Article

Belgium boss Martinez pleased with patient Batshuayi

16 November 2018 00:24

Roberto Martinez praised Michy Batshuayi for setting aside first-half frustration to notch both Belgium goals in the 2-0 home victory over Iceland on Thursday.

Valencia striker Batshuayi banished a barren run of club form with his much-needed brace giving Martinez's men winning momentum ahead of their final Nations League fixture away to Switzerland, where a point will be enough to book a finals berth.

Starting in place of the injured Romelu Lukaku, Batshuayi eventually made his opportunity count as he benefitted from Eden Hazard's defence-splitting pass to break the deadlock just after the hour.

The 25-year-old had squandered two chances in the opening 20 minutes, but finished the match on a high thanks to Hannes Halldorsson's gifting of a second goal nine minutes from full-time.

"In the first half [Batshuayi] experienced some setbacks," Martinez told broadcaster VTM.

"He moved well for the opening goal. I'm glad he scored twice, but he also played a good game. I was delighted with his overall performance.

"In this type of match you have to remain constantly focused and be able to score a goal with one action."

Belgium struggled to break down relegated Iceland despite fielding a strong XI for what was essentially a dead rubber, the result not affecting either side's standing in Group 2 of League A.

A hard-earned 2-1 win over Switzerland in October puts the leaders in the box seat to advance, but Martinez anticipates strong resistance on Sunday.

"I expect a very difficult game," he said. "The game we had in Brussels showed that Switzerland are a very strong group that have been together for a very long time.

"They are a very strong tactical team that use the players in their best system.

"They are playing at home, they have really good momentum in the Nations League. It is a game we are really looking forward to.

"We expect the same level of performance as in the Brussels game."

Latest news

21 May 2019

 16:12
 16:10
 16:01
 15:49
 15:21
 14:55
 14:53
 14:39
 14:38
 14:21
 13:40
 13:16
 13:08
 12:56
 12:39
 11:59
 11:48
 11:28
 10:48
 10:32
 09:59
 09:37
 09:02
 08:43
 08:00
 07:31
 07:26
 06:51
 06:38
 06:07
 05:40
 04:55
 04:20
 03:48
 03:19
 03:00
 02:28
 01:58
 01:45
 01:13
 01:01
 00:49
 00:47
 00:28

20 May 2019

 23:56
 23:36
 23:21
 22:45
 22:31
 21:54
 21:13
 20:32
 20:18
 19:49
 19:43
 18:03
 17:35
 17:17
 17:14
 16:56
 16:34
 16:08
 15:50
 14:49
 14:03
 13:42
 13:21
 13:00
 12:47
 12:17