UEFA Nations League: 'Not much you can do when Ronaldo scores such a special hat-trick', says Granit Xhaka
What's the story?
Arsenal and Switzerland midfielder Granit Xhaka has controversially claimed that there was nothing his national side could have done to avert a loss after Cristiano Ronaldo completed a superb hat-trick to give Portugal a victory in the Nations League semi-finals.
In case you didn't know...
Portugal established a 3-1 win over Switzerland at the Estadio do Dragao courtesy of a hat-trick by the ever-motivated Ronaldo.
The Juventus talisman gave the hosts the lead by converting a spectacular free-kick in the 25th minute of the game. However, an equalizer came in the form of a penalty awarded to Ricardo Rodriguez by the video assistant referee after the break.
As the two nations were struggling to find the net, the game appeared to be heading to extra-time but Ronaldo secured the win by scoring two goals within two minutes to complete his hat-trick.
Xhaka's dismal display, leading to a loss in possession, was part of the reason why the former Real Madrid star was able to net the third goal.
The heart of the matter
Following the defeat, Xhaka controversially took to social media to declare that there was nothing Switzerland could have done to avoid the 'special' hat-trick.
The post reads, "Really proud of our performance and the progress we are making. Sometimes there is not much you can do when Ronaldo scores such a special hat-trick."
The Arsenal midfielder heaped praise on Ronaldo after the game, telling reporters, "It’s unbelievable. What a player he [Ronaldo] is. He’s not, for nothing, one of the best players in the world. He’s special because he always knows where you have to go and to be."
"We had it in our hands but in the end he scored three times and we lost this game, but we can be proud how we played against a very good team."
Portugal's opponents in the Nations League final will be decided when Netherlands face England in the semi-final today.