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Romelu Lukaku gets 5/10 as dangerous Eden Hazard is unlucky to go out

Romelu Lukaku gets 5/10 as dangerous Eden Hazard is unlucky to go out
The ESPN FC panel break down what went wrong for Belgium against France and why their golden generation failed again to live up to expectations.
Samuel Umtiti broke through in the 51st minute and France held on to defeat Belgium 1-0 sending Les Bleus to the World Cup final.

Belgium missed out on the World Cup final as they failed to score on any of their 12 shots vs. France.

Positives

Belgium put in a great team effort, but with no success. Belgium will certainly leave Russia with mixed feelings, as they had plenty of chances to make the final.

Negatives

Couldn’t get back on track after switching off from a corner to allow the header from Samuel Umtiti. France scored once; Belgium didn’t.

Manager rating out of 10

5 — Roberto Martinez made only one change before the game: Mousa Dembele replaced Thomas Meunier on the left, Nacer Chadli played at right-back. But Dembele lost the ball too many times and his late changes made no impact. It was a tactical masterpiece against Brazil, but Didier Deschamps won this game of chess.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK, Thibaut Courtois, 7 — He spent much of the first half unemployed, but he made a great save with his right foot to stop the shot from Benjamin Pavard. He had no chance for the powerful header from Umtiti and stopped the scoreline being 3-0 at least. Best goalkeeper this tournament.

RB, Nacer Chadli, 5 — It was a difficult match for Chadli, playing in an unfamiliar position. He tried to get forward but was not as decisive as the game against Japan. Hardworking, but with no result.

CB, Toby Alderweireld, 6 — Forced a wonder save from his Spurs teammate Hugo Lloris and did well to stop Olivier Giroud on a number of occasions. Picked up a yellow card after foul on Blaise Matuidi.

CB, Vincent Kompany, 6 — Was the leader of the defence and put in some great tackles. But he wasn’t dangerous at any free kicks or corners.

LB, Jan Vertonghen, 5 — Made a few mistakes while trying to contain Kylian Mbappe, and struggled a bit against his pace. Though the teenager was on fire.

CM, Axel Witsel, 6 — Had to do a lot of defending in front of the four-man defence. He had very little space at all to work with, though did fashion one good shot on target.


CM, Mousa Dembele, 4 — Struggled with his passing the first half and lost the ball a few times. He was the weakest Belgian player on the pitch and was replaced after 60 minutes.

CM, Marouane Fellaini, 6 — Endured a difficult evening up against his Manchester United teammate Paul Pogba. Got forward well and had a few headers which went close, but wasn’t his usual destructive self from set pieces.

FW, Kevin De Bruyne, 6 — Offered a few glimpses of his talent but drifted out of the game and didn’t create anything for a long time. He put a few chances on a plate for his teammates, but couldn’t get the reward.

FW, Eden Hazard, 7 — Belgium were at their most dangerous when the ball was at his feet. Had a number of chances, including a shot that was blocked by Raphael Varane, and got a little bit frustrated after 1-0 when the fouls rained down on him.

ST, Romelu Lukaku, 5 — He was in the pocket of the France defence the whole time. Had a good header in the second half but missed his chance and did not perform to the level expected. But he didn’t get much service either.

Substitutes

FW, Dries Mertens, 6 — Immediately laid on a good chance after coming on, but couldn’t do enough in the latter stages.

FW, Yannick Carrasco, NR — Strange substitution. Chasing the game, there was no Fellaini to target and Carrasco did little.

ST, Michy Batshuayi, NR — No impact as the seconds ticked away.




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