Memphis Depay bagged a double as the Netherlands thrashed neighbours Belgium 4-1 in their UEFA Nations League Group A4 encounter in Brussels.

Belgium made a fairly strong start to the game at the King Baudouin Stadium in Brussels and even came close to opening the scoring through Timothy Castagne, who hit the woodwork. However, the Netherlands slowly grew into the contest, settled into their rhythm and started asking questions of their hosts, who suffered a setback as Romelu Lukaku had to be taken off injured.

Theย Oranjeย eventually broke the deadlock close to half-time as Steven Bergwijn rifled an effort past Simon Mignolet, who had done well to keep out Steven Berghuis earlier in the game. Five minutes into the second half, the Dutch doubled their lead as Memphis Depay scored his first of the night with a right-footed shot.

Boos were starting to ring around the stadium as Belgium crumbled under the pressure, with Denzel Dumfries making it 3-0 with a tap-in from fellow wing-back Daley Blind’s cross in the 61st minute. Just four minutes later, the Netherlands heaped further misery on their neighbours with Depay netting his second of the game.

Belgium had a goal from Castagne chalked off for offside, while Dries Mertens saw an effort bounce off the woodwork. However, Michy Batshuayi did score a consolation goal in stoppage time as the game ended 4-1 in favour of Louis van Gaal’s side, which sees them move to the top of the Group A4, ahead of Poland on goal difference.

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Here are our player ratings for both sets of players after a largely one-sided affair at the King Baudouin Stadium on Friday night.

Belgium Player Ratings

Simon Mignolet: 5.5/10

Stepping into the lineup in the absence of Thibaut Courtois, the former Liverpool ace made a good stop to deny Berghuis in the first half. However, he parried an effort right to Blind in the lead-up to the Netherlands’ third goal and lacked the assurance at the back.

Toby Alderweireld: 6/10

The former Tottenham defender tried hard to keep the Netherlands at bay but lacked the requisite support on the night. Alderweireld made three clearances and blocked a couple of shots, while he also got the assist for Batshuayi’s goal.

Dedryck Boyata: 4/10

Sloppy from the man who started at the heart of the three-man backline, who did not look secure for most of the game and made a mistake leading to the second goal and then lost Depay for the fourth as well. While he distributed well, Boyata’s defensive acumen was lacking.

Jan Vertonghen: 5/10

The veteran defender found it hard to keep up with the Dutch forwards at times but still tried to keep things tight at the back. Vertonghen won a couple of headed duels and even made a key pass, but could not offer enough protection at the back.

Thomas Meunier: 5/10

A disappointing game from the wing-back who failed to impact the proceedings in defence and attack. Meunier lost the ball as many as 11 times throughout the game and did not create anything of note in attack.

Hans Vanaken: 5/10

The 29-year-old midfielder was preferred over Youri Tielemans, but never really got into the game against the Netherlands, as he struggled to curb the influence of Frenkie de Jong. Vanaken was taken off at half-time.

Axel Witsel: 5/10

Much like his midfield partner, Axel Witsel failed to do enough to stop the Netherlands from bossing the battle in the centre of the park. While he completed most of his passes, they were not incisive enough to hurt the opposition.

Timothy Castagne: 7/10

One of the few Belgium players who looked up for the challenge, Castagne came close to scoring in the opening exchanges, with his effort striking the crossbar. He won most of his duels on the night, created a chance and had a goal chalked off for offside.

Kevin De Bruyne: 5/10

The Belgian had expressed his displeasure over the UEFA Nations League competition earlier in the week and on Friday, he did not seem all too pumped up to be involved on the field. De Bruyne had a couple of shots on target but did little of note apart from that, failing to create any chances and losing possession a total of 17 times throughout the game.

Romelu Lukaku: N/A

Went into battle with Nathan Ake and came second-best in the duel before an injury forced him off the pitch less than 30 minutes into the game.

