There’s a good reason Belgium are ranked as the top International side in the world and England found this out on Sunday night.
Leicester City’s Youri Tielemans opened the scoring when his shot deflected off Tyrone Mings 10 minutes into the game, and Dries Mertens doubled Belgium’s lead 13 minutes later with a great free-kick. The second goal came after Lukaku cleared the ball off the line from a Harry Kane header. The game would have looked totally different if he didn’t have that instinct to protect the far post as the ball was crossed in towards Kane.
Grealish was the main man again for England and his performance is a silver lining for Southgate. He now knows he has that extra creative option going forward when it’s needed at the Euros next year. Bukayo Saka also added something exciting for England when he came on for an injured Ben Chilwell, looking dangerous down the left side.
England spent much of the second half in Belgium’s half but they could not break through despite the creativity. Belgium were happy to sit back as they were content with their two goal lead, and despite some chances England’s execution was not there.
The key thing for England is the same thing we saw with Holland. It’s that we have to make sure we build a team that can win us trophies. When that becomes a question it can get very tricky.
I always like watching the way England play but sometimes they are measured against the foreign stars in the Premier League, especially if things aren’t going to plan. I don’t always like this because the only why for the English players to play their best if they feel the nation is behind them. That is the same in every country. Support them and they will excel.
Defeat means England will not reach the finals after finishing third in 2019, while Belgium progress and have a chance to show the rest of Europe what they can do ahead of the big tournament next Summer. #mmlove