Kevin De Bruyne and Leandro Trossard stood out as Belgium cruised to a 6-1 win over Poland in Wednesday at King Baudouin Stadium.

Belgium thrashed Poland 6-1 in a thrilling UEFA Nations League A encounter at the King Baudouin Stadium on Wednesday, with substitute Leandro Trossard scoring twice to put further misery on the away side as the Red Devils swiftly overcame a dismal start to their campaign.

Roberto Martinez’s side were trounced 4-1 at home by the Netherlands in their Nations League opener last week, and the cards seemed to fall against them when Poland took the lead against the run of play, with Robert Lewandowski scoring his 76th international goal with a typically composed finish.

Belgium were guilty of wasting a host of chances until Axel Witsel smashed home an equaliser three minutes prior to half-time. Kevin De Bruyne then edged Belgium in front on the hour-mark. Thereafter, Belgium peppered the Poland goal with shots after shots as if it was a training exercise.

Substitute Leandro Trossard’s seven-minute brace put the game beyond Poland’s reach towards the end, with his second goal — a wonderful, curling effort into the top bins — arguably the pick of the bunch of stunning goals scored on the day. However, there was still time for Leander Dendoncker’s majestic long-range strike. Lois Openda also marked his international bow with a goal to cap off a ruthless second-half display from the hosts.

This comprehensive win could not have come at a better time, with critics starting to question Roberto Martinez’s managerial skills and the Belgian golden generation’s competence after being thumped by the Netherlands last time out. The Hard Tackle will now run the rule over Martinez’s men after what was a resounding win.

Simon Mignolet: 6/10

Mignolet had little work to do between the sticks, with Poland posting just two shots on target, out of which one was a goal, meaning he had to make only one regulation save all game. He looked shaky at times, but he could not have done much to stop Robert Lewandowski’s instinctive finish after the defence left the Pole open inside the penalty area.

Leander Dendoncker: 8/10

Deployed in his unfavourable centre-back position, Dendoncker performed admirably on the day, displaying excellent defensive acumen. The makeshift centre-back made a number of crunch blocks and interceptions to prevent Poland’s important counter-attacking moves and maintain Belgium’s dominance. He also contributed offensively with two shots on target and bulged the net with a thunderous long-range strike for Belgium’s fourth goal.

Toby Alderweireld: 7/10

Alderweireld looked comfortable playing out from the back. He constantly looked to get up the pitch and contribute to Belgium’s exploits going forward. However, he was partly to blame for leaving Lewandowski wide open inside the penalty box, a gift that was punished duly. That said, the former Tottenham man came up trumps after that, organising the backline and making four clearances while completing 93 per cent of his passes and making a brilliant clearance off the line.

Jan Vertonghen: 6/10

Vertonghen was not overly troubled in the first half due to the ineffectiveness of Poland’s wingers down his side. Regardless, he stayed switched on at all times and acted as a passing hub with the second most passes attempted at 96.2 per cent accuracy. But he would be disappointed not to come away with a clean sheet after such a dominant performance.

Timothy Castagne: 7/10

The Leicester City wing-back was an essential attacking outlet and gave Poland plenty of problems with his dangerous overlaps. He performed his job well and kept things simple defensively, but it was his productivity in the final third that stood out. He was creative during the game, playing some nice balls down the right flank, completing four key passes and creating two big chances, as well as assisting Axel Witsel’s equaliser.

Youri Tielemans: 7/10

Deployed in a deeper role in midfield, Tielemans put in a solid performance, combining well with the attackers and initiating good plays. The Leicester City star was quick to close down his midfield counterparts and produced a number of excellent tackles in key areas. He was efficient with his passing, completing three key passes.

Axel Witsel: 8/10

A much-improved showing by Witsel, who controlled the tempo of the game with comfort and ensured Belgium remained on top of Poland throughout. The veteran sat at the base of the midfield and nipped Poland’s moves in the bud. The defensive midfielder’s game concentrated around passing, which he utilised effectively in both attack and defence.

He brings balance and stability for Belgium and is crucial owing to his experience. Witsel finished with two interceptions, two accurate long balls, and a match-high 99 per cent passing accuracy (89/90). Not to mention, he brilliantly whipped a ferocious effort into the bottom corner from 20 yards to bring Belgium back into the game.

Yannick Carrasco: 6/10

Carrasco did not get off to the best of starts to the game. Despite occupying advanced areas on the flank, the wing-back was unable to threaten enough with his delivery on more than one occasion. As the game progressed, however, the Atletico Madrid wing-back also grew in confidence. The 28-year-old made 4 key passes and, incidentally, also registered an assist with the cut-back for Trossard’s wonder strike.

Kevin De Bruyne: 9/10

It is difficult to come up with new superlatives to characterise De Bruyne. But he was, as usual, the centre-piece of his team’s victory. While the away side did their best to limit the space and time afforded to De Bruyne, it is hard to stop a player so versatile and adept at performing multiple roles during a game.

He constantly floated around the final third, terrorising the Polish backline. He played a role in Belgium’s equaliser when his effort was parried away by the Polish goalkeeper before getting on the score sheet himself, neatly slotting home before the hour mark to complete a turnaround.

Eden Hazard: 8/10

Eden Hazard put on a stellar performance, reminding everyone of his abilities by exhibiting flashes of his great talent. The 31-year-old primarily operated in the number 10 position, from where he was able to facilitate passes and generate numerous scoring opportunities.

He almost got an assist five minutes into the game with a beautiful side flick to Michy Batshuayi, but the resultant goal was ruled out. Hazard would eventually get his assist around the 60th minute when De Bruyne coolly clipped home from his lay-off. Hazard looked sharp, completed the most dribbles and was the most fouled player in the first half.

He could have scored a goal of his own as well, but he missed a gaping goal for what could have been a simple tap-in. Nevertheless, he played a significant role in Belgium’s big victory and seems to be returning to his peak form.

Michy Batshuayi: 6/10

Michy Batshuayi led the line for Belgium in the absence of Romelu Lukaku and Christian Benteke, and while he was getting into great scoring situations, his finishing let him down every time as he seemed rusty. Overall, he completed three dribbles, took two shots, none of which were on target, missed three big chances, finished with an assist, and struck the woodwork once.

SUBSTITUTES

Leandro Trossard: 9/10

 

A sensational cameo from Trossard, who made a telling impact off the bench, scoring twice. The technically-gifted winger was lively and completely dominated the left flank with his close control and dribbles. He was a constant menace throughout his stay. This also shows his improvement in output at Brighton this past season, where he has scored the highest number of league goals in the squad this term (8).

Charles De Ketelaere: 6/10

The Club Brugge wonderkid was pleasing on the ball and made two tackles, but that was about it, as he was not required to get involved much in attacking play with the game done and dusted by his introduction.

Lois Openda: 7/10

Openda received a wonderful through-ball from Thorgan Hazard and calmly clipped home his first international goal, as well as Belgium’s sixth of the night, to put the icing on the cake and round up a battering.

Thorgan Hazard: N/A

Did not play enough to warrant a rating.

Wout Faes: N/A

Did not play enough to warrant a rating.

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