Connect with us


Eden Hazard has suffered a hamstring injury



Eden Hazard has suffered a hamstring injury

EDEN HAZARD was forced off AGAIN as his rotten injury luck continued.

Recall Romelu Lukaku ended a run of five games without a goal but Theo Hernandez broke Belgian hearts as France fought back from 2-0 down to win in the last minute.

His sweet strike provided a thrilling finish to a splendid semi-final, and booked the world champions a date with Spain in the UEFA Nations League final in Milan on Sunday.

For this talented generation of footballers from Belgium, it was another crushing disappointment in the long search for silverware on a night that started so well.

Back in Turin a week after Chelsea were beaten by Juventus, Lukaku put them two up just before half-time, spinning onto a pass by Kevin de Bruyne and accelerated clear of Lucas Hernandez before lashing a shot high past Hugo Lloris from a tight angle.

Yannick Carrasco scored the first of the night, jinking inside from his berth on the left flank and beating Lloris at his near post, wrong-footed by a slight deflection.

Neither were terrible mistakes by the Tottenham goalkeeper but he will have been disappointed to concede them, especially after making an incredible save in the opening moments.

Lukaku, aggressive and hungry from the outset, tore past Raphael Varane and De Bruyne pounced when Jules Kounde failed to clear. His shot clipped Kounde and swerved but Lloris sprang to his left and clawed the ball away.

Didier Deschamps opted to match Belgium’s back-three and Lucas and Theo Hernandez, paired on the left, became the first siblings to appear together for France since 1974.

His team were slow to find any rhythm, however, creating very little in the first 45 minutes, but improved after the break when their celebrated front three started to sparkle.

Paul Pogba headed over and Antoine Griezmann, on his 99th appearance for France, was unable to turn a cross from Mbappe on target at the near post.

Karim Benzema pulled a goal back in the 63rd minute, with a slick turn in a crowded penalty area and a low shot to beat Thibaut Courtois.

Then, Griezmann was adjudged by VAR to have been fouled by Youri Tielemans and up stepped Mbappe to take the penalty, three months after his miss from the spot against Switzerland in Bucharest condemned France to an early exit from Euro 2020.

The 22-year-old, winning his 50th cap for his country made no mistake, firing high past Courtois into the top corner and celebrated with a huge smile of relief.

Pogba and Lukaku went close, and Lukaku found the net only to find this goal ruled out by VAR for offside, before France clinched the victory.

On 87 minutes, Lukaku thought he had won the game for Belgium when he tapped home but VAR ruled his effort out for offside. And the drama was not done as Hernandez hit home from the edge of the box as the clock ticked into 90 to seal the comeback.

READ ALSO  Rashford to become youngest recipient of Honorary Doctorate from University of Manchester for his campaign against child poverty