European Championship - Group B
BelgiumBelgium3RussiaRussia0

Belgium 3-0 Russia: Romelu Lukaku pays tribute to Inter Milan team-mate Christian Eriksen

By Neil JohnstonBBC Sport
Uefa Euro 2020 on the BBC
Dates: 11 June-11 July. Venues: Amsterdam, Baku, Bucharest, Budapest, Copenhagen, Glasgow, London, Munich, Rome, Seville, St Petersburg. Coverage: Live on BBC TV, BBC Radio 5 Live, iPlayer and the BBC Sport website and app. Click here for more details

Romelu Lukaku paid tribute to his Inter Milan team-mate Christian Eriksen after scoring against Russia to help world number one side Belgium start Euro 2020 with a win.

Denmark midfielder Eriksen collapsed on the pitch earlier on Saturday in the Group B game with Finland and received emergency treatment on the field.

There was some doubt as to whether Belgium's game with Russia - Denmark's group rivals - in St Petersburg would go ahead as scheduled because of events in Copenhagen before it was given the all-clear after the Danish Football Association revealed Eriksen was "awake" in hospital.

Lukaku opened the scoring after pouncing on a mistake by Andrey Semenov and celebrated his goal by shouting "Chris, Chris, I love you" in front of a television camera.

After the game, the former Manchester United forward said he cried when he heard what had happened to Eriksen.

"I was scared. You live strong moments together," he told ITV. "I spent more time with him than with my family.

"It was difficult to play the game. I hope he is healthy and I dedicate this performance to him."

After Lukaku's opener, Roberto Martinez's side added a second before half-time after substitute Thomas Meunier - an early replacement for injured Leicester defender Timothy Castagne - slotted home when Anton Shunin failed to hold a cross.

In-form Lukaku sealed a comfortable win by scoring his team's third goal with a composed finish in the closing stages.

The victory put Belgium, one of the fancied teams at Euro 2020, top of the group, level on points with Finland, who beat Denmark in a game which was suspended following Eriksen's collapse before being re-started.

Belgium are level on points with Finland at the top of Group B after one game

Red Devils make fast start

With a number of Eriksen's current and former team-mates in the Belgium side, Martinez was concerned about the impact events in Denmark had on his players.

As well as Lukaku, who along with Eriksen helped Inter Milan win Serie A in 2020-21 for the first time since 2009-10, Belgium's side included the midfielder's former Tottenham team-mates Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen.

Speaking to ITV before the match, the former Everton boss said: "It was a real shock. We have team-mates in that dressing and players who have shared a lot of time with Eriksen.

"We hope he has a full speed of recovery."

To their credit, Belgium silenced the home fans in the 26,264 crowd in St Petersburg with a thoroughly professional performance.

Without Kevin de Bruyne, still nursing a fractured nose and eye socket he suffered in Manchester City's Champions League final defeat against Chelsea, the Red Devils controlled the match.

It remains to be seen whether they possess the steel required to win a major tournament for the first time.

But having scored 40 goals in qualifying - more than any other side - Belgium started this tournament in style as Lukaku continued the form which saw him score 24 to help fire Inter to the title.

There was even an a substitute appearance by Eden Hazard but tougher tests lie ahead which will prove whether they are a side approaching the peak of its powers.

What's next?

Russia are back in Group B action in St Petersburg on Wednesday when Finland are the visitors (14:00 BST), while Belgium head to Copenhagen to face Denmark on Thursday (17:00 BST).

