Who needs Cristiano Ronaldo?
They only won one game inside 90 minutes in the tournament and finished third in their group behind Hungary and Iceland, but Portugal claimed the Euro 2016 title by beating France 1-0 in extra-time in the final.
And they did it without star man Ronaldo, who left the field with an injury midway through the first half.
Eder was the man who won it for Portugal, striking in extra-time to add a moment of excitement in what was otherwise a very disappointing game.
Ronaldo’s injury (15 minutes). Ronaldo is a properly divisive figure, but only the wilfully heartless could have felt no sympathy for him when he picked up a nasty-looking injury just a quarter of an hour into the game. He tried his best to play on for another 10 minutes before finally admitting defeat, leaving the pitch in tears on a stretcher.
Antoine Griezmann’s big miss (64 minutes). Kingsley Coman, a 57th-minute replacement for Dimitri Payet, crossed and an unmarked Griezmann somehow contrived to head over the bar from about six yards out. Not what we’ve come to expect from the Atletico Madrid star.
Andre-Pierre Gignac hits the post (90 minutes). On for Olivier Giroud, Gignac neatly fashioned himself a chance in stoppage time then pulled his scuffed effort on to the post. The Paris crowd sounded mightily disgruntled with the former Marseille striker, which seemed a bit harsh.
Eder wins it for Portugal (109 minutes). Moments after Raphael Guerreiro had hit the bar with a controversial free-kick, Portugal took an unlikely lead. It was Eder who got it, grabbing the ball in the France half, then striking low and early from distance to beat Hugo Lloris.
Was it any good?
The first hour was dreadful – properly, mind-numbingly awful. It did pick up after that with chances at both ends – more thanks to a collective sense of panic rather than any great skill – but it certainly won’t go down as a classic.
Was it the right result?
When Portugal hosted the European Championship in 2004, they made it all the way to the final only to be beaten by a team who played horrible football all the way through the tournament, so there was a nice symmetry about the fact they did something similar to France here. France will be absolutely kicking themselves though – they had the better chances against a side who lost their best player early on.
Man of the match
Jose Fonte was a rock at the back for Portugal, and goalkeeper Rui Patricio out-performed his opposite number Lloris. For France, Moussa Sissoko put in the sort of impressive performance that left Newcastle fans wondering what on earth he was playing at last season.
Moth of the match
There were plenty to choose from after someone left the lights on overnight and the Stade de France was hit by a swarm of moths before kick-off. But one of them made a name for itself – landing on Ronaldo’s face as the Portugal captain sat crying on the turf after picking up his injury.
Coach of the match
Off the field with an injury, Ronaldo did his bit from the sidelines instead: shouting instructions, giving encouragement and looking every inch the motivator. Surely a career in coaching doesn’t await him once his playing days are over…
Yeah, it’s mostly just another way of saying this match was very dull. Another stat worth mentioning is that, at 18 years and 326 days, Renato Sanches became the youngest player ever to play in a European Championship final – so this game was at least notable for something positive.
Mark Clattenburg made one big error – giving a free-kick to Portugal for a Laurent Koscielny handball, when in fact replays showed the ball had struck a Portuguese player. The subsequent set-piece hit the bar, and the error was forgotten soon after when Portugal scored. Other than that, he didn’t have a huge amount to do.
Tweet of the match
We like the idea that the moth was comforting Ronaldo, not adding insult to injury. And the moth was right – everything was all right in the end.