At least for a night, manager Fernando Santos did what he couldn't do at Euro 2020: Put Fernandes in a position to stand out.
The Manchester United midfielder, benched at that tournament, scored and assisted against the Czech Republic in an energetic performance that encapsulated his positive qualities. He's worked his way back to being an easy first-choice selection.
Fernandes was allowed more freedom as Santos turned away from the three-man midfield he has leaned on for much of the past couple of years. Portugal deployed a double-pivot between Wolves' Ruben Neves and Real Betis' William Carvalho, which allowed Fernandes and Manchester City's Bernardo Silva to push up the pitch more than they're sometimes allowed. The plan worked perfectly.
One of Fernandes' team-mates at Old Trafford, Diogo Dalot, was also among the top performers with a two-goal effort, while Liverpool's Diogo Jota came off the bench to net Portugal's fourth.
Cristiano Ronaldo struggled, however, showing his age in a game in which he would usually have thrived. The starting role is unlikely to be pried away from him, but Portugal are desperate for him to find his goalscoring form.