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Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick lets Portugal survive bizarre VAR penalty for Swiss

What more can be said about the man? He is 35 on his next birthday and even the greats reach a point when the only opponent they cannot beat is their age. Not Cristiano Ronaldo, though – or not yet, anyway, judging by the latest demonstration of his rare knack to bend football matches to his will.

If England can make it past the Netherlands to reach the final on Sunday it is fair to say they were provided with new evidence here of what they probably knew already: that to stop Portugal, first you have to stop Ronaldo. Gareth Southgate had sent his assistant, Steve Holland, to Porto to try to work out a way of making that happen. When the report lands on the desk of England’s manager it will tell him it is a lot easier said than done.

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