Euro 2016 daily five: Belgium back with a bang, Ronaldo’s night to forget, all eyes on Pogba

With Day 8 of Euro 2016 in the books, we have collated some of the best of our content from the last 24 hours in one place.

Powered by automated translation

With Day 8 of Euro 2016 in the books, we have collated some of the best of our content from the last 24 hours in one place. All the latests news, plus group guides, kick-off times and news from around the teams can be found at our special microsite.

Belgium back with a bang

Backed by many pre-tournament as genuine title contenders, Belgium’s so-called golden generation were given a reality shock in their opening 2-0 defeat to Italy. However, Marc Wilmots’s side bounced back in emphatic style to defeat the Republic of Ireland 3-0, with two goals from Romelu Lukaku either side of an Axel Witsel finish.

Yet, as Richard Jolly writes in his analysis, sterner tests await the talented Belgium team and their coach Wilmots.

Crowd trouble still won’t go away

A day after a minority of Croatia fans seemingly sabotaged their match against the Czech Republic by throwing flares onto the pitch and fought with each other, crowd trouble broke out again during Hungary’s dramatic late draw against Iceland. On Friday in St-Etienne, with Croatia 2-0 up and cruising into the Euro 2016 last 16, trouble in the stands disrupted the game and clearly shook up the Croatia players, who then blew the lead.

Andy Mitten, in his daily Euro 2016 diary, witnessed the scenes first hand, and recounts the shocking experience.

It was a carbon copy in Marseille on Saturday as Hungary fans threw flares onto the pitch during their Group F match with Iceland. Check out our photo gallery from the Stade Velodrome as crowd trouble marred yet another Euro 2016 match.

Portugal and Ronaldo have it all to do

Cristiano Ronaldo became Portugal’s most capped player on Saturday night, making his 128th appearance for his national team, one more than Luis Figo. However, it proved a night to forget for the Real Madrid superstar, who missed a 79th minute penalty that would’ve all but guaranteed victory against Austria, before scoring a heaer which was ruled offside. Portugal have now drawn their first two matches and will need to defeat Hungary in their final Group F match to ensure progress into the knockout stages.

The National's sports editor, Thomas Woods, looks at the big talking points of Portugal v Austria, including the impressive display of William Carvalho and Austria's inability to get the best out of their star man, Bayern Munich's David Alaba.

All eyes on Pogba

The third round of group matches begin on Sunday, with hosts France in action against Switzerland in Lille, and plenty of the focus will be on France’s star man Paul Pogba.

The Juventus midfielder was expected to set Euro 2016 alight, but has drawn criticism for a quiet performance in France’s opening victory against Romania before he was placed in the bench for the second game against Albania. Pogba did come on for the second half and set up Dimitri Payet’s goal in the 2-0 victory, although his celebration, when he was accused of making an offensive sign towards the media, has created somewhat of a storm in France.

France manager Didier Deschamps has defended Pogba in the build-up to France's encounter with Switzerland, saying he "believes in his sincerity". Pogba will have the chance to repay his manager's trust and finally produce a performance worthy of his status.

One match can be decisive in Golden Boot race

In his daily Euro 2016 talking points, Greg Lea writes Alvaro Morata and Romelu Lukaku both scored twice in the last couple of days, with the duo moving to the summit of the top goalscorer standings – alongside France's Dimitri Payet, Romania's Bogdan Stancu and Wales' Gareth Bale – as a result.

Neither striker had found the back of the net in his side’s opening encounter – indeed, both men were criticised for poor all-round performances – but the fact that Morata and Lukaku are now right up there in the race for the Golden Boot proves that a single game can be decisive.

Perhaps one hat-trick will be all that is needed for a player to pull away in the rankings.

sports@thenational.ae

Follow us on Twitter @NatSportUAE

Like us on Facebook at facebook.com/TheNationalSport