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Belgium beats England 2-0 to secure third place at World Cup 2018

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Belgium beats England 2-0 to secure third place at World Cup 2018

Belgium beats England 2-0 to secure third place at World Cup 2018
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Belgium claimed their best finish in a World Cup after victory over England in St Petersburg.

Goals from Thomas Meunier in the first half and Eden Hazard in the second put Belgium on their way to victory.

The two sides, both losing semi-finalists to France and Croatia respectively, met in the third-place play-off at the Krestovsky Stadium.

The Red Devils opened the scoring in the third minute. A sublime cross from Chadli found Meunier who bundled it home.

De Bruyne almost doubled their lead after a searching pass from Lukaku found him, but Pickford made a smart save.

Loftus-Cheek was eager to equalise for England. His header was saved by Courtois before his run earnt a corner, Maguire's header was saved from the resulting set-piece.

In the second half, England had more about themselves as they tried to find a leveller.

Their closest chance came from Eric Dier. A through ball from Rashford, saw him try to dink the ball over Courtois but Spurs teammate Alderweireld denied him with a clearance off the line.

Dier and Maguire both also went close for England with headers.

Later neat passing put in Meunier, who was denied by a superb save from Pickford.

However two minutes later, Hazard did double Belgium's lead with a neat finish.

Five takeaways from Belgium versus England

Silky stuff from the Belgians

The style of football Belgium played in periods of the game was a joy to behold. Their second goal came from a good counter-attacking move.

Best Belgian finish

It may not be the trophy, but it's one of the next best things. This is a best-ever finish for a Belgian side at a major tournament.

Shared goals

Lukaku, Hazard, Januzaj, Batshuayi, Mertens, Vertonghen, Fellaini, Chadli, De Bruyne and Meunier. All ten of these have scored at a World Cup. They replicate what France in 1982 and Italy in 2006 did, with ten different scorers.

Golden Boot is still on for Kane

Barring a hattrick from Antoine Griezmann or Kylian Mbappe in the final, Harry Kane is on course for the World Cup Golden Boot. This is despite not having a shot on target since his penalty in the Colombia game.

Third-placed play-off

Despite concerns that the game may not be played at a high intensity, due to third-placed being the only thing to play for. The game itself was enjoyable. Belgium strutted their stuff but England showed signs of getting back into the game, with Loftus-Cheek shining for The Three Lions.