Belgium ease past Russia to win Euro 2020 opener

A Romelu Lukaku masterclass led Belgium to a comfortable win over Russia in their opening game at Euro 2020.

The Inter striker scored twice and Thomas Meunier added another as the Red Devils ran out 3-0 winners against their Group B rivals.

Lukaku paid tribute to Inter teammate Christian Eriksen when he celebrated his first goal, shouting “Chris, Chris, I love you” after the Denmark midfielder collapsed during their match against Finland earlier in the day.

Belgium took the lead early when a ball into the box was not dealt with by the Russian defence and Lukaku pounced to open his account.

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Thorgan Hazard should have doubled the lead when he was played through one on one but Anton Shunin came out to save at his feet.

Meunier, who came off the bench in the 27th minute to replace the injured Timothy Castagne, doubled Belgium’s lead before halftime. A ball in from the left was spilled by Shunin and Meunier was in the right place to steer the ball home into the bottom right corner.

Belgium controlled the second half on the way to a fairly simple victory. Roman Zobnin and Aleksandr Golovin had Russia’s only real chances but failed to hit the target.

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Lukaku added his second late when he was put through by Meunier before finishing into the bottom right corner from the edge of the penalty area.

Belgium meet Denmark in their next match and Russia welcome Finland to St Petersburg.

Cover Photo: “UEFA EURO 2020 Trophy, Football Championship” by wuestenigel is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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