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Six major talking points from Portugal vs Ireland

Cristiano Ronaldo Bruno Fernandes

A heartbreaking defeat for Ireland.

Ireland suffered a heartbreaking defeat to Portugal on Wednesday night, thanks to a Cristiano Ronaldo masterclass in the dying moments of the game.

Ireland Portugal

A really terrible refereeing performance

Matej Jug was the talk of the night after a really enjoyable game, which is a terrible sign. He controversially awarded a penalty against Jeff Hendrick, and even-more controversially failed to even consider sending Ronaldo off for striking out at Dara O’Shea.

Aaron Connolly then went down, twice, under similar contact to that of Bruno Fernandes under Hendrick, but Jug gave nothing.

His face when booking Ronaldo at the end of the game said it all.

Cristiano Ronaldo

Which brings us on to Ronaldo. The greatest goalscorer of all time did what he does best, even after the penalty miss.

While he is almost definitely in second place in the ‘GOAT’ debate, when it comes to the greatest international footballer ever – Ronaldo is the leading contender.

Adam Idah

What a performance from the young Corkman. If Daniel Farke was watching, which you would hope he was, Idah will be starting in the Premier League before long.

He led the line really well, using his long legs and pace to get in behind the Portuguese defence on a number of occasions.

To put it into perspective, he was being marked by Ruben Dias and Pepe, and he gave them a really difficult evening. Not many forwards in the world can say that.

Stephen Kenny

Once again, a bit of cruel luck has got in the way of Kenny getting a big win and some proper momentum.

But it shouldn’t be ignored that he set out a team that bested Portugal for 88 minutes, and only lost because of a Ronaldo masterclass.

We created a number of chances against a really impressive, defensive unit, without giving up too much at the back. Kenny and the lads should be proud and feel quietly optimistic about the future.

Gavin Bazunu

And if Ireland do feel confident about the future, it is largely due to this extremely competent goalkeeper we have got in our ranks.

At just 19, Bazunu looks so calm and composed on the ball, and is well able to make really big saves when we has to too.

It wouldn’t be too unlikely to see Pep Guardiola giving him some game time in the cup games over the next couple of seasons if he sticks around at Manchester City.

Seamus Coleman

When Coleman’s legs give way, he should still be kept around the team for his leadership alone.

But by the looks of it, there is still plenty of juice in those legs yet. He shouldn’t have had to do as much bombing forward as he did, but what he did with the ball at his feet was excellent.

He showed that he is still a top-class leader and a guaranteed starter in this team, no matter who we have coming through. What a performance from the Donegal man.

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