Cristiano Ronaldo’s link with Bruno Fernandes breaks down against Ireland, causing Manchester United concern.
Despite Portugal’s victory over Ireland, Ronaldo and Fernandes played together for the first time since the former’s return to Manchester United, but it was a difficult game for the pair.
Despite Portugal’s 2-1 victory over the Republic of Ireland, Manchester United will be concerned about the future of Bruno Fernandes’ relationship with new acquisition Cristiano Ronaldo. Both new teammates made their debuts at the Estadio Do Algrave, as Fernando Santos’ side took on the Boys in Green.
It was the first time Fernandes and Ronaldo had shared the field since Ronaldo’s return to Old Trafford.
However, the World Cup qualifier has tempered hopes that Ronaldo will flourish alongside Fernandes at Old Trafford.
Against the Irish, the two struggled to connect, with Ronaldo having just one shot in the first half.
That shot came from an early penalty, which was controversially won by Fernandes, but Gavin Bazunu stopped Ronaldo’s spot-kick.
Despite the hosts’ possession dominance, the new teammates found it tough to connect after that.
In the first half, Santos held 69 percent of the possession, but they failed to create many chances that troubled Bazunu’s goal.
When Fernandes and Ronaldo sought to take on Irish defenders, they frequently dropped the ball, allowing the visitors to launch rapid counter-attacks.
Ireland’s Stephen Kenny scored the game’s first goal in the Estadio Do Algarve, despite having little control.
Jamie McGrath whipped in a corner on the stroke of half-time, which Sheffield United defender John Egan flicked into the far corner.
Despite the fact that they had conceded, Portugal struggled to break down Ireland’s tough defense.
It was eerily similar to United’s own difficulties in breaking down defensive-minded opponents.
In the final minute of normal time, Ronaldo equalized for the hosts with a thunderous header that found its way past Bazunu.
He then turned the game completely on its head with a last-second header at the back post that went past Bazunu and secured all three points for his country.
To begin the game, Portugal used a 4-3-3 formation, with Ronaldo leading the attack and Fernandes in central midfield.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants to implement this system at United in order to use as many attacking players as possible.
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