The duo displayed a great camaraderie in the attack against Hungary on Tuesday.
Portugal left it late to surpass Hungary in Budapest on Tuesday at the UEFA Euro 2020. Raphael Guerreiro’s opener, coupled with Cristiano Ronaldo’s historic brace was enough to hand them a 0-3 win. However, it was a far from perfect game for the defending champions. They almost trailed by a goal in the second half.
Nevertheless, the smooth yet frightening camaraderie between Cristiano Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes was one of the few key takeaways from the game. The duo paired up excellently well in the attack and we interpret why their partnership will be integral for Portugal in Euro 2020.
They say that form is temporary, class is permanent. However, in case of Cristiano Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes, neither has actually dropped out of form in years. One could even go on for hours discussing about their sheer quality.
What is more important for Portugal is that both have found their feet for the team. Fernando Santos will be very grateful to have the duo in a perfect shape. He will only hope they continue to combine with each other in their crucial next fixtures.
Portugal were frustrated more often than not by the Hungarian defence on Tuesday. However, they never ceased to attack and kept moving forward relentlessly. Finally, in the dying moments of the game, the hosts backline gave in and Portugal bore the fruit.
While Diogo Jota had a particularly disappointing game, it was Fernandes and Ronaldo’s persistence that paid them the dividends. Despite missing several goalscoring chances, the duo kept their cool. They practically pulled together the strings of the Portuguese attack and their perseverance ultimately helped the team bag an important win.
3. Creative gameplay
Bruno Fernandes assumed the No. 10 role and did his part brilliantly well. It was a rather unlucky evening for his side, otherwise he would certainly find himself on the scoresheet. The Manchester United star created two major goalscoring chances and initiated the move for Guerreiro’s opener.
He almost earned an assist before half-time with a perfectly weighted cross inside the box. However, Cristiano Ronaldo surprisingly drove it wide from a point-blank range. Nonetheless, it is a combination the Portugal fans will be craving to witness in games against France and Germany.
2. Set-piece masters
There are several teams in the tournament who ache for a good set-piece taker. Portugal have two. A goal is most certainly guaranteed if either of Cristiano Ronaldo or Bruno Fernandes step up to take a penalty.
Against Hungary, the former proved it for the umpteenth time. Moreover, his precision from free-kicks is simply breathtaking. The sheer composure he portrays in such situations is quite commendable.
On the other hand, Fernandes’ pin-point corner kicks are something to reckon with. Had it not been for Pepe’s scuffed header against Hungary, he would have comfortably earned an assist for a sumptuous delivery from corner. It wouldn’t be a surprise if Ronaldo leaps highest to head in a Fernandes corner kick in the upcoming games!
1. Goalscoring instincts
The game against Hungary was not certainly the best of what we have seen from Cristiano Ronaldo. Yet, he managed to get on the scoresheet twice. That says a lot about his finishing skills. Even on relatively bad days, the 36-year-old tends to win games.
Meanwhile, Bruno Fernandes was simply unlucky to not find his name on the scoresheet against Hungary. Credit to goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi for his fingertip save to deny the 26-year-old from range.
To sum it up, even on a tough day, the duo displayed great partnership in the attack. Given their superb form and defined class, the connection between them will prove to be crucial for Portugal in the upcoming fixtures.