Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne pick England apart as Belgium win bronze

Posted July 15, 2018

Thomas Meunier and Eden Hazard scored the goals as Belgium convincingly beat England 2-0 to secure victory in the World Cup third-place match.

It was Belgium's best-ever showing at a World Cup finals and an England side showing five changes in total from their semi-final line-up could have few complaints. "Against the very best teams, we've come up short". "But we'll assess them before picking a team".

In the 80th minute, Belgium put together a sweeping move on the counter attack, featuring some lovely passing between Kevin De Bruyne, Eden Hazard and Dries Mertens.

Belgium came out winners in that encounter after Januzaj fired a worldie past Pickford.

The goal was fastest ever scored by Belgium in its World Cup history.

With so many Premier League players involved today, the game should be emminently watchable even if the pace is likely to be more inline with a preseason friendly than a World Cup.

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It was the second time England and Belgium met in this year's tournament.

The Belgians earned their best World Cup finish by beating England 2-0 on Saturday in a match both saw as the start of a push for the European Championship title in 2020 or the World Cup in 2022.

Two exhausted and disappointed teams playing in heat with the crowd dominated by neutral Russian fans was never going to be a recipe for a thriller but Belgium made a flying start.

Perhaps the players would have preferred to be on holiday after a long season, but it didn't show in what was a blistering start to the game.

As it turns out, Southgate has gone for a combination of both as he's given regular first-team players such as Jordan Pickford, John Stones, Harry Maguire, Kieran Trippier, Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane places in his starting XI.

Their pace and directness gave England renewed vigour, with Lingard volleying across goal just out of the reach of a lunging Kane.

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Belgium, meanwhile, have also named a very strong team for their final game of the 2018 World Cup. But the lads couldn't give any more, it has been a tough tournament.

Of course, that is purely in footballing terms because, financially, Federation Internationale de Football Association will milk the World Cup cow until it is bone dry with ticket sales, sponsorship, adverts and TV revenue all being guzzled up through another fixture on the schedule.

6 - Roberto Martinez is a big fan of Monaco midfielder Youri Tielemans, who got his big chance against England. They outshot Belgium 15-12 and took six shots on goal, compared to just four for the winning team. "To be able to finish third, the best finish for the Belgian national team, would be an achievement we salute more than individual awards".

FW Kevin De Bruyne, 8 - Two thumbs up for KDB's performance!

At least Kane is a step nearer the Golden Boot, after closest rival Romelu Lukaku, two goals behind, appeared to have lead in his despite having the chances he needed to draw level before he was substituted on the hour-mark.

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