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By Tom English
BBC Scotland in Hampden
Kevin de Bruyne motivated Belgium into some brutal defeat of hapless Scotland to end hopes of attaining Euro 2020 through their eligibility group.
The Manchester City guy netted the fourth and set Toby Alderweireld, Thomas Vermaelen and Romelu Lukaku up.
The side of steve Clarke should look to the next year’s play-offs because their very best hope of finishing a 22-year wait.
Victory made it six wins from six to the Group I leaders of Roberto Martinez.
In truth, it might have been much worse for Scotland from the planet’s number one rated side in Hampden, who played well within themselves.
Scotlandin fifth, today course Russia by nine factors and Belgium from 12 with four matches.
During that 2-1 loss came this evisceration by Belgium – a Eden Hazard-less Belgium after the chastening. Who needs the Real Madrid man when you already have De Bruyne along with dire weakness’ brilliance from the home team, whose defence was paper-bag thin, with all due apologies to newspaper bags?
Scotland, together with Kenny McLean, Ryan Christie, Robert Snodgrass and Matt Phillips coming for John McGinn, Ryan Fraser, James Forrest and Oli McBurnie, had a few early minutes of confidence and then a harrowing nighttime thereafter, the terror series beginning when they surrendered the first goal after just two minutes. The Scots got done on the attack. They were naive and completely reckless in leaving themselves open. Incompetence in an global scale.
To the clappers, Belgium went from the edge of their box after locating De Bruyne who ran free up the left and regaining possession Dries Mertens paring off, from a Snodgrass free-kick. He had space and time and defence. He appeared, chose out all on his lonesome and the Internazionale striker did the rest.
The entire thing – from Mertens to De Bruyne to Lukaku into the trunk of Dave Marshall’s net – took 14 seconds. It was the 49th target for his country of Lukaku. He would have had his 50th nine minutes after if De Bruyne – who ? – dinked a gorgeous ball . Lukaku failed to clip it beyond Marshall.
Another Belgium goal was not long in forthcoming. This time with a cross poked home once again it was De Bruyne who made it. A disorganised mess at the back scotland, failed to pick him up. What complicates issues Clarke has in attempting to make something including a worthy of the name.
Phillips analyzed Thibaut Courtois but a shell-shocked Hampden when Belgium struck again after the half-hour mark sunk deeper into despair. It was a free header in the De Bruyne corner, still another goal. Alderweireld thumped on his effort in and got away from Charlie Mulgrew.
Three goals and three De Bruyne helps. Belgium had scored 10 goals in two-and-a-half games against the Scots. The thing about the concealing was that they pulled it off without having to move out of third gear. They did not need to get anywhere near their finest.
Marshall needed to tip a shot by Mertens and De Bruyne missed a chance. Sandwiched in between was a dive from Stephen O’Donnell which attracted the Scotland right-back a card for. Scott McTominay went to the book and he’ll miss the visit to Russia not that it matters. Scotland’s goose is truly and well cooked now.
A fourth has been Lukaku being allowed to flip by some Scottish defending before finding the unplayable De Bruyne, for the Belgians, who awakened a curler outside Marshall to heap on the pain to get what was left of the home audience. Many of them had headed for home by then. One must wonder just how many of them are going to be back.
A masterclass in the playmaker along with his departure, speed, never and consciousness ending ability to locate space beguiling and bemusing Scotland in equal amount. A sumptuous end on supplied.

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