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England vs Belgium (2-1) Match Summary: A statement win for the English?

A come back win for the home side, but how were the performances from both sides?


How did the teams set up?

G. Southgate started with J. Pickford in the goal with K. Walker, E. Dier and H. Maguire at the back in a back three. The midfield saw the return of skipper J. Henderson deployed alongside D. Rice in the centre of midfield. Liverpool’s T. Alexander-Arnold started as the right wing-back with K. Trippier at the left. Chelsea’s M. Mount and Manchester United’s M. Rashford started behind the inform Everton striker D. Calvert-Lewin in a 3-4-2-1.

For Belgium, R. Martínez Montoliú had S. Mignolet in goal with a back three of T. Alderweireld, A. Boyata and J. Denayer. Leicester City’s in form T. Castagne and T. Meunier started as wing-backs with A. Witsel and Y. Tielemans in central midfield. Given the armband, K. De Bruyne started alongside Y. Ferreira Carrasco and in behind Inter’s R. Lukaku Menama. The away side also set up in a 3-4-2-1 but had De Bruyne in a sought of a free role in between the lines.

Fixture details: England vs Belgium (11/10/2020)

First-half review

Belgium started the game strongly and had control in the midfield. They were penetrating England's backline in a well-planned way as they rightly pointed out the lack of pace between Maguire and Dier. They kept attacking down the right side through Meunier and Carrasco with De Bruyne playing in the hole.

The plan worked well, and in the 10’ minute, Carrasco scored for the Belgians. However, the celebrations didn’t last too long as the flag was raised for offside. The verdict was Castagne was blocking Pickford’s view and was in an offside position. As a result, the lead was cancelled, and the scoreline stayed goalless. 

Six minutes later, Lukaku and Dier were involved in a footrace in the inside right channel and entered box when Dier made a ridiculous sliding challenge and Belgium were awarded a spot-kick. Lukaku himself converted it, and Belgium kept cruising later on.

England, however, equalized despite not being so good when they were awarded a penalty after a foul on Henderson by Meunier. Rashford converted the spot-kick and brought England back into the game.

Incredibly, England recorded more possession in the first but didn’t carry any threat going forward. They had only 2 shots in the whole first half to Belgium’s impressive 7 shots at goal. Belgium also had the upper hand in dribble success (83%). A change was necessary for England and needed a more direct approach for the second half.

Second-half review

The second half started with England stepping up and playing more direct into Calvert-Lewin. England created lots of good chances and eventually took the lead through a deflected goal from Mount.

Surprisingly, Belgium had the majority of the ball in the second half (61%), but this time it was England who were penetrative. The home side recorded 7 shots out of which 2 were on target. England defensively also improved as they registered 6 interceptions in the second 45’.

Overall, a massive improvement in the second half by Southgate’s men but still a lot of work needs to be done. For Belgium, it was an impressive performance, but they failed to capitalize on their chances.

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