Lukaku and Besic face off in Brussels

by | 03/09/2015  14 Comments  [Jump to last]
Belgium 3 - 1 Bosnia-Herzegovina
Belgium and Bosnia-Herzegovina went head-to-head in Euro2016 qualifying this evening, with Everton's Romelu Lukaku and Muhamed Besic in their respective starting line-ups.

Both players enjoyed decent displays and Lukaku twice went close to scoring as the home team ran out 3-1 winners to enhance their prospects of qualifying for next year's Finals.

The Blues' other Red Devil, Kevin Mirallas, was an unused substitute in an important Group B game between two countries separated by just three points at the start of play.

Lukaku was only named as a substitute when Christian Benteke was preferred up front by Marc Wimots and Belgium lost 1-0 to Wales in Cardiff in June. Both strikers were heavily criticised in the wake of that defeat but Lukaku got the chance to stake his claim for the first-choice slot with a start tonight in Brussels.

Besic's own Dragons needed a win to keep their qualification hopes alive as they sat in fifth place in the six-team group coming into the evening. They drew with Belgium 1-1 last October, a game in which Lukaku played less than an hour while Besic played the full 90 minutes.

Belgium established an early pattern of possession without threatening and it was Bosnia who shocked their hosts after just 11 minutes when Edin Dzeko's header looped over Thibault Coutois.

Former Everton man Marouane Fellaini equalised 10 minutes later, though, when he powered home a corner and Lukaku went very close to putting Belgium ahead but he missed the near post with a downward header. He then dropped a header just over from a Kevin de Bruyne corner as the home side pushed for a second before half time.

It was De Bruyne who got that crucial second goal for Belgium with a long-range shot that surprised Asmir Begovic two minutes before half time.

Bosnia pressed for an equaliser in an even second half but when Lukaku sprung the offside trap from De Bruyne's smart pass, the Everton man was foiled by Begovic who came off his line quickly to block the striker's attempt to tuck it under the goalkeeper's body with 18 minutes to go.

Belgium increased their lead shortly afterwards, however, when Eden Hazard's trademark run across the box was halted by a clumsy trip and the Chelsea midfielder slotted home the resulting penalty.

Lukaku came off in the closing stages after being hammered by a shot from close range that took the wind out him and he was replaced by Divock Origi.  


Reader Comments (14)

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Mark Tanton
1 Posted 03/09/2015 at 19:56:07
Mo, please don't snap him.
Colin Glassar
2 Posted 03/09/2015 at 20:02:13
Look after him, Mo.
Andrew Presly
3 Posted 03/09/2015 at 20:20:51
If Rom was riled he'd eat Mo whole, a pity he's a placid type (not specifically to dispose of Mo, more generally).

Would be great to see Besic integrated properly as Gareth "The Orchestrator" Barry's successor by the last quarter of this campaign.

Colin Glassar
4 Posted 03/09/2015 at 20:53:40
Mo gives Hazard a little kick just to let him know he's there.
Victor Jones
5 Posted 03/09/2015 at 22:26:27
Maybe Besic could take Hazard out. And Mr Hazard misses a certain game on Saturday week. Not advocating violence here. Well yes I am. But with our luck, it will most likely be Lukaku and Besic who return injured.

Let's hope not. And that all our internationals return safe and sound. We don't need the squad stretched this early in the season.

Colin Glassar
6 Posted 04/09/2015 at 09:33:10
Our Mo looked very comfortable in MF and made some really good passes. Surely he must be Barry's replacement in the near future?
Sam Hoare
7 Posted 04/09/2015 at 09:57:41
I hope so, Colin. Though even as a Barry 'hater' for lack of a better word, I think that (Tottenham aside) he may have started the season better than McCarthy....
Harold Matthews
9 Posted 04/09/2015 at 13:32:27
Yes lads, I like Barry and McCarthy but compared to the Spurs DM duo, Dier and Bentaleb, our boys are very limited. Neither can beat a man, both play the way they are facing and Barry is nowhere near mobile enough.

Mourinho wouldn't have Besic in the DM position. Too small. I know Cattermole and Tiotte do a decent job but the big guys like Matic, Bousquet, Wanyama and Carrick seem to be popular these days. Xavi Alonso is somewhere inbetween but his instant passing in the recent Bayern / Leverkusen game had Guardiola drooling.

Personally, I hope Besic gets a chance.

Alan Bodell
10 Posted 04/09/2015 at 16:08:33
I thought Lukaku played with more effort than he ever does for us, call me a moaner but I still think he sees us as path to bigger places.

Besic was all over the pitch and apart from losing possession (to Fellaini) just outside their box on a dribble was superb, he is match-fit and needs to start for us every game.

Jon Cox
11 Posted 04/09/2015 at 23:09:21
Alan,

"he is matchfit and needs to start for us every game." Agreed wholeheartedly.

It's about time this young whippersnapper started games from the off. Look at the years Man Utd dominated the Prem league. Who was it that dominated mid field? Keano is who.

Besic is this man. He is our piece of steel in MF.

I say get rid of Barry and play him every game,

He's our Roy Keane.

Harold Matthews
12 Posted 05/09/2015 at 14:19:00
Young Besic admitted that he needed to build up his body to compete in the Premier League and I should imagine that he is now much stronger than this time last season.
Alan Bodell
13 Posted 05/09/2015 at 20:22:49
Jon and Harold, he has to start in place of Barry with so much more energy and can pick a much better range of pass and I really think he is as good if not better than Jimmy Mac but then I am only a shareholder and not the manager.
Graham Hammond
14 Posted 06/09/2015 at 16:53:46
Unless Mo Besic breaks into our first team by Christmas, then I feel we run the risk of losing a valuable, young player from our squad unnecessarily. For the team to perform better, I feel there needs to be selection based on merit and for me sadly we do not have that with RM.

Barry has outperformed McCarthy this season in my opinion so it should be Jimmy Mac that makes way. Macca has had his new improved contract and put last season's hamstring troubles behind him, so I expect a lot more from a player rated by the media at around 㿀M!

Paul Smith
15 Posted 06/09/2015 at 17:07:21
I don't rate a Besic at all. He's fine yet done little to impress me.

I remain open minded & hope he can prove me wrong.

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