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Belgium 2-0 England: 5 hits and flops as Three Lions are knocked out | UEFA Nations League 2020-21

Belgium knock England out of Nations League
Belgium knock England out of Nations League
Sachin Bhat
ANALYST
Modified 16 Nov 2020, 07:26 IST
Top 5 / Top 10
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England's 2020-21 UEFA Nations League hopes ended tonight after losing 2-0 to Belgium at the King Power Stadion in Leuven.

A goal from Youri Tielemans and a sublime free-kick from Dries Mertens in the first half were enough to secure a win for the Red Devils. They can now book a place in the competition's last-four with a point against Denmark on Wednesday.

The Three Lions, who brushed Ireland aside in a friendly win last week, were lacklustre once again. They struggled to create good scoring chances and got just three shots on target out of 16 attempts.

Even though they started the second half on a positive note, Gareth Southgate's men weren't clinical enough to draw level, although Harry Kane forced a nice save out of Thibaut Courtois.

Here are the hits and flops from the match:

Hit: Jack Grealish (England)

Grealish was the man of the match once again
Grealish was the man of the match once again

Gareth Southgate's decision to start Grealish from the bench in last month's Nations League encounters against Belgium and Denmark left the fans perplexed. However, he finally gave the Aston Villa star a much-deserved spot in the XI on Sunday, and he duly repaid the faith.

Grealish was arguably the best player for England on the night. His high-pressing and passing accuracy causing Belgium plenty of problems. Not only that, but he was marvelous on the ball too, showing off some breath-taking skills to bamboozle his markers. He ended the night with two key passes and 89% pass success, but overall, he was a class act.

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Flop: Thomas Meunier (Belgium)

Meunier failed to impress at both ends of the pitch
Meunier failed to impress at both ends of the pitch

Belgium were really good on the night, not just on the offensive front, but defensively too. They weathered a late storm to hold out England by closing out all the channels and making some crucial blocks.

One key weakness that emerged from the backline though, was Meunier. He looked unsettled in defense and also offered nothing in the way of the attack.

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England's Jack Grealish made bunnies out of the Borussia Dortmund full-back, wrapping him up in knots with his sublime dribbling skills. At one point, Meunier tripped Grealish with a studs-up challenge on the edge of the area, which nearly got him sent off.

However, his yellow card means he'll now miss the decisive clash against Denmark. The interesting about that is the Red Devils won't be any poorer for it.

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Published 16 Nov 2020, 07:26 IST
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