Eden Hazard: 4/10

Given the nod despite having hardly played in recent months for his club, Eden Hazard looked rusty and lacked his usual quality in the final third. After an uninspiring first-half display, the Real Madrid superstar was taken off by Roberto Martinez.


Leandro Trossard: 5/10

On for the injured Lukaku in the 27th minute, failed to trouble the Dutch defence. Had a decent chance at 2-0 but did not take it.

Amadou Onana: 5/10

Onana came on for Vanaken at half-time and continued in the same vein as the man he replaced. He struggled against the quality of Frenkie de Jong and Davy Klaassen.

Dries Mertens: 6/10

Came on for Hazard at half-time and got a booking almost immediately. Added some spark to the attack, making one key pass and firing a shot at goal which hit the post.

Michy Batshuayi: 6/10

Replaced Witsel in the 67th minute and looked sharp at the top, working hard off the ball. Got the consolation goal late on.

Yannick Carrasco: 6/10

On for Meunier in the 67th minute. Completed all of his passes and even had a shot on target.

Netherlands Player Ratings

Jasper Cillessen: 7/10

Given the nod ahead of Mark Flekken, Cillessen put on a good show between the sticks, making a couple of important stops on the night, while his distribution from the back was accurate and precise.

Jurrien Timber: 7/10

Started aggressively against Eden Hazard and made a few strong challenges against the Belgian captain, keeping him quiet. Timber won his fair share of duels at the back and strode out of the defence with the ball at his feet confidently throughout.

Virgil van Dijk: 7/10

A strong display as usual from the leader of the Netherlands defence. Virgil van Dijk swept up everything that came his way with ease and helped launch attacks with his passes from the back. Will be unavailable for the next three games.

Nathan Ake: 7/10

The Manchester City defender came out on top in his battle against Romelu Lukaku, which was very brief. Continued strongly after the Belgian’s substitution due to injury before making way for Matthijs de Ligt late in the game.

Denzel Dumfries: 7/10

The right wing-back was in his elements on the night, with his energetic forward forays causing problems to the Belgian defence. Dumfries capped off the performance with a goal in the second half that put the game to bed.

Steven Berghuis: 7/10

A lively performance from the attacking midfielder who asked questions of the Belgian backline when he pushed forward. Berghuis should have done better with a couple of chances on either side of half-time but got the assist for the second goal with a fine pass.

Frenkie de Jong: 9/10

The Barcelona midfielder ran the show for the Netherlands from the pivot position in the middle of the park. Receiving the ball from the defence, he circulated it forward with great accuracy, creating as many as four chances on the night and grabbing an assist as well. De Jong also put in the hard yards off the ball to keep Belgium at bay on the rare occasions that they threatened.

Davy Klaassen: 7/10

Solid if not spectacular from the veteran midfielder who provided the energy and industry in the centre of the park for the Netherlands. Klaassen was at hand to make crucial interventions to thwart the opposition and used the ball well when in possession.ย 

Daley Blind: 8/10

A vastly influential display from the former Manchester United defender who finished the game with two assists. There were one or two occasions when he could have done better defensively, but he more than made up for it with his quality on the ball. Finished with four key passes and two big chances created.

Steven Bergwijn: 8/10

He might not get a lot of game-time for Tottenham, but Bergwijn has been performing exceptionally well for the national team under Louis van Gaal. Buzzed in around the final third to cause problems for Belgium and opened the scoring with a fierce effort after having had a shot saved previously. Bergwijn has now netted five goals in his last four appearances for the Netherlands.

Memphis Depay: 9/10

Another fine attacking display from theย Oranje’sย main forward. While he had a relatively quiet first half, Depay burst into life after the break as he made it 2-0 early into the second period before doubling his tally to make it 4-0 later in the game. His movement in the final third was top-notch and Belgium could not cope with him at times.


Matthijs de Ligt: 5/10

Played the final 15 minutes or so after replacing Ake. Did not misplace a single pass but was dribbled past on a couple of occasions.

Teun Koopmeiners: N/A

Late substitute for Berghuis.

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