100% dribbles, 4 long balls, 3 tackles: United star the shining light despite defeat for national team

Bruno Fernandes, the captain of Manchester United, played 70 minutes for Portugal in a friendly match before to Euro 2024, which ended in a 2-1 loss against Croatia.

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

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.

Although Costa made an incredible save to deflect a strong shot, he was unable to control the ball. All he could do was parry it into Ante Budimir’s path, and the man was only too glad to head it in at close range.

Fernandes had 67 touches of the ball in his time on the field, completing 43 of his 49 passes with success, for an individual pass completion percentage of 88%. He made a crucial pass that was crucial.

The 29-year-old attempted to find a Portugal teammate with two crosses and six long balls after starting in a midfield trio with Joao Palhinha and Vitinha. Fernandes pinged four long balls and made a successful connection with all. His crosses did not come off.

With just one attempt, the United captain failed to properly test Livakovic and it went off target.

Fernandes won four of his six ground duels and finished the one dribble he attempted. In addition, he made one clearance and made three times as many tackles as a defensive player. He stopped two more shots.

The playmaker was positioned next to his United teammate Diogo Dalot, who was replaced by Nelson Semedo after the half.

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.

(Stats obtained from Sofascore)

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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