Netherlands clinched their first victory under Ronald Koeman as they cruised to a 3-0 win over 10-man Portugal at Stade de Geneve on Monday.
Portugal started the match the stronger of the two sides, dominated much of the possession. But, the Seleccao ended up losing the lead against the run of play in the 11th minute, when Memphis Depay struck a first time shot past Anthony Lopes.
At the half-hour mark, controversy struck as Cristiano Ronaldo was denied a penalty, although replays suggested that he tripped by kicking into the ground. Meanwhile, the game was done and dusted by half-time as Ryan Babel and Virgil van Dijk scored to give Netherlands a three-goal lead.
— MailOnline Sport (@MailSport) March 26, 2018
A red card to Joao Cancelo in the 62nd minute all but killed the faint hopes of a comeback as the score ended 3-0 in Netherlands’ favour as they won for their first time under Ronald Koeman. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over both sides following the stunning result on Monday.
Anthony Lopes: 6/10
Never a good day at the office when a goalkeeper concedes three goals, but Lopes stood little chance at stopping them. Other than the three moments, the Lyon goalkeeper had very little troubling him, with a fantastic save off Memphis Depay to avoid further embarrassment.
Joao Cancelo: 4/10
A night to forget for Cancelo. Had his hands full with Tonny Vilhena and Memphis Depay for much of the game, and created very little impact in the final third. His night turned all the more sour when he received an early shower just after the hour mark for a second bookable offence.
Jose Fonte: 5/10
Preferred in place of Bruno Alves on the night, Fonte didn’t do much to stake a solid claim to be the first-choice centre-back at the World Cup. Was at fault for two of the three goals, giving Memphis and Babel too much space and time to score.
Enjoyed a solid game against Egypt, but this outing was in stark contrast to that outing. Like Fonte, Rolando was at fault for the first two goals, especially the first where he failed to cut off van de Beek’s scuffed shot. Only lasted one half before he was subbed off for Neto.
Mario Rui: 5/10
Like Cancelo on the opposite flank, Rui had very little to show for his efforts in the final third apart from a long-range effort that Jasper Cillessen did well to parry away. Let in several crosses from his side.
Mario Fernandes: 6/10
Nothing too spectacular about the outing, in what was a rare international start. Displayed some good movement off the ball to make himself available inside the Netherlands box, but his end product was missing all through the night.
Adrien Silva: 6.5/10
One of the few Portugal players who can hold their head up high after Monday night. Silva constantly looked to make things happen in the middle, also opening up play well with delicate chipped balls. Could have done better on the defensive side of things.
Andre Gomes: 5.5/10
Poor from the Barcelona man, whose work-rate was missing for much of his outing, meaning he often failed to back up defensively. Did not raise the tempo of the game when off the ball. All in all, a night to forget.
Bruno Fernandes: 5.5/10
Like Manuel Fernandes, Bruno Fernandes worked hard off the ball as well, albeit without an end product. Often failed to provide the impetus in the final third, and now faces an uphill task to become the first-choice midfielder.
Ricardo Quaresma: 6.5/10
The best of an average lot, Quaresma worked his socks off in and around the Netherlands box as he looked to stretch the Netherlands defence by drifting wide every now and then. But, there was very little penetrating a solid and organised backline.
Cristiano Ronaldo: 5.5/10
A poor performance by the Portugal talisman. While Ronaldo did provide the spark here and there, and was a threat with his clever movement, but when it came to his end product, he was well below his usual standards. Taken off midway through the second half to conserve energy.
Jasper Cillessen: 8/10
Recalled into the side, Cillessen enhanced his chances of remaining the first-choice goalkeeper under Koeman. While he was largely untroubled on the night, the Barcelona man made two fantastic saves to keep his clean sheet intact. Also showed a lot of awareness to punch the ball away on certain occasions.
Kenny Tete: 6.5/10
An outing that would provide Koeman with a healthy selection dilemma. Solid defensively and lively in the final third, there were a lot of positives from the Lyon defender’s performance.
Matthijs de Ligt: 9/10
Matthijs de Ligt’s first half vs Portugal:
– 2 assists ✅
– keeping Cristiano Ronaldo in his pocket ✅
Unreal talent. pic.twitter.com/QdxzvEy717
— FootballTalentScout (@FTalentScout) March 26, 2018
De Ligt continues to rise in stature, and his stock only went up on Monday. Enjoyed a lot of freedom to move up on the field, which saw him play a hand in each of the goals while grabbing two assists. At the back, there was very little past him as the Ajax defender kept Ronaldo quiet.
Virgil van Dijk: 8/10
The captain led from the front on Monday, scoring the goal that rounded off the win – his first for Netherlands – while also playing a part in the second goal. In his own half, van Dijk maintained discipline while organising the backline with aplomb; there was very little space in between the lines as a result.
Nathan Ake: 7.5/10
Starting in place of Stefan de Vrij, Ake has given his manager something to ponder upon. With 2 tackles, 5 clearances, 2 interceptions and as many blocks, nothing went past the youngster, who will now look to cement his place in the lineup.
Tonny Vilhena: 7/10
A solid performance in an unfamiliar role. Vilhena showed a lot of composure to get out of tough situations with ease and was a major factor in the final third, with his link-up with Memphis Depay. Could he do an Ashley Young for Netherlands?
Donny van de Beek: 7/10
Brought a burst of energy that helped Netherlands come off better in the midfield battle. Provided the assist for Memphis Depay’s goal, although it was more of a scuffed shot. Made an important last-ditch block to keep Cillessen’s clean sheet intact.
Davy Propper: 7.5/10
Initiated the move for the first goal by intercepting the ball in the defensive third before quickly relaying it to Memphis to start the counter-attack. Propper made more tackles and interceptions than every other Dutch player and was a colossal figure in front of the backline.
Georginio Wijnaldum: 6.5/10
With van de Beek complementing him for energetic bursts, Wijnaldum had a good time on the pitch, interchanging play smartly and recycling the ball at a quick pace. Was lacking in his end product though, in an otherwise positive outing.
Ryan Babel: 7/10
Babel took his goal smartly, heading in a pacy, driven ball into the net. Other than the goal though, the Besiktas attacker wasn’t a major threat, although his hold up play did bring the midfielders into the game.
🗣 “What am I missing to be the best in the world? Honestly, nothing in terms of quality, just consistency and that’s not arrogance.”
– Memphis Depay. 👀🇳🇱 pic.twitter.com/x7Dtu0UhM6
— Football__Tweet (@Football__Tweet) March 22, 2018
Memphis Depay: 8/10
Another outing in the Memphis Depay resurgence story. It’s clear that the former Manchester United man is Netherlands’ talisman, with just about everything going through him. Scored the first goal for his side and was a constant threat to the Portugal backline.