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.