Belgium player ratings as Real Madrid target Eden Hazard shines with an 8 in win over England

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Belgium clinched third place at the World Cup as they beat England 2-0 in the third-place play-off in Saint Petersburg on Saturday.

The Red Devils made an early breakthrough as Thomas Meunier opened the scoring in the fourth minute.

Eden Hazard doubled the lead in the 82nd minute to secure Belgium’s best-ever finish at a World Cup.

Here, we rate the England players.

STARTING XI

Thibaut Courtois – Had a few routine saves to make and while he was beaten by Eric Dier’s chip, the ball was cleared off the line to maintain his clean sheet. 6

Toby Alderweireld – Made that excellent clearance to deny Dier. Stood his ground well against the likes of Raheem Sterling and Ruben Loftus-Cheek. 6

Vincent Kompany – Was left for dead on one occasion as Dier broke free. Solid otherwise, making a game-high eight clearances.

Jan Vertonghen – Solid at both centre-back and then left-wingback, making seven clearances. 6

Thomas Meunier – Was a threat going forward as he scored the first goal and went close on a couple of other occasions, drawing a superb save from Jordan Pickford with a second-half volley. 8

Youri Tielemans – Kept it simple with his passing and restricted England’s midfielders. 5

Alex Witsel – Anchored the midfield calmly, making a few tackles and was safe with his passing. Picked up an unnecessary booking. 5

Nacer Chadli – Was good going forward and provided the assist to make the early breakthrough. Had to go off injured towards the end of the first half. 6

Kevin De Bruyne – Had all the time on the ball to drive forward and pick his pass which he did repeatedly. Assisted Hazard for the second but should’ve had a couple more to his name. 8

Eden Hazard – A constant threat in attack, dribbling past players for fun and coming alive on the counter. Took his goal expertly. 8

Romelu Lukaku – Had a couple of glorious opportunities to add to his four goals at the tournament but his touch let him down. 4

SUBS

Thomas Vermaelen – Drafted into centre-back at the end of the first half and had a largely comfortable outing. 6

Dries Mertens – Replaced Lukaku on the hour mark but wasted a few promising positions as well. 5

Mousa Dembele – Came on for the last 10 minutes and saw the game out. N/A

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Watch: Samuel Umtiti says France have to be wary of Luka Modric, Mario Mandzukic and Ivan Rakitic

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Samuel Umtiti and France meet Croatia in the final on Sunday.

Samuel Umtiti and the rest of France’s defence will have their hands full against Croatia’s stars in the World Cup final on Sunday.

The Barcelona defender singled out Luka Modric, Mario Mandzukic and Ivan Rakitic as primary threats Les Bleus will have to be wary of.

“We will prepare for this game to deal with the kind of players like Luka Modric or Mandzukic. There is also Ivan Rakitic who I know very well,” Umtiti said.

Check out Umtiti’s full comments ahead of the monumental clash in the video below.

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Watch: Kylian Mbappe will be a future Ballon d'Or winner one day, says Didier Drogba

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Chelsea legend Didier Drogba believes French star Kylian Mbappe has all the qualities to win the Ballon d’Or trophy one day following his exploits at the World Cup.

The 19-year-old has scored three goals in five appearances and could add to that total against Croatia in the World Cup final on Sunday.

Drogba has been impressed with what he’s seen of the PSG forward in Russia and is convinced he will pick up football’s biggest personal accolade one day.

Watch what the former Ivory Coast forward said in the video below:

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