Netherlands 3-1 England: 3 reasons why the Dutch progressed to the finals | UEFA Nations League
- A magnificent midfield performance and English errors were catalysts to Dutch victory.
#2 Dutch defence kept England at bay, barring a de ligt mistake
Yes, de Ligt looked rattled, and the defence looked uncomfortable at some moments with the pace of the players and piling forward of men that the English resorted to in the first half. But, never ever did they manage to expose the defence, except for two occasions, one which was waved off by VAR, and another which was saved by Dumfries' last-ditch tackle.
None of the English players could gain an aerial advantage over the tall and sturdy defenders. Out of 17 aerials won by the Dutch, 14 were won by Van Dijk, de Ligt, and Dumfries combined. Out of 18 successful tackles, 9 were made by the back four of the defence, in which Van Dijk made only one.
England had 14 shot attempts on goal but none of them turned out to be much lethal as only three were on target, out of which one was a penalty. 6 of the shots made by the English were blocked by the Dutch defence. Other than de Ligt's one error, the free header than Sancho got, and the skill that Sterling created, both of which were not complete exposure of the defense, the Dutch held their lines together and they are going to the finals.