Belgium manager Marc Wilmots was not a happy man last night after seeing his side beaten 1-0 by Wales in their crucial Euro 2016 qualifier, with strikers Christian Benteke and Romelu Lukaku bearing the brunt of his wrath.
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The “stood there like two poles,” he said of the Aston Villa and Everton stars, who failed to provide the cutting edge his side craved despite the visitors dominating possession throughout the evening.
As the Liverpool Echo explains, Benteke has been widely linked with Liverpool in recent weeks, but Wimots’ words are unlikely to convince us that he’s the striker for us.
The 24-year-old scored 15 goals for Villa last season, guiding Tim Sherwood’s men to Premier League survival and the FA Cup final. However, there remain big question marks over whether he’d suit our style and prove worth his mighty £32.5m asking price (via Sky Sports).
Belgium are currently ranked as the second best team in world football and were unbeaten in 13 months going into the game. But Gareth Bale’s strike mid-way through the first-half proved decisive for the hosts, who are now within touching distance of a trip to France.
Liverpool star Joe Allen was among the standout performers in Cardiff as he put in a superb midfield performance to contain the threat of Chelsea’s Eden Hazard. Belgium also included Reds youngster Divock Origi among their substitutes but the striker wasn’t utilised.
It’s going to be a busy week on the international scene for our players. As the Echo tells us, goalkeeper Adam Bogdan could feature for Hungary as they take on Finland in Helsinki later today, while Lazar Markovic is in the Serbia squad which will play Denmark in Copenhagen. Mamadou Sakho, meanwhile, could feature as France face Albania.
Tomorrow will see Liverpool’s England contingent – Jordan Henderson, Adam Lallana, Raheem Sterling and James Milner – in action against Slovenia in Ljubjana, while defender Martin Skrtel will lead Slovakia against Macedonia.