(England-Belgium 2-1) England’s impressive statistics against Belgium got a scratch with two losses in the World Cup two years ago. Tonight they got their revenge.
However, it started terribly badly in the Nations League match at an empty Wembley tonight. Belgium took command from the start.
Romelu Lukaku did not spend many minutes showing up when he returned to English soil. The former Manchester United striker took Eric Dier on a run when the quarter was played.
Dier fell behind and Lukaku was sent off. The 27-year-old took the penalty kick himself and he did not look up once before putting the ball in goal behind goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.
It was Lukaku’s 53rd national team goal in 86 games.
Belgium had control over most things in the first place. That could not be said of Thomas Meunier, who kept Jordan Henderson on a corner in the 38th minute. Judge Tobias Stieler agreed with the attitude and sentenced him.
It put Marcus Rashford in goal. He did as his former teammate at Manchester United and sent the keeper in one corner and the ball in the other.
In the second half, it was a far better home team that took hold from the start. They got the reward after just over an hour of play.
Mason Mount, who was almost invisible for the first 45 minutes, sent off a shot that went through the foot of Thomas Meunier and over a chanceless Simon Mignolet in Belgium’s goal.
– It was special to score my first goal at Wembley. The shot changed direction, but it does not matter. Goals are goals, Mason Mount told Sky Sports.
This was England’s ninth straight victory. Belgium must start again. They had won their last 12 matches before the winning streak stopped at Wembley tonight.
PS! England meet Denmark at Wembley on Wednesday, while Belgium will go to Iceland.