Manchester United’s Bruno Fernandes and Diogo Dalot can hold their heads up high despite their country crashing out of the World Cup to unfancied Morocco this afternoon.
One of the upsets of the tournament saw the African’s triumph 1-0 after parking the bus for most of the second half.
Fernandes was at the centre of everything creative that the European side mustered, and hit the crossbar with an audacious attempt at the end of the first half that would have drawn his side level.
The United man had two shots, made 87% accurate passes, 3 key passes, 8/11 long balls and 2/11 crosses.
Dalot also had a steady game. Although he was not accurate with any of his four crosses, he won 5/7 of his duels, made a key pass and achieved 76% pass completion. It is to be hoped for United’s sake that the injury that caused him to bbe withdrawn was not a serious one.
As for players linked with United, goalkeeper Diogo Costa was to blame for Morocco’s goal, coming for a cross he had no chance of getting, which allowed El Nesyri to head into an empty net.
It was just abouut the only action that the Portugal keeper saw, and in truth could have a profound effect on his future, as his stock had been rising steadily before such a high profile error in such a big game.
Whether he will remain on United’s shopping list remains to be seen.
Portugal’s round of 16 hat trick hero, Gonçalo Ramos, who himself has been linked with a United move, also failed to impress and was unable to get a single shot away either on or off target in the first half, and just one woefully off target in the second before being subbed in the 69th minute.
Cristiano Ronaldo repaced him, but was unable to provide the magic touch and left the pitch in tears.
It is more than likely the last time we will see Ronaldo at a World Cup and it was not the ending anyone would have wanted or expected for the great man.
All stats from sofascore.com