Devils enter the holiday with victory, but not all doubts are dispelled against Poland | UEFA Nations League 2022/2023

The Red Devils have concluded their four-part in the Nations League with a frugal victory in Poland. Goaltje thief Michy Batshuayi struck after fifteen minutes, but in the second half it was sometimes sweating for the Belgians.

Poland – Belgium in a nutshell:

  • Key moment: In the final phase, Swiderski comes very close to the equalizer twice. First, his volley is just lifted over the bar by Mignolet and on a pass from Lewandowski, the substitute heads the post from close range moments later.
  • Man of the match: In the absence of Kevin De Bruyne, Youri Tielemans had to take on the role of patron. He did that brilliantly, especially in the first half. The midfielder sprinkled with great passes and also provided the nice assist for Batshuayi’s goal.
  • Remarkable: Finally a clean sheet for the Red Devils. In an official game that was from September last year. Then Belgium kept a clean sheet in the World Cup qualifier against Belarus.

Batshuayi Shows His Torin Instinct

A string of absentees at the Red Devils including De Bruyne, Meunier, Carrasco and Lukaku. Mertens and Eden Hazard kicked off together for the first time since November 2019. Thorgan and Eden together in the base, that was already ago from the European Championship last summer.

The Belgians immediately took control of the game. After just 10 minutes, Szczesny had to risk life and limb with a breakthrough by Thorgan Hazard. Five minutes later, the Polish goalkeeper gave in. Tielemans painted a wonderful pass to Batshuayi’s head and he hit the target from close range.

On the half hour, the same Batshuayi crept into the role of declarant. Eden Hazard finished it off beautifully with a marker over Szczesny, but the goal was rightly disallowed for offside. Roberto Martinez couldn’t argue with that this time either.

Poland barely had anything to say except for a small jab from Szymanski. However, the home team almost came alongside just before half-time. Lewandowski dropped the ball from the back line to the detached Zalewski. He saw how his shot licked the post, the Belgians escaped.

Mignolet and target keep Devils upright

It didn’t seem like more than a scare for the Red Devils. After all, the Belgian dominance was also great in the second half, but just like against Wales, the Belgians gradually lost their grip on the game.

Poland remained dangerous at times, but did not play the counters well to Lewandowski’s annoyance. After a corner, Glik was suddenly close to 1-1, his header went just wide. On the other side, substitute Openda forgot to decide the match, while Trossard also couldn’t get the ball past Szczesny.

It became even more exciting when Poland unleashed a final offensive. Mignolet just managed to push a volley from Swiderski over the bar and the Devils escaped completely when the substitute headed the post on a lovely cross from Lewandowski. In between, Openda had once again missed a chance at 0-2. The Belgians held out, but again it was not convincing.

  1. second half, minute 94. End. The Red Devils close the four-part in the Nations League with a narrow victory in Poland. An early goal from Batshuayi turned out to be enough for the full loot, although the Poles came very close to the equalizer in the final phase. †
  2. second half, minute 94 match over
  3. Swiderski on the pole! The Belgians are crawling through the eye of the needle! Lewandowski beautifully paints the ball on Swiderski’s head, which hits the post. This just might have been the equalizer. † second half, minute 90.
  4. second half, minute 90. Openda again got the chance to make it 0-2, but he again misses them. †
  5. second half, minute 87. Mignolet prevents the equalizer! The Poles are still trying to unleash a final offensive. After a cross from Cash, Castagne heads the ball away, into Swiderski’s feet. He lashes out in one go, Mignolet can just lift his shot over the bar. The loot is not yet in for the Devils. †
  6. second half, minute 84. Substitution for Poland, Kamil Grosicki in, Mateusz Wieteska out
  7. second half, minute 84. Substitution for Poland, Jacek Góralski in, Karol Linetty out
  8. Trossard not past Szczesny. Trossard is very eager to fill in. He cuts free in the box and lashes out, but ends up straight at Szczesny. The goalkeeper has to allow a corner, which yields nothing for the Belgians. † second half, minute 83.
  9. second half, minute 80. Substitution at Belgium, Charles De Ketelaere in, Dries Mertens out
  10. second half, minute 80. Mertens can also rest. He is taken aside for De Ketelaere. †
  11. second half, minute 76. Openda’s decision too weak. Openda can suddenly go up to Szczesny alone and decide the match, but his decision is far too weak within the Polish goalkeeper’s reach. In addition, the flag is flagged for offside. †
  12. second half, minute 75. Glik’s header narrowly misses. Lewandowski curls the ball over the wall, but also just over Mignolet’s goal. The ball did deviate slightly and so the Poles are left with a corner. That leads to a new opportunity. The ball is dropped in front of the goal and Glik heads just wide. It still remains to be seen. †
  13. second half, minute 74.
  14. second half, minute 73. Poland gets a free kick on the crescent after Alderweireld’s hand. This is a job for Lewandowski. †
  15. second half, minute 72. The Belgians are losing their grip on the match a bit, but hope is growing with the Poles. Can the Devils avoid another Wales scenario? †
  16. second half, minute 70. Substitution for Poland, Mateusz Klich in, Sebastian Szymanski out
  17. second half, minute 69. Poland does not play well. It still remains to watch out for the few counters from Poland. The home team did not play well on a promising switch on two occasions. Lewandowski is concerned about the bad way of playing. †
  18. second half, minute 68. Strong rush by Vertonghen. Vertonghen suddenly unpacks with a surprising rush from midfield. He even cuts into the box, but his shot is cracked. With Poland they can clear the ball. †
  19. second half, minute 68.
  20. second half, minute 67. Double substitution. After Thorgan, Eden Hazard must now also leave. The match is also over for goalscorer Batshuayi. Trossard and Openda are their replacements. †
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