Euro 2020 English

Roy Keane’s verdict on Bruno Fernandes as Portugal drops Man Utd star again

Manchester United playmaker Bruno Fernandes came on in the second half but was unable to prevent the defending champions from crashing out of Euro 2020 as Belgium surged ahead to set up a quarter-final clash against Italy.

Roy Keane observed th at Bruno Fernandes has looked drained during Euro 2020 after the midfielder was again sidelined by Portugal and didn’t make the starting line-up for the second game in succession as reigning champs Portugal were knocked out of the European Championship finals by a resurgent Belgium.

The United playmaker made it off the bench in the second half as talisman Cristiano Ronaldo and his cohorts surged forward desperately in search of an equaliser. But Fernando Santos’ side were eliminated after they failed to cancel out Thorgan Hazard’s first-half howitzer.

United legend and former captain Keane believed Fernandes looked tired after a prolonged and punishing season with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side, with the Portuguese star playing 37 out of 38 PL games last term, starting all but two of those, besides also lining up in the majority of matches in other competitions across the season.

Keane said United’s talisman looked tired – with Ian Wright in agreement.

“There are other options instead of Fernandes,” Keane said on ITV during the game, as he pondered the possibility of a penalty shootout.

“His body language hasn’t been great and the worry for Portugal will be if it turns into a shootout, he has plenty of players to call upon.”

Wright said the difference was clearly evident between Fernandes and Manchester City star Kevin de Bruyne, whose club has more options to rotate him.

“Fernandes has played so many games this season,” said the former Arsenal striker. “He is looking very tired during this competition and you can tell the difference with De Bruyne.”

Keane wasn’t impressed by second-half subs Fernandes or Joao Felix – branding the latter “an imposter”.

“Joao Felix when he came on, what did he do?” Keane blasted. “The guy is an imposter.

“What is he worth £100m? You have got to hit the target and if I was Ronaldo I would be going after him in the dressing room.”

“Belgium were very composed at the back but Portugal showed a real lack of quality in the final third,” he added. “Felix and Fernandes didn’t really affect the game, they didn’t have their shooting boots on.”

The win for Roberto Martinez’s men came at a cost, with both Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard limping off injured as they face a race to be fit for Friday’s quarter-final against Italy.