England got the better of Belgium in a very closely-contested Nations League encounter at Wembley today, winning 2-1 thanks to a massive stroke of luck after a speculative effort from Mason Mount.
The Three Lions have now dispatched the side that are ranked No.1 in the world by FIFA.
England started off terribly when Romelu Lukaku scored a penalty after a reckless challenge from Eric Dier, this came just moments after Belgium were denied an opener due to a controversial offside call.
Fortunately, Marcus Rashford levelled in the 38th minute after England were awarded a penalty when Thomas Meunier pulled down Jordan Henderson in the box during a corner.
Mount bagged the game-winning goal in the 64th minute, the Chelsea ace’s effort looped into the back of the net after a massive deflection from Toby Alderweireld.
Here’s how some England fans reacted to today’s performance:
Awful game, get Fraudgate out and someone who understands attacking football as a manager.
— Dan Matthews (@DanMatthewsAV) October 11, 2020
What a fraudulent result, there’s not a club in the premier league that would swap their manager for Southgate. Will all end in tears next summer.
— Jack Pallett (@PallettJack) October 11, 2020
Southgate is still a fraud btw
— Lucas ? (@thfclucas_) October 11, 2020
Fraudgate is the solsjkær of international managers
— Connor?????? (@PlayUpSkyBIues) October 11, 2020
First half was shocking, but better second half. I still don’t like that formation, especially the players we picked for it, but a decent win.
Hopefully Southgate reverts back to 433 on Wednesday, with Chilwell, Phillips, Grealish and Sancho all starting.
— Scott Prentice (@scottprentice3) October 11, 2020
— jackflint1234 (@thfc_jack1234) October 11, 2020
Absolutely shocking performance dont act like we played well
— Ashley Horton (@AGHorton86) October 11, 2020
England were absolutely dire (no not Eric) in the first-half, they failed to create any clear-cut chances and only headed into the break on level terms thanks to Meunier’s blunder.
The Three Lions looked much better in the second period of the game though, with much more creativity across the board, Harry Kane and Rashford both had solid chances after the 80th minute.
Regardless, the decision to deploy three centre-backs and wing-backs is shaping up to be a pretty worrying tactic, with a lack of drive and creativity the prime concern with this system.
It’s clear that the players need more time and experience to settle into this 5-2-3 formation, but is some of the criticism towards Southgate unwarranted? England did just beat a quality side after all.
As much as some of the player selections may have worried fans, considerable rotation was expected ahead of what was England’s second fixture in a break that will see them play three times.
Hopefully, the tie against Denmark on Wednesday night will give fans a clearer idea of what England’s starting lineup will look like ahead of next summer’s Euros.