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Cristiano Ronaldo Records An Assist in Portugal’s Win Over Algeria

Portugal v Netherlands - International Friendly Photo by Harold Cunningham/Getty Images

It was the Goncalo Guedes show at Estadio da Luz, as Portugal dismantled Algeria in a one-way massacre. Guedes scored a brace, and Algeria had zero answers for his pure power and pace (not that they defended him well at all, to be sure). But while Guedes had a standout match, everyone on Portugal played well, and Cristiano Ronaldo was as involved as anyone.

Ronaldo started up top in a 4-4-2 scheme, playing high up the pitch. He started on the left hand side of the attack — cutting in often — but also roamed to the right-hand side routinely. He even made dangerous runs both with and without the ball through central channels, and if he wasn’t shooting, he was setting up his teammates, as he did on Portugal’s opening goal from Bruno Fernandes:

Algeria were abysmal defensively. They played a narrow scheme, which, in a vacuum, is a sound idea against a team that plays with a lot of width like Portugal -- with the idea being of packing the middle to prevent cut-ins while marking the cutters trying to meet crosses. But Algeria were loose all around. Their marking was terrible, they didn’t deny space on cut-ins, and let Portugal do what they wanted to. They also couldn’t handle Portugal’s press, even though it wasn’t as aggressive as normal, and gave the ball away often in dangerous areas (Guedes, Bernando Silva, and Ferandes were all very good at retaining the ball high up the pitch). One of them led to an offside goal from Cristiano, but the problem was recurring throughout the match.

Offensively, Algeria didn’t threaten at all -- even when Riyad Mahrez came in at half-time. Portugal took them out of the game completely.

Again, Ronaldo was quite active, and was probably unfortunate not to get on the score sheet. He played well.

This match is still ongoing at the time of writing this article, with Portugal leading 3 - 0, but Cristiano Ronaldo’s involvement ended as he was taken off for Andre Silva in the 74th minute.

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