Portugal coach Fernando Santos was left frustrated by a lack of creativity and “explosiveness” as his side drew 0-0 with France in the Nations League on Sunday.
In front of a home crowd of around 1,000 socially distanced fans at the Stade de France, a host of European football’s elite stars were on display in a generally entertaining encounter.
But despite all of the attacking talent on show, including Cristiano Ronaldo and Kylian Mbappe, the match failed to yield a goal, with France unable to claim revenge in the two teams’ first meeting since Portugal’s triumph in the Euro 2016 final.
Although Portugal came away with a commendable point, Santos seemed a little underwhelmed, as if he was expecting more of a spectacle.
He said: “It was a very balanced game between two teams that were too cautious, especially in offensive terms.
“It doesn’t seem like too much respect, we had quality players, but it wasn’t a very fast game.
— Portugal (@selecaoportugal) October 11, 2020
“There was a lack of more aggressive dynamics in the search for the goal. It’s in these games that coaches always want more.
“We had to be organised, sure, but we expected creativity, explosiveness to be unleashed. Both teams played on the back foot a bit too much.
“Whenever the game changed from that, the teams created problems for each other.”
Portugal right-back Nelson Semedo had a more positive outlook, however.
He said: “I think, in general, the team played a great game. The defence did very well.
“They have a great team, many good players and we managed to control them. We ended up with a draw, we wanted to win, but I don’t think it’s a bad result.”
The stalemate leaves Portugal and France tied on seven points at the summit of Group A3 after three games – Croatia, who beat Sweden 2-1, are four points adrift.
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