Scotland 0-4 Belgium: Brutal defeat all but ends group hopes for Steve Clarke’s side

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From Tom English
BBC Scotland in Hampden
Belgium motivated to some savage defeat of hapless Scotland to end hopes of attaining Euro 2020 through their eligibility group.
The Manchester City guy netted the fourth and set up Toby Alderweireld, Thomas Vermaelen and Romelu Lukaku.
Steve Clarke’s side should now look to the play-offs of the next year since their best hope of finishing a 22-year wait.
Victory made it six wins from six to the Group I first now leaders of Roberto Martinez.
In truth, it might have been far worse to Scotland against the planet’s number one ranked side in Hampden, that played well within themselves.
Scotlandin fifth trail Russia by nine factors and Belgium from 12 with four games to move.
Following the chastening 2-1 loss arrived this evisceration from Belgium – a Eden Hazard-less Belgium. Who wants the Real Madrid man when you currently have the genius of De Bruyne along with weakness that is desperate in the home group, whose defence was paper-bag sparse, with due apologies to newspaper bags?
Scotland, with Kenny McLean, Ryan Christie, Robert Snodgrass and Matt Phillips coming in for John McGinn, Ryan Fraser, James Forrest and Oli McBurnie, had a couple early moments of optimism and then a harrowing nighttime thereafter, the horror show starting when they surrendered the first goal after just two minutes. The Scots got done on the attack. They had been were utterly reckless and naive in leaving themselves so open. Incompetence in an worldwide scale.
From the edge of their box, Belgium went to the clappers after finding De Bruyne who ran up the left and regaining possession Dries Mertens peeling off, by a Snodgrass free-kick. He had time and space and defence. He just looked up, picked out and also the Internazionale striker did the rest.
The whole matter – from Mertens into De Bruyne to Lukaku into the back of Dave Marshall’s internet – took 14 seconds. It was Lukaku goal for his nation. He might have had his own 50th nine minutes later when De Bruyne – who ? – dinked a stunning ball . Lukaku failed to clip it.
A Belgium goal was not long in forthcoming. Once it was this time using a cross from the right which was poked home. Scotlanda disorganised mess at the back, failed to pick up him What complicates issues Clarke has in trying to make something including a defence worthy of this name.
Phillips tested Thibaut Courtois but a shell-shocked Hampden sunk into grief when Belgium struck only after the half-hour mark. It had been just still another avoidable goal. Alderweireld thumped on his effort in and got away from Charlie Mulgrew.
Three goals and three De Bruyne assists. Belgium had scored 10 goals in two-and-a-half games against the Scots. The thing about this latest hiding was without ever having to move out of third gear they pulled it off. They did not have to get anywhere near their finest.
Marshall had to tip a shot by Mertens and De Bruyne missed a chance. Sandwiched in between was a forlorn dive from Stephen O’Donnell which attracted the Scotland right-back a yellow card instead of the penalty he looked for. Scott McTominay also went into the book and he’ll miss the trip to Russia maybe not that it matters. Scotland’s goose is truly and well cooked now.
A fourth has been to get the Belgians, Lukaku being allowed to turn by some Scottish before locating the unplayable De Bruyne, that awakened a right-footed curler to pile on the pain to get what was left of their home crowd defending. Many of them had led for home after that. One must wonder how many of them are going to return.
A masterclass in the playmaker with his departure, pace, ending ability to locate distance beguiling rather than consciousness and bemusing Scotland in equal measure. A sumptuous finish late on provided.

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