World Cup 2018: 3 reasons why Belgium beat Brazil 2-1 in the quarterfinals
A tactical masterclass from Roberto Martinez led Belgium to a famous 2-1 win over Brazil in the World Cup quarterfinals. The Red Devils were inarguably the better team on the night as they dazzled the stage with their crisp counter attacks.
Belgium opened the scoring through a Fernandinho own goal. The City midfielder could not get out of Kompany's flick from a corner which resulted in a freak opening goal. But the second Belgian goal had no luck attached to it.
A perfect counter-attacking move was finished with a bullet of a shot from Kevin De Bruyne. The architect of that goal was Romelu Lukaku who went past a number of Brazilian players to set up his teammate. Renato Augusto pulled one back for Brazil in the final quarter of the game but it proved to be too little too late for the South Americans.
So without further ado, let us analyze the three main reasons which aided Belgium's cause in usurping the mighty Brazilians:
#3 A switch in formation
Belgium's 3-4-3/3-5-2 formation has led them to a 19-game unbeaten run but it has also drawn a lot of flak because of the absence of dedicated fullbacks in the squad and a defensive role assigned to Kevin De Bruyne. But as soon as the lineups were announced yesterday, it was predicted that Belgium have changed their system for the game against Brazil.
Marouane Fellaini and Nacer Chadli were given a starting role after their impressive outings against Japan. This meant that the Red Devils lined up in a 4-3-3 system with Jan Vertonghen at left back. The three midfielders were Witsel, Fellaini and Chadli whereas Hazard, De Bruyne and Lukaku lined up in a front three.
This formation negated Belgium's fullback weakness and also gave freedom to Kevin De Bruyne. With three men in midfield, Belgium did not give a numerical advantage to Brazil and went toe to toe with them in every aspect.
Roberto Martinez had deployed a three at the back formation till the Brazil game and even used the system in the entirety of the qualifying stage. It was a gutsy move by the manager to try something new in probably the biggest game of his managerial career.