Dembele gets the better of Spurs team-mates to help Belgium finish first
PUBLISHED: 10:00 29 June 2018
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Eric Dier and Danny Rose started for the Three Lions, but couldn't stop them losing to the Red Devils
Mousa Dembele played the full 90 minutes during Belgium’s 1-0 win over England last night (Thursday) which helped his country finish top of Group G.
The Spurs midfielder was up against two of his club team-mates with Eric Dier and Danny Rose selected by Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate.
Kieran Trippier, Dele Alli and Harry Kane remained unused substitutes though, as both of the nations rotated their squads.
Belgium manager Roberto Martinez rested Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld and one of the players coming in, Adnan Januzaj, struck the only goal of the game in the 51st minute.
During a tense first 45, all three Tottenham Hotspur players involved showed their quality, but it remained goalless at the break.
It didn’t take long for the deadlock to be broken, however, and it occurred on Rose’s left-hand side.
Ex-Manchester United winger Januzaj cut inside Rose too easily and curled an effort past Jordan Pickford from inside the penalty area.
In the end, it was the only goal of the game despite Marcus Rashford and Danny Welbeck wasting decent chances later in the contest.
Despite his mistake, Rose largely impressed on the left and may have forced himself into Southgate’s thinking ahead of Tuesday’s last-16 clash with Colombia (7pm).
Captain for the evening Dier also produced an assured display and did his chances of starting later games in the tournament no harm.
While Dembele was at his imperious best, showing his unique blend of strength and skill on several occasions.
Although only three Spurs players actually featured in the match, it was still a special night for all of them.
The five in the England camp and the three in the Belgium squad will now be able to cheer each other on because they have gone their separate ways in the knock-out draw.