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Mirallas sits out Belgium win

by | 17/06/2014  Comments (21)  jump
Belgium recovered from a stodgy start in their first 2014 World Cup match in Belo Horizonte, coming back from a goal down to win 2-1 thanks to goals by Marouane Fellaini and Dries Mertens.

Romelu Lukaku took his expected place up front against Algeria who made a confident start before the much-fancied Belgians took control of possession.

It was Algeria who opened the scoring, though, when Jan Vertonghen conceded a sloppy penalty and Feghouli calmly buried the spot kick past Thibault Courtoius.

Lukaku was largely peripheral in the first half, Belgium's best chances coming from distance where Axel Witsel twice stung the Rais M'Bohli palms with accurate shots.

Nacer Chadli found himself in a great position just before half-time but couldn't dig out more than a weak shot that failed to trouble the 'keeper as Belgium went into the break a goal down after a disappointing first 45 minutes.

Lukaku's afternoon came to an early end after just 56 minutes when he was withdrawn in favour of 19 year-old Divock Origi.

The young striker was followed onto the field by ex-Everton midfielder Fellaini who replaced Moussa Dembele and he dragged Belgium level with a header that he steered in off the bar with 20 minutes to go.

Belgium then turned the match on its head with 10 minutes left when they countered quickly and Mertens lashed the ball home.

And Fellaini had a chance to double the advantage four minutes later but his powerful header was pushed over the bar by M'Bohli.

Marc Wilmots had found the key to transforming his side's fortunes but Kevin Mirallas was not needed, the Everton man sitting out the game as an unused substitute.  

Reader Comments (21)

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Kevin Tully
1 Posted 17/06/2014 at 16:06:05
No Mirallas in the starting 11...
Patrick Murphy
2 Posted 17/06/2014 at 16:42:00
Andros Townsend has pinched Graham Stuart's voice - he's on ITV with the panel of 'experts'.
Dan McKie
3 Posted 17/06/2014 at 16:43:42
Strange that Chadli who has looked nothing but bang average when he plays for Spurs, gets in the Belgium team ahead of a few decent players on Belgium's bench. They really do have some quality in that squad.
Rob Halligan
4 Posted 17/06/2014 at 18:14:49
Lukaku took off for an unknown!!

Few eyes might be turning away from lukaku now.

Mark Griffiths
5 Posted 17/06/2014 at 18:20:07
Belgium look like this is the first time they have played together and can't be arsed! Very dissapointed!
Craig Fletcher
6 Posted 17/06/2014 at 19:05:19
Lukaku was anonymous today. Good for us if Bobby is still keen on getting him for a 'fair' price.
Tom Bowers
7 Posted 17/06/2014 at 19:14:54
All the Belgian team were crap today until Fellaini scored.
Algeria parked the bus and Lukaku was never given any opportunities to score.
The subs. with fresh legs came on against tiring Algerian defenders and gaps appeared. End of story.
Sue Brown
8 Posted 17/06/2014 at 19:17:19
Big Rom looked frustrated at times in the first half with few decent deliveries in the box, but the subs certainly made for a better game in the 2nd half. Don't know much about this Origi, but he looks a decent striker
Paul Hewitt
9 Posted 17/06/2014 at 19:30:05
Put 10 million bid in for Lukaku now Roberto before he has a good game
Jay Richo
10 Posted 17/06/2014 at 20:16:24
That Origi looked a decent player when he came on. Don’t know much about him. Frustrating afternoon for Rom, seen him have a good few of them in the blue shirt too. Service to blame? I’m not too sure.
Drew Shortis
11 Posted 17/06/2014 at 21:38:29
I was surprised with my reaction to Fellaini's goal. I actually cheered and felt happy for him after his nightmare season. Whatever happened with his transfer he had some good times with Everton. He is clearly much more effective when he plays in an advanced role and the team is set up to provide him with aerial service. When he plays in his preferred DM role he just seems to lope around a bit. Its strange as most players, given the choice, seem to prefer to be involved in the offensive side of the game. The sooner Fellaini recognised his strengths and finds a team that suits his style of play the better his career will go. Would I have him back at Everton if we could get him at a knock down price? Probably not. We are playing a different style of football now and he would be a square peg in round hole in Martinez's team too!
Spragg Johnson
12 Posted 17/06/2014 at 22:51:11
Just saw this on the BBC website: "Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku failed to register a single touch in the opposition area." No wonder Juve, Roma, Atletico and Spurs are chasing him and Chelsea value him at £32 mill!!

Seriously though, you have to wonder how bad the service was (I only tuned in as he was being substituted) ... and whether Mirallas could have provided more assistance? Chadli has always looked a waste of space for Spurs.

James Flynn
13 Posted 18/06/2014 at 00:31:28
Good for Fella. I always liked him. Still do.
Gary Edwards
14 Posted 18/06/2014 at 04:31:58
Drew (#11) .. I'd have Fellaini back in a heartbeat. He is unquestionably one of the best players we've had at Everton in the past 10 years especially once he got over his early disciplinary issues. The time when he megged Bellamy (and Bellamy's sporting approval) will stick in my mind forever.

Bring the big fella back .. oh and fuck his 'arl fella off at the same time.

Peter Bell
15 Posted 18/06/2014 at 05:26:25
Posters appear to be referring to Lukaku's lack of contribution as being down to poor service. That's why I wouldn't buy him.

He doesn't make enough happen for me when he isn't getting the service; his creativity is questionable.

Fellaini to return? A definite no for me.

Dick Fearon
16 Posted 18/06/2014 at 08:13:30
Peter @15, Fellaini, yes.
I could then wear the 'Fellaini' shirt bought the day before his transfer out.
Kieran Fitzgerald
17 Posted 18/06/2014 at 08:37:46
Man Utd were reported to be willing to sell him for £10M. Considering how we robbed them blind for £27M, I don't know if we would get away with a £10M bid.

I think I would have him back. Fellaini has shown that he has the ability to bring other players around him into play. I think there is more than just a long-ball option to him when played in an advanced role.

Considering our lack of a quality striker, I think he may be a very good option at a decent price in terms of scoring and creating goals. Whether Martinez feels he would bring enough to our style of play is an interesting thought...

Drew Shortis
18 Posted 18/06/2014 at 09:24:26
I just don't see where Fellaini would fit in to our starting eleven. I don't think he's the right man for the DM pairing (slows the play too much), I wouldn't put him in the AMC role ahead of Barkley and do we really want to play him as a striker? I suppose on the plus side he is versatile and could fill in for all three positions and give us options if Plan A is not working, but I doubt he would be happy being used as a utility man / super sub.

I don't begrudge him going to Man Utd as he thought he was moving to a Champions League team with title ambitions and we got an amazing fee for him. I would welcome him back if we could pay a third of that fee but I just don't see Martinez going in for him.

Brian Waring
19 Posted 18/06/2014 at 10:04:52
Fellaini suits teams who are long-ball merchants, doesn't fit into how we now play.
Andrew Ellams
20 Posted 18/06/2014 at 10:50:29
Fellaini would work well with Carrick in the Man Utd midfield. I’m not sure why Moyes didn’t use that option more often last season. He was outstanding in that position when GIbson first joined.
Trevor Lynes
21 Posted 18/06/2014 at 11:18:16
Fellaini is perfect for any team if they are not having any luck in a game. He would be fine with us as he can hold the ball up and is a handful for any defence.

Man Utd did not play him correctly and we did!!!

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