Portugal 1-0 Italy: 5 Talking Points, UEFA Nations League 2018/19
The absence of Cristiano Ronaldo did not hurt as Portugal beat Italy 1-0 at the Estadio da Luz in Lisbon and moved to the top of Group 3 League A phase in the UEFA Nations League.
A goal from Sevilla forward Andre Silva in the 48th minute was enough to secure the win as the struggles for the Italian national team piled on.
Roberto Mancini's side are rooted to the bottom of the group after two games and face a number of problems. The next international break is scheduled for October where both Portugal and Italy will square off against Poland.
On that note, here are the 5 talking points from the game:
#5 Portugal dominates the first half but lack end product
Portugal were without superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, who was rested for this international break by manager Fernando Santos. The first half saw the Portuguese hold the edge against a hesitant Italian side but were unable to capitalize on their opportunities and failed to find the back of the net.
Bruma and Andre Silva created a couple of decent chances but Bernardo Silva and William Carvalho possibly had the best chance of giving Portugal the lead but unfortunately for them, their shots narrowly went wide.
Bernardo Silva's claims for a penalty were denied by the referee when the Manchester City midfielder rushed into Ciro Immobile but was blocked and pushed back by the Lazio striker just inside the 18-yard box.
But, the 2016 European Champions broke the deadlock immediately after the start of the second half as Andre Silva pounced on Bruma's pass, took a couple of touches and shifted the ball on to his left foot and struck with power, found the bottom left corner to give Portugal the lead and eventually the win in their opening group match.