Belgium 1-4 Netherlands: Sour derby defeat for hosts as Memphis Depay grabs Nations League brace

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 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Belgium suffered an embarrassing derby defeat to open their Nations League campaign as Netherlands ran away 4-0 winners in Brussels on Friday.

Romelu Lukaku and Eden Hazard led the line for Roberto Martinez’s side but were ineffective from the off, the Chelsea man forced off injured after 25 minutes with Hazard substituted at half-time after his first start since January.

Tottenham winger Steven Bergwijn was entrusted with a starting berth in attack for the Dutch and repaid Louis van Gaal’s faith with a fine opening goal from outside the box.

Netherlands were comfortably on top for large spells of the first half, bar a shot against the post from Timothy Castagne with the score goalless, but the Dutch superiority continued after the break.

Only moments into the second half, Memphis Depay took advantage of a Dedryck Boyata error to race clear and bury the second goal.

The third arrived on 62 minutes as Daley Blind picked up a rebound from Simon Mignolet’s parry and smartly crossed for Denzel Dumfries to bundle home at the far post.

It took only another few moments before Depay broke the line once more to slam home his second.

Boos rang around King Baudouin Stadium and Belgium were denied a consolation when Michy Batshuayi was offside before Castagne scored, VAR going against the hosts having earlier saved a bad call to award a penalty against the Leicester man for handball - when it had actually hit his face.

Michy Batshuayi registered a late consolation but the full-time whistle heralded not only a damaging start to Belgium’s Nations League campaign but also a first Dutch win over their neighbours since 1997.

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