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Three reasons why Man United should worry after Portugal’s Euro 2020 exit

FOOTBALL By Mirror | June 28th 2021
Euro 2020 - Round of 16 - Belgium v Portugal - La Cartuja Stadium, Seville, Spain - June 27, 2021 Portugal's Rui Patricio with teammates applaud fans after the match [Reuters, Thanassis Stavrakis]

Portugal's dreams of retaining their European Championship title are over after they were dumped out by Belgium in Seville.

Thorgan Hazard's swerving strike in the first half ensured a place in the last eight for Roberto Martinez's talented side.

Kevin de Bruyne 's injury will be a concern for Belgium but holding on for victory over much-fancied Portugal will give them huge belief heading into the quarter-finals.

Portugal, meanwhile, were left frustrated by a missed opportunity as they failed to unlock the door of a resilient defence.

Manchester United stars Diogo Dalot and Bruno Fernandes failed to impress as Portuguese hopes were dashed.

Mirror Football has looked at three concerns United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may have after Portugal's exit.

Fernandes fatigue

Bruno Fernandes' lack of form at Euro 2020 has come as a shock given his indispensable role at Old Trafford.

The talismanic United playmaker was dropped for the final group game by Portuguese boss Fernando Santo after looking fatigued and replaced Bernardo Silva early in the second half against Belgium.

The 26-year-old made a difference after his arrival, but couldn't spark an equaliser as his nation crashed out.

He has become revered at United for his proficiency in front of goal but his uncharacteristic displays could be attributed to tiredness.

Since football returned after lockdown 12 months ago, Fernandes has featured in 84 matches.

His summer rest will be welcome for Solskjaer who must be diligent in how he utilises his star man in the new season after a gruelling campaign.

Dalot dilemma

Solskjaer's problem positions this summer include right-back with competition needed for first-choice Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Dalot, who spent last season out on loan at AC Milan, did little to provide an answer for the Norwegian after being afforded just his second Portugal start in the last-16 clash.

The 22-year-old had a mixed evening, picking up a booking for a foul on Eden Hazard and showing the defensive vulnerabilities that have left his Old Trafford future looking uncertain.

Solskjaer may still yet to be convinced that Dalot can deputise for Wan-Bissaka, forcing him to enter the market and delve into his transfer budget.

Atletico Madrid right-back Kieran Trippier is currently on duty with England at the Euros and could prove a more desirable option than Dalot.

Bury-born Trippier has been heavily linked with a move to United and his family are all Red Devils fans.

Ronaldo competition

Portugal may not have gone the distance, but Ronaldo had chance to showcase his genius once again at Euro 2020.

Some were ill-advised to question the icon's ability to still deliver but four goals at the tournament prove the 36-year-old is still among the elite.

Ronaldo will be devastated he couldn't inspire another run to the final for his nation, but he has once again proven he is a desirable transfer option for top sides even in the twilight of his career.

He has been linked with a return to United this summer after doubts over his Juventus future following the reappointment of boss Massimiliano Allegri.

But United would undoubtedly face more competition should they seriously pursue a move after the latest unneeded reminder of his brilliance.

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