Euro 2016: Hazard masterclass helps Belgium demolish Hungary 4-0
The Chelsea winger was at his unstoppable best and took the game away from Hungary
Belgium managed to overcome a spirited Hungary side 4-0 to reach the quarter-finals of the Euros. Alderweireld scored an early headed goal to put Belgium in the lead. Hungary looked dangerous in the second half but brilliance from Hazard made sure he doused any flickers of a comeback.
Hazard first setup Batshuayi for the second before getting himself on the scoresheet after a sparkling run. Carrasco put gloss on the scoreline late on with a neat finish
Hungary: Király; Lang, Juhász, Guzmics, Kádár; Gera; Lovrencsics, Pinter, Nagy, Dzsudzsák; Szalai.
Belgium: Courtois; Meunier, Alderweireld, Vermaelen, Vertonghen; Witsel, Nainggolan; De Bruyne, Mertens, Hazard; R. Lukaku.
Belgium did not have a good start to their UEFA EURO campaign but managed to win their last two group games to finish second. Once again the impetus would be on Lukaku, De Bruyne and Hazard to provide the spark for Marc Wilmots’ side.
Hungary were one of the surprise packages of the tournament so far. Having defeated Austria and drawn against Portugal to top their group they had nothing to lose in this match.
Belgium play fluent football but Hungary not lying down
Belgium started the stronger dominating early possession and threatening a lot down the left flank, with Hazard the chief tormentor. Their persistence on that side of the pitch won them a free-kick in a good position.
De Bruyne whipped a wonderful ball into the box and Alderweireld who was left unmarked had a free header on goal and he kindly obliged giving his team the lead in the 10th minute.
The Manchester City man could have gotten himself on the scoresheet a few minutes later. On the break, Lukaku produced an inch perfect through ball for the playmaker but his finish was lacking and Kiraly made the save.
It looked like if Belgium were going to score again De Bruyne would definitely be involved. Dries Mertens was fouled in a dangerous area as Hungary were finding it more and more difficult to deal with their attacks. De Bruyne stepped up and hit that ball with such perfection it needed an outstanding fingertip save from Kiraly to tip it onto the crossbar.
Hungary were not lying down in this game as Lovrencsics drove a 35-yard thunderbolt just above the bar! It was end to end stuff with most of the attacks coming down the Hungarian goal as Mertens and De Bruyne missed great opportunities to extend the lead.
Hungary fight with heart but Hazard puts the game to bed
The teams picked up where they left off in the second half. Hazard had the first chance as he took on Lang and then forced Kiraly into another great save with a powerful right footed shot.
Hungary replied with an equally dangerous effort of their own. Dzsudzsák found Szalai with a brilliant ball but the striker’s header was just wide of the post as it took a slight deflection of a Belgian defender on its way out. Next, Mertens missed another great chance after slicing Vertonghen’s cross above the post
It was easy to see this was the most open game of the knockout round so far. There were hardly any fouls and the game had a smooth flow about it. Hungary continued to play with great heart as Courtois was pulled into action once again.
Pinter faked one defender and then took a shot from just outside the box. It took a deflection off Alderweireld, making Courtois re-adjust his position as he tipped it over the goal post.
But despite all of Hungary’s fight Eden Hazard took the game away from them in two minutes. First, he accelerated past the defence line on the left and put in a perfect cross for debutant Batshuayi who had just come on for Lukaku to tap home and make it 2-0.
30 seconds later the little magician showed what he is truly capable of, dribbling past 2 defenders cutting inside and producing a gorgeous finish right into the bottom corner of the net. It was simply sensational to watch.
Late on in the game substitute, Carrasco made it 4-0 finishing cooly slotting past Kiraly after a lovely weighted pass from Radja Naiggolan. We had seen a brilliant team performance earlier in the day from Germany, but Eden Hazard showed today why he and Belgium are a force to be reckoned with in this competition. They will now face Wales in the quarter-finals.