Player of the match

LukakuRomelu Lukaku

with an average of 8.63

Belgium

  1. Squad number9Player nameLukaku
    Average rating

    8.63

  2. Squad number15Player nameMeunier
    Average rating

    7.49

  3. Squad number8Player nameTielemans
    Average rating

    7.40

  4. Squad number11Player nameCarrasco
    Average rating

    7.24

  5. Squad number2Player nameAlderweireld
    Average rating

    7.08

  6. Squad number14Player nameMertens
    Average rating

    7.02

  7. Squad number16Player nameT Hazard
    Average rating

    6.88

  8. Squad number5Player nameVertonghen
    Average rating

    6.82

  9. Squad number19Player nameDendoncker
    Average rating

    6.82

  10. Squad number4Player nameBoyata
    Average rating

    6.68

  11. Squad number21Player nameCastagne
    Average rating

    6.62

  12. Squad number1Player nameCourtois
    Average rating

    6.61

  13. Squad number10Player nameE Hazard
    Average rating

    6.54

  14. Squad number26Player namePraet
    Average rating

    6.54

  15. Squad number3Player nameVermaelen
    Average rating

    6.44

Russia

  1. Squad number15Player nameAl Miranchuk
    Average rating

    5.41

  2. Squad number17Player nameGolovin
    Average rating

    4.96

  3. Squad number6Player nameCheryshev
    Average rating

    4.96

  4. Squad number22Player nameDzyuba
    Average rating

    4.92

  5. Squad number3Player nameDiveev
    Average rating

    4.88

  6. Squad number4Player nameKaravaev
    Average rating

    4.76

  7. Squad number26Player nameMukhin
    Average rating

    4.70

  8. Squad number18Player nameZhirkov
    Average rating

    4.60

  9. Squad number2Player nameMario Fernandes
    Average rating

    4.55

  10. Squad number14Player nameDzhikiya
    Average rating

    4.48

  11. Squad number23Player nameKuzyaev
    Average rating

    4.45

  12. Squad number8Player nameBarinov
    Average rating

    4.44

  13. Squad number7Player nameOzdoev
    Average rating

    4.40

  14. Squad number11Player nameZobnin
    Average rating

    4.38

  15. Squad number1Player nameShunin
    Average rating

    4.38

  16. Squad number5Player nameSemenov
    Average rating

    4.23

Line-ups

Belgium

Formation 3-4-3

  • 1Courtois
  • 2Alderweireld
  • 4Boyata
  • 5VertonghenSubstituted forVermaelenat 76'minutes
  • 21CastagneSubstituted forMeunierat 27'minutes
  • 19Dendoncker
  • 8Tielemans
  • 16T Hazard
  • 14MertensSubstituted forE Hazardat 72'minutes
  • 9Lukaku
  • 11CarrascoSubstituted forPraetat 77'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Vermaelen
  • 10E Hazard
  • 12Mignolet
  • 13Sels
  • 15Meunier
  • 18Denayer
  • 20Benteke
  • 22Chadli
  • 23Batshuayi
  • 24Trossard
  • 25Doku
  • 26Praet

Russia

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Shunin
  • 2Figueira Fernandes
  • 5Semenov
  • 14Dzhikiya
  • 18ZhirkovSubstituted forKaravaevat 43'minutes
  • 8BarinovSubstituted forDiveevat 45'minutes
  • 7Ozdoev
  • 11ZobninSubstituted forMukhinat 63'minutes
  • 17Golovin
  • 23KuzyaevSubstituted forCheryshevat 29'minutesSubstituted forAl Miranchukat 63'minutes
  • 22Dzyuba

Substitutes

  • 3Diveev
  • 4Karavaev
  • 6Cheryshev
  • 9Sobolev
  • 10Zabolotny
  • 12Dyupin
  • 15Al Miranchuk
  • 16Safonov
  • 19Zhemaletdinov
  • 20Ionov
  • 24Evgeniev
  • 26Mukhin
Referee:
Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz
Attendance:
26,264

Match Stats

Home TeamBelgiumAway TeamRussia
Possession
Home66%
Away34%
Shots
Home9
Away5
Shots on Target
Home4
Away1
Corners
Home2
Away4
Fouls
Home9
Away11

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Belgium 3, Russia 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Belgium 3, Russia 0.

  3. Post update

    Leander Dendoncker (Belgium) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Maksim Mukhin (Russia).

  5. Post update

    Attempt missed. Aleksey Miranchuk (Russia) left footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high from a direct free kick.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Dedryck Boyata (Belgium).

  7. Post update

    Magomed Ozdoev (Russia) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  8. Goal!

    Goal! Belgium 3, Russia 0. Romelu Lukaku (Belgium) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Thomas Meunier with a through ball.

  9. Post update

    Hand ball by Artem Dzyuba (Russia).

  10. Post update

    Corner, Russia. Conceded by Dedryck Boyata.

  11. Post update

    Foul by Leander Dendoncker (Belgium).

  12. Post update

    Maksim Mukhin (Russia) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Youri Tielemans (Belgium).

  14. Post update

    Aleksey Miranchuk (Russia) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  15. Post update

    Eden Hazard (Belgium) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Magomed Ozdoev (Russia).

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, Belgium. Dennis Praet replaces Yannick Carrasco.

  18. Substitution

    Substitution, Belgium. Thomas Vermaelen replaces Jan Vertonghen because of an injury.

  19. Post update

    Youri Tielemans (Belgium) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  20. Post update

    Foul by Magomed Ozdoev (Russia).

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As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Italy11003033
2Wales10101101
3Switzerland10101101
4Turkey100103-30

B

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Belgium11003033
2Finland11001013
3Denmark100101-10
4Russia100103-30

C

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Austria00000000
2Netherlands00000000
3North Macedonia00000000
4Ukraine00000000

D

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Croatia00000000
2Czech Rep00000000
3England00000000
4Scotland00000000

E

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Poland00000000
2Slovakia00000000
3Spain00000000
4Sweden00000000

F

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1France00000000
2Germany00000000
3Hungary00000000
4Portugal00000000
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