Thursday, April 25, 2024

England 2-2 Belgium: What Were The Key Talking Points As Jude Bellingham Saves England’s Blushes At Wembley?

Tom Dunstan in Editorial 27 Mar 2024

Embed from Getty Images

Although England might have been seeking an immediate response at Wembley on Tuesday night, the Three Lions were forced to settle for an action-packed 2-2 stalemate against Belgium.

Having suffered a 1-0 loss at home against Brazil over the weekend, Gareth Southgate’s men were hit with more frustration as Aston Villa midfielder Youri Tielemans opened the scoring in the first 11 minutes.

While Brentford’s Ivan Toney might have calmly converted from the penalty spot and notched a first international goal six minutes after Belgum’s opener, the Red Devils retook the lead as Tielemans popped up at the back sick to grab his second of the night.

However, although England might have been seconds away from suffering a second consecutive defeat on home soil, it was the red-hot Jude Bellingham who saved Southgate’s blushes in north London.

Slotting home with essentially the last kick of the game and dragging the Three Lions over the finish line here, Southgate’s men still have work to do ahead of this summer’s European Championships in Germany.

In what was an action-packed affair from Wembley on Tuesday night, we have taken a look at all of the main talking points.

England seeking some defensive resolve

With Harry Maguire withdrawing from England’s squad after picking up a knock last week, England’s defensive headache was not helped by the site of Manchester City ace John Stones limping off early in the first-half.

Although the Three Lions might boast some of European football’s most iconic attacking stars, it appears that Southgate’s men are desperately seeking some recent defensive steel.

Shipping a pair of first-half goals here and with Chelsea loanee Romelu Lukaku causing a host of issues in the final third, Tuesday’s hosts have recorded just a single clean sheet from any of their previous seven appearances across all competitions.

With Manchester United’s Luke Shaw still facing a lengthy stint on the sidelines and continued speculation over who will start at the heart of Southgate’s defence, England will be lightly concerned by their lack of momentum heading into this summer’s European Championships.

Hit with a 1-0 loss when they welcomed South American icons to Wembley over the weekend and with time ticking away until England’s EURO 24 campaign gets underway on June 16th, the pressure remains firmly on Southgate’s shoulders.

Bellingham saves the day for England

Watching Harry Kane withdraw from England’s squad last week after sustaining a recent ankle injury with German giants Bayern Munich, the Three Lions needed another European superstar to spearhead their charge here.

Although Toney might have notched a first senior international strike at Wembley, it was certainly the red-hot Bellingham who saved Southgate’s blushes on Tuesday night.

Making a blockbuster £100million move to Spanish heavyweights Real Madrid last summer, the former Birmingham starlet has broken a string of records since arriving at the Bernabeu.

Now rightfully regarded as one of world football’s most iconic stars, Bellingham has already notched 16 La Liga goals in his 22 appearances and is leading the chase for Spain’s Golden Boot this season.

Quickly becoming the poster boy behind Los Blancos’ charge this year, it is no surprise that Bellingham is tipped to play a leading role when England arrive at this summer’s European Championships.

Belgium suffer last-gasp heartbreak at Wembley

Causing England a host of issues to England’s altered squad at Wembley on Tuesday night, there is no doubt that Belgium would have been left heartbroken after missing out on the chance to collect a heavyweight scalp here.

However, although the Red Devils might have eventually failed to collect a single win during March’s international break, the midweek hosts breezed their way to this summer’s European Championships.

Enjoying what has been an eye-catching start to life under new boss Domenico Tedesco, Belgium collected eight points from their 20 qualifying appearances last year and clinched top spot in Group F.

Despite being unable to call upon Manchester City talisman Kevin De Bruyne over the past fortnight, Tuesday’s guests do appear to be getting back to their best.

Bouncing back from their World Cup nightmare out in Qatar 15 months ago and not suffering a single defeat since their Middle Eastern exit, Tedesco’s squad could be well placed to mount a genuine EURO 24 charge this summer.

Match Report

England: Pickford, Konsa, Stones, Dunk, Chilwell, Mainoo, Rice, Bowen, Bellingham, Foden, Toney

Subs: Gomez, Maddison, Gordon, Watkins

Belgium: Sels, Castagne, Debast, Vertonghen, Theate, Tielemans, Onana, Mangala, Trossard, Lukaku, Doku

Subs: Batshuayi, Vranckx, Meunier, Lukebaklo, Openda, Faes

Goals: England: Toney (P 17’), Bellingham (90+5’) – Belgium: Tielemans (11’, 36’)

Yellow Cards: England: Maddison, Gomez – Belgium: Batshuayi

Red Cards: N/A

Referee: Sebastian Gishamer


Tom Dunstan

Formerly of The Independent, Tom has spent the past six years as one of our senior writers and betting experts. Alongside working with numerous publications from across the globe, Tom also graduated from the University of Falmouth in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Digital Media.
Spending almost the past decade working in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada, he has also spent time featuring in sports radio. Tom can be followed on Instagram - @iamtomdunstan



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This field is required *

Join the conversation!

or Register

More More