Belgium adopted a certain form of pragmatism in its victory against England (2-0) on Sunday evening in the League of Nations. The Red Devils found themselves in the other role, compared to their loss to France in the semi-finals of the World Cup.
Have the Belgians decided to give up their unofficial title of world champions of possession? Sunday evening, the Red Devils beat England (2-0), in the League of Nations, by giving up the leather to the English. It must be said that the scenario of the meeting was suitable, since the Belgians quickly led 2-0 thanks to Tielemans (10th) and Mertens (24th).
“Even if you lead 2-0, a lot of things can happen,” said Belgium coach Roberto Martinez. We saw it in Switzerland two years ago. Here we were able to better manage this situation. In the second half, England had a lot of possession. (…) On our side we defended extremely well. “
It’s hard not to think back to the semi-final of the 2018 World Cup between France and Belgium (1-0), where the Red Devils had castigated the too defensive tactical approach of the Blues. “I was just surprised to see them so defensive with their best players marking our own,” Martinez said last July, looking back on this traumatic match for Belgian football.
The best team ? Always Belgium
On the semi-final of the World Cup, Martinez believes that “the best team had lost”. On Sunday night’s game, his outlook is radically different. “The best team on the pitch was Belgium,” said the former Everton coach.
This parallel has not escaped the Belgian press, in particular the RTBF, which considers that Martinez “played it like DD”, taking inspiration from Deschamps. To compare the two matches, we can rely on some statistics. On Sunday’s match, these are all in favor of the English (except the score of course): 56% possession of the ball, 15 shots at 8, 5 corners at 1. Facing the Blues, the Belgians had much more leverage. ball (64% possession). But conversely, they had shot much less on goal (19 shots to 9 for France).
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Glad with this victory! Motivated for more 👊🏻 #COMEONBELGIUM pic.twitter.com/tOyOBHPLXG
– Thibaut Courtois (@thibautcourtois) November 15, 2020