Bruno Fernandes slammed for “strolling” in withering Portugal criticism

Manchester United star Bruno Fernandes was slammed by ITV co-commentator Lee Dixon for “strolling” during Portugal’s defeat to Germany in the Group F clash on Saturday.

Portugal went a goal ahead after Cristiano Ronaldo finished of a well-worked team move 15 minutes into the clash on German soil at the Allianz Arena, Munich.

But their advantage was short-lived as Germany turned the scores around thanks to two own goals from Ruben Dias and Raphael Guerreiro, before Kai Havertz tapped home a third, leaving Portugal with plenty of work to do.

However, it seems Fernandes didn’t quite get the memo regarding the urgency needed for his team to get back in the match, as Dixon laid into the midfielder for his lack of work rate.

Bruno Fernandes was criticised for “strolling” during Portugal’s defeat to Germany

“Someone needs to tell Fernandes he’s 3-1 down,” Dixon said. “He is just strolling on the ball.

“He had a chance then to run into space and commit a few players ahead of him. No energy in his run at all.”

Fernandes was eventually substituted for Joao Moutinho just after the hour mark – by which time Robin Gosens had added a fourth for Germany.

Moutinho made an immediate contribution, delivering a free-kick into the box which Diogo Jota diverted home after Cristiano Ronaldo kept the ball in play.

But Portugal couldn’t find another goal from there as they slipped to a 4-2 defeat to leave their chances of qualifying for the knockout stage resting on their final group game with world champions France.

Portugal boss Fernando Santos appeared to alleviate some of the blame on the likes of Fernandes, by explaining how his tactics had actually left his midfielders overrun in the middle of the park.

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“We just tweaked our midfield tactics for the match. We just wanted to press the midfield players – Gundogan and Kroos – and we wanted our full backs to drive forward,” Santos said after the match.

“But it was clear to see that we were always short of an extra man in the midfield and were pushed back. It was my strategy and I’m fully responsible for it.”

To make matters worse for Portugal, France’s shock draw with Hungary means they are likely to face Didier Deschamps’ side at full-strength.

Meanwhile Germany have given themselves a decent chance of progressing but face Hungary, who have caused problems for the opposition in both of their matches thus far.

Speaking after their win, Germany forward Thomas Muller said (via Tz ): “We had many good aspects. But we also had a few things that we need to improve significantly

“In terms of play and going forward, we saw a lot of good things. Now we got into the tournament well and now we have the three points that we really needed, now we have the everything in our own hands. We must not get carried away now.”

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