Fernando Santos had warned of a difficult night ahead for his side, but they couldn’t have had an easier start to proceedings, taking the lead within ten minutes. Bernardo Silva was taken out by Sebastien Thill inside the area, leading to a clear penalty, which Cristiano Ronaldo stepped up to dispatch in typically nonchalant style for 1-0.
Ronaldo caused all sorts of problems for the Luxembourg defence throughout the opening half, and won another penalty moments later, having been taken out by Anthony Moris. As ever, Ronaldo’s nerves of steel were on show, and the Manchester United man tucked away his second of the night and his 114th in Portuguese colours.
A third arrived before 20 minutes had passed, when Bernardo Silva picked out Bruno Fernandes, who smashed his effort beyond Moris to give his side an unassailable lead. Portugal continued their assault after the break, with Ronaldo pressing for another international hattrick. He spurned a glorious chance for a third from close range, before coming close to scoring an extraordinary overhead kick.
Instead, João Palhinha was the man to add the fourth goal, rising above the goalkeeper to head in at the near post for his second international goal. Ronaldo, not disheartened by his earlier misses, wrapped up his hat-trick in the dying embers, timing his run perfectly to meet a Ruben Neves cross and head past Moris for his 58th career treble.
Portugal closed the game out with ease to keep themselves within a point of Serbia at the top of Group A with a game in hand, putting them in pole position to qualify automatically for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. For their part, Luxembourg are now without a win against Portugal in their last 17 H2H meetings.