How Bruno was so influential in Leipzig

Wednesday 19 June 2024 10:25

Bruno Fernandes's huge influence on Portugal's play was highlighted again in their 2-1 victory over Czech Republic at Euro 2024.

The Manchester United captain had a dangerous shot deflected over the bar but spent much of the 90 minutes probing and creating chances for his colleagues.

With Diogo Dalot also looking threatening from a very advanced position wide on the right, Roberto Martinez's men were on top throughout the first half but fell behind before turning things around, with substitute Francisco Conceicao snatching an injury-time winner in Leipzig.

After Christian Eriksen stood out for Denmark, in their draw with Slovenia, it was encouraging to see another Red performing so impressively on the big stage.

Indeed, reported that Eriksen made more key passes (seven) than any other player in the first round of games.

Fernandes set up one first-half chance for Cristiano Ronaldo, that was saved by Czech keeper Jindrich Stanek, and was inches away from supplying Rafael Leao deep inside the area, before he continued to supply precise passes from all areas of the pitch in the second period.

As Portugal kept pressing, it ultimately reaped dividends with the late winner and Bruno could be well satisfied with his performance, and the result, even if team-mate Vitinha landed the UEFA Player of the Match award.

Opta's stats show nobody had more attacking sequence involvements than our no.8 in the opening round of fixtures. Turkey's Ferdi Kadioglu also managed 11 in the same group, against Georgia, while Vitinha was only one behind.

The heatmap displayed by Opta also illustrated the point that Fernandes was all over the pitch when trying to make things happen for one of the tournament favourites.

Next up for Portugal is a match against group leaders Turkey on Saturday.