Scotland 0-4 Belgium
Belgium maintained their 100 per cent record in the Euro 2020 qualifiers with a comfortable win in Scotland, a result which all but ended the hosts’ hopes of making the finals.
The Red Devils simply blew the Scots away in a blistering first half. Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne pulled the strings, making all three assists, while Inter Milan striker Romelu Lukaku was on target again with the opening goal. De Bruyne then added a late fourth to round off a sensational display.
Scotland skipper Andy Robertson and his team held crisis talks in the aftermath of their recent home defeat to Russia but there wasn’t a lot he or his team could do as De Bruyne put on a first-half master class.
The pre-match Scotland vs Belgium betting odds gave the hosts little chance, with the Red Devils at 1.46 to win. By the half-hour, Scotland’s hopes had disappeared from sight.
The win makes it six from six for Roberto Martinez’ team, who look every bit the number one side in the world.
Highlights of the game
Scotland knew they’d face an onslaught from the Red Devils, but they would have hoped to last longer than 10 minutes before their defence was breached!
Romelu Lukaku is in good shape after his move from Manchester United to Inter Milan and he was the man to break the deadlock, with a big hand from a Manchester City player.
After an injury-hit season last term, De Bruyne is back to his best. As the visitors broke at pace he squared the perfect ball for Lukaku, and the striker fired comfortably past David Marshall.
And it was 0-2 on 24 minutes when the Red Devils cut through the Scotland defence with far too much ease. De Bruyne made his second assist of the night, this time firing in a dangerous cross which Thomas Vermaelen steered past the helpless Marshall.
The Red Devils were all over their hosts. Leicester midfielder Youri Tielemens had a shot which flew narrowly wide.
The Red Devils were slicing the Scotland defence open at will, and it was 0-3 soon enough as Belgium’s other centre-half was on target. De Bruyne picked up his third assist of the night when Toby Alderweireld rose highest to head home his corner, and that was game over shortly after the half-hour.
Maybe De Bruyne should have his own Euro 2020 highlights package!
As the Red Devils moved down a gear or two in the second half, Stephen O’Donnell broke into the Belgium area and went down under a challenge from Vermaelen, earning himself a yellow card for diving.
And then, as it looked like Belgium had settled for three, De Bruyne got his goal. Lukaku returned the favour, holding the ball up before releasing De Bruyne to fire coolly into the bottom corner.
The Manchester City man had it all his own way tonight as Belgium moved 11 points clear of third place in Group I.
Belgium winning the half-time shot count by eight to two, and four to one on target, was no surprise; we tipped the Red Devils to be ahead by half-time but didn’t really expect the game to be over by the break.
While the visitors eased off in the second half, they had another four shots on target, while Scotland managed two.
Belgium are one of the SBOBET Euro 2020 favourites to finally win a major tournament come next summer, and with six wins from six, they already look like the team to beat.
Roberto Martinez’ side is well clear in the head to heads against Scotland with 10 victories to two and one drawn since 1971. The return match ended with the Red Devils winning 3-0, but this time, Belgium went one better thanks to De Bruyne.
In October, Belgium are at home to San Marino, having just hammered the minnows 4-0 in their own back yard. That one could be a cricket score! It would be the shock of the year if Belgium fail to get the win they need to make it a magnificent seven.
Meanwhile, Scotland are away to Russia and it’s the last chance saloon for Steve Clarke’s team. Failing to beat Russia at home really delivered a hammer blow to Scotland’s qualification hopes, and they looked a beaten side tonight, pretty much when the first goal went in.
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