Here, Matt Jones rates the Belgium players following their 1-0 defeat to France in the World Cup semi-final
Belgium ended a brilliant tournament on a low as they sloped out of the World Cup with a whimper in a 1-0 defeat to France.
Roberto Martinez’s side began brilliantly but faded once Les Bleus got a grip on proceedings. And once Samuel Umtiti’s bullet header found the back of the net shortly after the break, they rarely looked like getting back into it.
Here we rate the Belgium players:
Thibaut Courtois – 8:
Was heroic in the brilliant Brazil victory, fine stop from Pavard set the tone. Saved late from Tolisso. Let down badly by misfiring attack.
Nacer Chadli – 3:
Slotted into an unfamiliar right-back slot. A bizarre decision from Martinez, who kept him on throughout. End product was woefully under par.
Vincent Kompany – 6:
Committed as always but failed to find the spark to ignite his side as Belgium meandered to defeat.
Jan Vertonghen – 5:
Once France got going found it a struggle to keep up with the roaming Mbappe. Four clearances and three tackles led his side.
Toby Alderweireld – 6:
Had more touches (120) than any player on the field, his most important one saw his snapshot brilliantly palmed away by Lloris.
Mousa Dembele – 5:
Struggled to keep Kante in check despite Belgium’s early dominance. Hooked for Mertens on the hour.
Axel Witsel – 7:
A workmanlike shift in the heart of midfield, his 98.3 per cent pass success was sublime. Didn’t deserve to be on the losing side.
Eden Hazard – 8:
Began the game like he finished against Brazil – brilliantly. Tormented Benjamin Pavard but frustratingly looked Belgium’s sole source of inspiration.
Marouane Fellaini – 6:
Dragged France’s defence this way and that, but was outmuscled by Umtiti for France’s opener. A menacing yet mystifying outing.
Kevin De Bruyne – 6:
Link-up play with Hazard was initially a danger. Showed flashes of his best but was kept largely on the periphery and faded badly.
Romelu Lukaku – 4:
Struggled to get into the game, with just 10 first half touches. Endured a torrid 90 minutes as nothing seemed to stick.
Dries Mertens – 7:
Replaced the dreary Dembele and immediately illuminated proceedings, with his crosses causing chaos.
Yannick Carrasco N/A
Entered the fray with 10 minutes remaining – only touched the ball three times.
Michy Batshuayi N/A
Came on with no time to make an impact whatsoever.