Belgium beat Russia 2-0 in their opening Euro 2020 encounter to live up to their billing as one of the favourites for the competition.
Goals from Romelu Lukaku and Thomas Meunier in the opening half gave them a platform to play a more measured second period as they went unchallenged against a poor Russia outfit. Lukaku got another late on.
Russian hopes at Euro 2020 lie with the bulky figure of Artem Dzyuba, who so often mismatches defenders using his sheer size. Against Belgium, he was the player who was bullied. Peripheral to the match, he offered none of the bullishness his coach would have expected.
A winger before he was converted to a right-back, Thomas Meunier is perfectly built for playing a wing-back role. He was an early replacement for Timothy Castagne but did not miss a beat in this encounter, getting into a very advanced position to tap in the second goal, which effectively settled the match.
Romelu Lukaku arrived at Euro 2020 full of confidence after a brilliant season with Inter, where he helped the club to the Serie A title. He continued his prolific form with the opening goal of the game – a typically emphatic finish after he was given half a yard of space in the box – and in celebrating paid tribute to his club-mate Christian Eriksen, who took unwell during Denmark’s defeat to Finland earlier in the day. With two minutes left, a characteristically good run into the right channel was matched by a sharp near-post finish, giving Belgium the emphatic win they deserved.