England’s defeat to Denmark on match day 4 proved to be their undoing as they failed to qualify for the Nations League finals following a 2-0 defeat to Belgium in Leuven. A very large contingent of premier league players was on show on Sunday night and it was a premier league player than opened the scoring with only 10 minutes on the clock. Youri Tielemans of Leicester shot from just outside the box seemed to deflect a million times before hitting the inside of the left hand post of Jordan Pickford. England lining up with a 3-4-3 identical to the red devils’ quickly tried to respond with the ever menacing Grealish starting in place of Sancho on the left wing of the attack. It was billed as Lukaku against Kane it proved to be just that when the former cleared impressively from the line with a header after Kane found himself unmarked during a corner.

Southgate will be pulling his hair out at the manner at which the second Belgian goal was scored. Declan Rice seemed to have won a ball fairly just on the edge of the box against De Bruyne. Replays show he won the ball first then De Bryune kicked his calf. In any case the ref gave a Belgian free kick and with the whole world thinking De Bruyne will take it up stepped the Napoli man Dries Mertens to bend it past Pickford into the net. England did have the lion share of the possession but could not master a way out of the whole they dug themselves. They now have the last match against Iceland to look forward to and possibly giving the youngsters a chance to stake a claim ahead of next year’s Euros. Belgium have the finals to look forward to and a chance to really stake a claim as the number one side in not only Europe but the world.


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