Belgium vs. Luxemburg: 4 Things We Learned
On Monday, Belgium lined up against for a match against Luxemburg. It was the Rode Duivels' first first friendly in preparation for the World Cup in Brazil.
As was expected, the Belgians didn't have much trouble with their tiny neighbours. With a hattrick made by Romelu Lukaku and goal scored by Nacer Chadli and Kevin De Bruyne, the Rode Duivels won 5-1.
Although Belgium's opposition wasn't world-class, there are some interesting observations to be made. Adnan Januzaj got to make his debut, for example, while his Manchester United colleague Marouane Fellaini performed well in midfield.
Here, we take a look at four things we learned from Belgium vs. Luxemburg.
Januzaj Will Be Given a Genuine Chance
Right after half-time, Adnan Januzaj got the chance to make his debut for Belgium when he replaced Chelsea's Eden Hazard for the second half.
The Manchester United player didn't score, but managed to impress the crowd by pulling off a successful rabona-trick in the opposition's box. Most playing from the left, but sometimes cutting to the centre or roaming to the right of the pitch, Januzaj appeared ambitious and relishing the chance to prove himself to Belgium boss Marc Wilmots.
Seeing as Wilmots gave Januzaj and Hazard equal time this match—both players played a half each—it's likely Januzaj will be given a real chance to prove himself before Wilmots announces his definitive squad for the World Cup.
Lukaku Is Ready to Replace Benteke
When it became apparent that his injury made it impossible for Christian Benteke to be fit in time for the World Cup, Belgium fans immediately realised that it was going to have to be Romelu Lukaku to replace Benteke.
In this match, Lukaku showed his worth by scoring a hattrick before being subbed for Belgium-debutant Divock Origi in the second half.
Although it remains to be seen how Lukaku will perform against some of the world's best teams during the World Cup itself, it did become apparent tonight that Lukaku is probably Belgium's best bet to replace Benteke.
Fellaini Might Still Do It
As a regular starter in manager Marc Wilmots' first XI, Marouane Fellaini once again got a chance to prove himself to Manchester United's fans.
The midfielder, who started in a box-to-box capacity alongside Axel Witsel and Kevin de Bruyne, made an industrious impression, winning balls, disturbing the opposition's buildups and joining in on attacks whenever De Bruyne roamed to one of the flanks.
Significantly, Belgium's first two goals were a direct result of Fellaini winning possession for the Rode Duivels in midfield.
Although Luxemburg is not on the same level as your average Premier League club, Fellaini's performance tonight suggests that the midfielder, if used right, still has something to offer to Manchester United.
Could Fellaini spark his Manchester United career back to life with a successful World Cup?
Wilmots Demands Focus
Before the start of the match, there was the feeling Luxemburg wouldn't be able to offer the Rode Duivels' any proper opposition.
While this assertion might hold true, to manager Marc Wilmots this didn't mean his players could just relax and let things take their course.
The Belgium boss could be seen pointing and shouting at his players from the sidelines at various moments—even when Belgium were comfortably in the lead. It was obvious that Wilmots wanted his players to take the match very seriously.
With all the talk of Belgium harbouring a "golden generation" full of talented youngsters, it seems like Wilmots wants his inexperienced squad focussed and hard working, even against teams like Luxemburg.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!