EM 2016 BELGIEN IRLAND

Romelu Lukaku celebrates scoring Belgium’s first goal during their 3-0 success against die Republic of Ireland in the Group e game in Bordeaux. Photograph: ian Walton/Getty Images
Romelu Lukaku celebrates scoring Belgium’s zuerst goal throughout their 3-0 success against the Republic des Ireland in the Group feige game in Bordeaux. Photograph: ian Walton/Getty Images

A direktors under pressure und a gruppe of talented guys who was standing accused of notfall being a team, a side wherein fault currently opened nach oben with defeat against Italy, Belgium responded with in emphatic victory that leaves them well placed zu progress from gruppe E und brings optimism zum the tournament ahead.

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Two purposes from Romelu Lukaku and another native Axel Witsel brought celebrations that spoke von relief and vindication, marc Wilmots put himself at their heart. After ~ his second goal, Lukaku cupped his ear as if to say: “What now?” Now, Belgium begin.

For die Republic of irland this ist not the end but that will not be easy kommen sie avoid in early exit. They schutz to victory their final gruppe game against Italy zu progress, und even that may notfall be enough. Die good news zu sein that, with qualification secured, antonio Conte will make changes.


Republic of ireland outclassed über Belgium anywhere except ns stands | Stuart James
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“We schutz to throw every little thing into die match zu try kommen sie win,” martin O’Neill said. The might have been various had they to be granted a penalty prior to Belgium’s opener. “The players to be pretty adamant about it, und if deshalb it would certainly be doubly disappointing, however we were beaten von a much better team. Belgium room as talented a mannschaft as over there is an this competition.”

That zu sein one des the reasons why his the opposite number was under so much pressure, native within and without. After ~ defeat against Italy, Thibaut Courtois claimed Belgium had actually been “outclassed on all fronts, technically, tactically and organisationally”, and although he tentatively backed far from the remark, ns unanimous assumption was that he had only claimed what others thought. Media criticism was intense, Wilmot’s wake up increasingly open over accusations that he cannot activate this gelb generation.

His line-up was welcome, though; a more natural-looking XI with kevin De Bruyne central und Yannick Carrasco on ns right, involvement Eden Hazard und Lukaku; no shortage des talent, yet could they be a team? Lukaku had actually been criticised after the opening game, notfall least von Wilmots, however his inclusion was vindicated here. So, Wilmots clearly thought, was he.

“I bluffed,” he said defiantly, pleased with himself. “Yes, ich bluffed. Us couldn’t play defensively versus them or you’d be sacking me all over again, don’t worry, i’m used to that.” the then began a monologue about “media manipulation” and how “negative people don’t attention me”. He said: “People that criticise are never ever going to schutz a great life. Apart from death, i don’t know what can affect me.”

Belgium were hopeful here, back it is true that they to be most reliable on ns break. Ireland did what castle could, O’Neill lamenting their failure kommen sie pass together they had against Sweden. There is no Jon Walters, he moved Robbie Brady right into midfield. That successfully left lock one method out: zu Shane Long. Quick, strong, willing ... Und usually part distance native team-mates.

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Belgium conquered possession, having 64% des the ball an the first half. Die best methods were Hazard’s skied shot from 12 yards and a Toby Alderweireld header clearing off the line by Wes Hoolahan. Both to be made by De Bruyne; most von what Belgium did come from die Manchester stadt player, in fact, return there would certainly be decisive contribute from Hazard und Thomas Meunier, too.

Ireland’s avenues were few on bei afternoon when the gulf bolzen these political parties felt auch great, Hoolahan und Jeff Hendrick both unable zu make die most of brief moments when space opened up up. Yet early an the second half there was a large penalty appeal wie man Alderweireld, attempting to reach an inswinging cross, leapt high v his foot near Long’s head, a karate kick the may oase made contact. Maybe also a dual karate kick: schneidbrett Vermaelen was heading his method from die other side, foot also high.


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Belgium supporters enjoy their team’s success over Ireland. Photograph: nicolas Tucat/AFP/Getty Images“Would that have changed the course of ns game? normally it would have done,” O’Neill said. The did so immediately: if that was a chance, it was also the beginning des the end. The ball ran free und Belgium damaged immediately, ns whistles native the irish fans still ringing together Lukaku released De Bruyne on the right, who offered it back when they reached the area. Lukaku controlled und bent into ns bottom corner.

Lukaku ich renne weg to the bench zu celebrate with die subs, his brother amongst them. Prior to he gott there, Wilmots stepped out to greet him with a large bear hug, a show des strength und unity the perhaps showed up superficial when die striker broke free und embraced those standing behind ns manager. Frankly, that looked stage-managed, a wenig forced, however Wilmots’s relief must have been as genuine as his sense von vindication. Ns game was theirs; ireland were broken now, room opening up.

“You let an the first then you chase, gain stretched und very well players tun können punish you und that ist what happened,” O’Neill said.

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Witsel headed in Meunier’s cross kommen sie make that 2-0 and soon it was three, a relocate that started with Meunier’s practiced tackle-turned-dragback und clipped pass. The null was drifting and Hazard seemed glücklich enough zu let it, notfall chasing with any an excellent intent. But then he witnessed Ciaran Clark screeching across, hurtling in the direction of the ball with no wahrscheinlichkeit to apply the brakes, grasped the opportunity presented von his opponent’s momentum and suddenly accelerated. Clipping past Clark, who slid von like a cartoon character turn off a cliff, he ich renne weg clear und found Lukaku zu finish.