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5 things we learnt as Belgium defeat Denmark

5 things we learnt as Belgium defeat Denmark

1. Kevin De Bruyne is back

Wow. What a difference Kevin De Bruyne made when brought on at half-time.

The Manchester City midfielder had been out injured following a nasty clash with Antonio Rudiger in the Champions League final, but returned to play 45 minutes against Denmark.

Although he understandably tired late in the game, the 29-year-old was instrumental in helping Belgium overturn a one goal deficit to emerge 2-1 winners.

Firstly, De Bruyne laid the ball on a plate for Thorgan Hazard to tap in from a couple of yards out, before firing what turned out to be the winner past Kasper Schmeichel fifteen minutes later.

If anyone in Europe needed a reminder of just why Belgium came so close to World Cup success in 2018, De Bruyne provided it.

2. Belgium’s defence on its last legs

While Belgium looked great in the final third (at least in the second-half), their defending left much to be desired.

Comprised of an ageing Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld, alongside Jason Denayer, things got off to a rocky start when the latter gave the ball away on the edge of the Belgium box, allowing Yussuf Poulsen to fire home an early opener.

And Denmark continued to find great joy in the channel behind Vertonghen, whom Graeme Souness described as “looking as if he was towing a caravan”.

Although they got away with it against Denmark, Belgium’s backline is one area that stronger teams may look to target as the tournament goes on.

3. No fairytale ending for Denmark

Two minutes in, it appeared as though the fairytale was on.

Five days on from Christian Eriksen’s worrying collapse, Denmark came out of the blocks with a point to prove, and took an early lead.

However, it was not to be for the Danes, who tired and ultimately lost to two moments of magic from De Bruyne.

It makes the route to qualification for Denmark far harder, as they have now lost both of their opening two fixtures.

4. Group B heads into the final round of fixtures

However, Denmark can still quality for the knockout rounds. If they beat Russia in the final round of fixtures, they may squeeze through with three points, although their negative goal difference is something that must be rectified.

Simultaneously, the Danes will need Belgium to beat Finland, who currently sit above them.

5. But Belgium qualify

With this victory, Belgium ensured their qualification out of group B, though it remains to be seen if they will top the group.

It seems likely that they will, with Russia requiring a win, coupled with a Belgian loss, and a seven-goal swing.

Should they win Group B, Belgium will play one of the best third-placed sides, handing them a favourable route into the quarter finals.

Read more:

Four things we learned from England’s win over Croatia

Manchester City have offered Kevin De Bruyne a new contract


This article was edited by Conor Laird.

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