Sunday, October 25, 2020

Nations League – Netherlands 3-1 England (AET)

The Netherlands win as England crash out of the Nations League as errors at the back, as well as a huge VAR decision, costs Gareth Southgate’s men a place in the final.

The game started pretty well from an England perspective, Southgate’s 4-3-3 formation seemed to be working well with the energetic front three causing problems. However, once the game settled down, England’s frailties in midfield shone through.

They struggled to keep the ball away from the impressive trio of Frenkie De Jong, Marten De Roon and Georginio Wijnaldum. De Jong was pulling all the strings and England just couldn’t get hold of the now Barcelona star.

All of a sudden, half an hour in, Marcus Rashford caught Ajax superstar Mathijs de Ligt napping and nicked the ball from him in the box. De Ligt’s naivety came to the fore as he chopped down the United striker to give away a penalty – a penalty which Rashford duly dispatched.

Following the goal, England settled into a more compact defensive unit and seemed to be more than happy to allow Holland to pass the ball around in the middle of the park. Something which would eventually bite them halfway through the second half.

Netherlands triumph

Holland had been pressing and pressing, and were winning corner after corner – something which they had been looking dangerous from all game. With the giant centre halves Virgil Van Dijk and Mathijs de Ligt in there, they were always going to be a threat. On 73 minutes, that eventually came to fruition as de Ligt made up for his earlier error and slammed a header past Jordan Pickford at his near post.

In fairness, England responded to the goal really well and started playing some great football. Eight minutes or so later, Jesse Lingard broke through on goal and slid the ball past Jasper Cillessen – cue pandemonium. However, the euphoria didn’t last long for England fans as the referee went to VAR to check for an offside. After what seemed like an age, the ref eventually signalled that Lingard was in an offside position when the ball was played, overturning the goal.

That seemed to knock the stuffing out of England as the game went into Extra Time. England defenders had given the ball away more than once in dangerous areas throughout the 90, and in the 8th minute of ET, they were eventually made to pay for their ineptitude at the back. John Stones was caught in possession by Memphis Depay, who saw his effort parried away by Pickford. Unfortunately for England, the incoming Quincy Promes was just too quick for Walker and he put in the rebound, courtesy of a deflection from Walker.

Netherlands

Sadly, England still didn’t learn their lesson. After failing to make any impact going forward, England were once again caught in possession at the back with five minutes of ET remaining. Ross Barkley misplaced a pass back to the keeper, Depay picked up and squared it to Promes who slammed it home to send England packing.

The debate tonight is whether or not this kind of error is something you just have to accept when trying to play out from the back. However, these players are professional footballers and if you can’t realise you’re in trouble and either clear the ball or pass back to the keeper, you don’t deserve to wear an England shirt.

At the end of the day, poor decision making from England costs them a place in the inaugural UEFA Nations League final. Gareth Southgate’s side will have to settle for the third place play-off against Switzerland on Sunday night – flashbacks, anyone?

For more like this, visit our dedicated football page here. Meanwhile, follow us on Facebook for more opinions and analysis right to your timeline.

Similar Articles

Comments

SIMILAR

Why A ‘European Premier League’ Is A Bad Idea

It has been announced that Liverpool and Manchester United are planning talks to join a ‘European Premier...

Reviewing Week 6 Of The NFL

Week 6 is now complete in the NFL. In a week that saw no Thursday Night Football...

A Review Of Week 5 In The NFL

We have seen five weeks fly by in the NFL. We are over a quarter of the...

British Ice Hockey, what could be done better?

People will say the British ice hockey league is just a stepping stone for import players to...

Everton: They Couldn’t, Could They?

Everton are currently top of the Premier League. After four straight wins, Carlo Ancelotti’s men are sitting...

The First Period

First of all thanks for reading my Column, those that know me would say I'm a hockey...

Bears 1 point win makes massive statement

They've made a habit of starting slow in 2020, but the Bears 1 point win over the...

NFL: Review Of Week 4

Week 4 is complete in the NFL and we are now a quarter of the way through...

“I Thought I Was Going To Die”: My Interview With Paul Brown

Last week i has the chance to speak on Zoom with Paul Brown, who can be found...

Assessing Liverpool’s 7-2 Loss To Aston Villa

Liverpool were stunned on Sunday after their 7-2 loss away to Aston Villa. In a match that...