove, but I’ve been hoping for that ever since he left Benfica. Defensively, Cedric is the most sound and had a great showing on Saturday. Having a meat-and-potatoes defending full back on the team is important, and if he gets more regular playing time with Arsenal (may be difficult, although I think Bellerin is extremely overrated) will surely get another call-up. Ricardo Pereira is arguably our best option, whether he will be struggling for fitness will be another question though. Just watching Cancelo and Semedo back to back, you can see the gap in quality and talent. Cancelo’s vision and final ball is among the best, but YES he needs to work on making his defending more consistent. Pep has continually praised Cancelo this season but always mentions one thing: that Joao needs to stay focused and cannot have these lapses in concentration. The team needs Cancelo and again I’ll mention the on-field chemistry between him and Bernardo. Going forward it will be MASSIVE in our attempt to try and win more silverware.

Let’s see what happens tomorrow! Cheers.

Read More
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Hey George, check out my comment on this article from last week;

https://portugoal.net/selecao/2025-portugal-beat-azerbaijan-1-0-in-opening-world-cup-qualifier#comments

I am in 1000% agree to with you. Cancelo is a joke and to call him a...

Hey George, check out my comment on this article from last week;

https://portugoal.net/selecao/2025-portugal-beat-azerbaijan-1-0-in-opening-world-cup-qualifier#comments

I am in 1000% agree to with you. Cancelo is a joke and to call him a defender is the same as calling Jorge Jesus a linguist.

He wouldn't know how to defend if he had an earpiece and Pepe on the other end telling him what to do.

Yes, he's a decent attacking threat moving forward, but way too much of a liability to be on the pitch on the position he's played in. Honestly, Ricardo Pereira is the best RB we have. Perfect blend of offence with defensive solidity.

Read More
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Chris, went back to read your comment to refresh my memory and agree 100%. I don't get it dude. Everyone's covering for Cancelo saying he was on the left not the right, Fonte is slow a lot of it is his fault, Bernardo wasn't on his side to help...

Chris, went back to read your comment to refresh my memory and agree 100%. I don't get it dude. Everyone's covering for Cancelo saying he was on the left not the right, Fonte is slow a lot of it is his fault, Bernardo wasn't on his side to help him this time.... I mean, Cancelo wasn't good defensively on the RIGHT against Azerbaijan EITHER! Bernardo and Duarte had to bail him out a few times. And he's the best RB in the world?! Give me a break man... I think Ruben Neves has good statistics on clearances and interceptions too. Let's slot him in at CB vs Germany and France come June. Should work out great for us. Or maybe, since Ruben Dias has the most passes of anyone in the EPL, we can play him in midfield. I know you get the point I'm making since we seem to be on similar wavelengths, but I don't know how else to explain my issues with Cancelo to people. Fantastic player for possession-heavy City, often in midfield/wing/forward positions, and, according to most people, the best RB in the world and Portugal's best option in that very different position. *insert Picard face-palm gif*

And Ricardo? Man why did he have to have an injury plagued season? He was dominant on both sides of the ball before getting hurt last season. When he's fit, I think he's our best RB option (would probably do better on the left too since he broke out at Nice in that position) but he made a mistake in the World Cup against Uruguay I think and that was curtains for him. Let's hope he regains his fitness soon and plays at the back regularly like he did before the lockdowns.

Read More
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

I agree with you George. Palhinha deserves to be the starting center defensive mid for us. And Nuno Mendes should be the starter at left back as well.

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Based on form and potential to grow, I think Palhinha is the best option for DM for the rest of the year. I love Danilo, and he should be in the team, but he never was a CB, and he cannt play that position well, despite this ridiculous idea...

Based on form and potential to grow, I think Palhinha is the best option for DM for the rest of the year. I love Danilo, and he should be in the team, but he never was a CB, and he cannt play that position well, despite this ridiculous idea people have that he's a defender. Playing that position at SG has shaken his confidence. Palhinha should start at DM, with Danilo as 2nd choice and Ruben Neves 3rd.

Good to see you again Eddie. I'm sure you're loving this well-deserved season for Sporting. Cheers mate.

Read More
There are no comments posted here yet
Load More

Leave your comments

  1. Posting comment as a guest. Sign up or login to your account.
Attachments (0 / 3)
Share Your Location

      

Partners