Written by Ethan Mason
After a resounding 4-0 win over last 16 opponents Hungary, Belgium cruised to a place in the Quarter Finals of Euro 2016. Following a first half header from center half Toby Alderweireld, the outcome appeared to be a formality then on in. And after a close range finish from substitute Michy Batshuayi, and a late flurry of goals from Eden Hazard and Yannick Carrasco respectively, the perfect performance was capped off in style. Here, I rate each player following a virtually unchanged starting XII from manager Marc Wilmots.
Thibaut Courtois – 7/10
Was rarely asked questions of by the Hungarian front men, and when called upon he did well. However he slipped over following a back pass from Jan Vertonghen, which could have cost his team at the time.
Jan Vertonghen – 7/10
On the whole a solid performance from a player who was in an unfavoured position at left back. However he linked up well with Hazard on the left hand side and showed good pace and movement to cause the Hungarian defence problems.
Thomas Vermaelen – 7/10
Despite being cautioned midway through the second half, the Belgium centre half experienced a solid performance at the heart of the Belgium defence. Throughout most parts of the game he was untroubled and accomplished with his all round play. He also didn’t leave any space in behind for players to run into, and will be a loss for his team going into Fridays game in Lille against Wales.
Toby Alderweireld – 7.5/10
Opened the scoring with a well planted header past a helpless Gabor Kiraly in goal. The Spurs man was well disciplined with his defensive duties, was a general threat when going forward and was typically economical when in possession of the ball.
Thomas Menier – 6.5/10
A good performance from the right back. However he wasn’t tested enough by his opposite number, and could have pushed higher up the pitch to ask more questions of the Hungarian back line. However did well to link up with Mertens on the right wing and showed promising signs for a young, developing talent.
Axel Witsel – 7/10
Controlled the midfield, and a lacklustre Hungary team were overran by the quality and movement of the Zenit St. Petersburg man. Combined well with teammate Radja Nainggolan, and was an accomplished performance from the midfielder, despite having the chance to score in the first half.
Radja Nainggolan – 7.5/10
Did his job well. Was effective in sitting in front of the Belgium back four and reducing the Hungarian chances to a minimum. However, his shooting was woeful at times and will need to improve his overall game if he is to guarantee his place in the starting line up ahead of their quarter final game.
Kevin De Bruyne – 8.5/10
Was another vintage performance from the Manchester City man. He was given space and time to run at the oppositions defence and cause a host of problems for the goalkeeper. Assisted Alderweireld for the opening goal following a sumptuous delivery and generally had a great night – only a goal was missing to complete his performance.
Eden Hazard – 9/10
Was a man of the match performance from the Belgium winger. Was at the heart of most of his teams attacks and like team mate Kevin De Bruyne proved too much for the oppositions defence to handle. Assisted Batshuayi for his teams second goal and added a third with a brilliant solo effort.
Romelu Lukaku – 7/10
Was kept quiet for most of the game, and squandered the few chances that were presented to him. Needs to perform better for his country if he’s to keep his place in the team. Was a generally subdued performance from the striker.
Dries Mertens – 7/10
Worked hard for his team but to little prevail. Had little time on the ball to have any real influence on the game as most of his team’s chances came down the left hand side.
Yannick Carrasco – 7/10
Came on for Mertens and played well with the little time he add. Demonstrated good pace and a classy finish to cap off his teams performance.
Michy Batshuayi – 6.5/10
Proved to be a good impact substitute. Scored with only a minute of being on the pitch and assisted Hazard for his goal.
Marouane Fellaini – 6/10
Came on with little time to have any influence on the game. However slotted into the midfield well, and provided good protection for his team when defending corners late on in the game.
Do you agree with these ratings? Let us know in the comments below!
featured image by Nazionale Calcio