RED WARRIOR: No Ronaldo, Bruno Fernandes becomes a ‘Battle Machine’ as Man Utd star has 100% tackles, 4 duels won in Portugal’s loss to Croatia ‎- luantrum27

RED WARRIOR: No Ronaldo, Bruno Fernandes becomes a ‘Battle Machine’ as Man Utd star has 100% tackles, 4 duels won in Portugal’s loss to Croatia ‎- luantrum27

Just eight minutes into the game, Luka Modric of Real Madrid broke the deadlock with a penalty kick.

MUIP on X: "Bruno Fernandes bin play for 70 minutes as Portugal lose 2-1  against Croatia. https://t.co/jgPQ5vePgw" / X

Throughout the most of the game, both teams tested the other’s goalie. Between the posts, Diogo Costa and Dominik Livakovic both needed to make remarkable stops.

Just three minutes after the half, Diogo Jota of Liverpool brought the score back to even. He timed his spectacular cross across goal perfectly and scored the goal. Croatia, however, seemed unfazed and quickly received their reward.

Costa made a brilliant save to keep out a powerful shot but failed to bring the ball under his spell. He could only parry it onto the path of Ante Budimir, who was all too happy to head it in from close range.

During the time he was on the pitch, Fernandes had 67 touches of the ball and successfully delivered 43 of the 49 passes he attempted, managing an individual pass completion rate of 88%. One of his key passes was a key pass.

Portugal Croatia Soccer | National Sports | hjnews.com

The 29-year-old, who started in a midfield trio also consisting of Joao Palhinha and Vitinha, tried to find a Portugal teammate with two crosses and six long balls. Fernandes successfully connected with four of the long balls he pinged. None of his crosses came off.

The United skipper had just one shot to his name but it was off-target and didn’t really challenge Livakovic.

Fernandes completed the one dribble he embarked on and won four of the six ground duels he delved into. His other defensive contributions include making one clearance and putting in three times as many tackles. He also blocked two shots.

The playmaker lined up alongside United teammate Diogo Dalot, who was taken off at half-time and replaced by Nelson Semedo.

Dalot made just one tackle and won half of his contests on the ground. He delivered two of the seven crosses he made and also the one long ball he tried.

The right-back touched the ball on 37 occasions.

Unfortunately for Fernandes and Dalot, their efforts were not enough. They will however be looking to make amends when the Selecao face Ireland on Tuesday in yet another friendly encounter before they finally kickstart their Euro 2024 campaign.

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