Friday, December 4, 2020

Belgium 2-0 England: Three Things We Learned

Harry Kettle in Editorial, European Championships 16 Nov 2020

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There are still a few days left to go in the final international break of 2020 and while many want to look ahead to the return of domestic football this weekend, it’s also important to remember that there’s a whole lot to like about some of the games that have been and gone already.

One encounter that went down last night saw two of the favourites to win UEFA Euro 2021 next year, England and Belgium, square off, with the Belgians coming away as the 2-0 victors.

Belgian hurdle

England have been able to beat Belgium as recently as last month, but let’s face it – this was the more important game by quite some distance. Even when you take that win into consideration, Belgium have still been able to beat England in three of their last four meetings, which includes beating them twice at the 2018 FIFA World Cup. If England do come up against Belgium next summer, which is a distinct possibility, they’ll have to start thinking differently.

Possession can mean very little

The one big problem that the Three Lions have right now is their distinct lack of excitement. There are definitely some things to enjoy and perhaps even admire about their play, but as we saw last night, the fact they had so much possession didn’t wind up meaning anything. They just seemed to be really flat and while that may not all come down to Gareth Southgate’s leadership, you do have to wonder whether or not this will continue to be a factor heading into the Euros.

Red Devils = champions?

At this moment in time Belgium are the 11/2 favourites to win UEFA Euro 2021 with 888sport, and rightly so. While you’ve got the likes of France, Spain, Germany and perhaps even England who could put a stop to those plans, right now, the Red Devils look fairly unstoppable. They’ve had a problem with putting it all together on the big stage but they took a big step forward in finishing third at the last World Cup – and they need to carry that same kind of momentum forward into what could be a defining tournament for their golden generation.

Match Report

Belgium: Courtois (7.5), Vertonghen (7), Denayer (7.5), Alderweireld (7), Hazard (6.5), Witsel (6.5), Tielemans (8), Meunier (6.5), Mertens (8), de Bruyne (6.5), Lukaku (7.5), Praet (6)

England: Pickford (5.5), Walker (6), Dier (6), Mings (6.5), Trippier (6.5), Henderson (6), Rice (6.5), Chilwell (6), Mount (6), Grealish (7), Kane (7.5), Saka (6.5), Sancho (6), Winks (6.5), Calvert-Lewin (6)

Referee: Danny Makkelie

Goals: Tielemans, Mertens

Yellow Cards: Alderweireld, Meunier, Witsel

Red Cards: N/A

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Harry Kettle


Harry is a University of Worcester graduate who has been writing professionally for the last two years. He specialises in several sports such as MMA, pro wrestling and athletics, with football being his primary love. He continues to dream of a life in the Premier League as a Wolves fan.

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