Belgium's Tielemans and Mertens end England's Nations League hopes

England’s Nations League dream is over but, really, that has long been of secondary importance. What Gareth Southgate has wanted this season as he looks ahead to the serious business of the European Championship finals next summer has been cohesive performances, particularly against the better opposition.

They do not come much stronger than Belgium, who sit atop the Fifa world rankings, and there had been the hope that England could get on to the front foot and ask questions of them in a way that they did not truly do in the reverse fixture at Wembley last month, even though they were victorious. That 2-1 win owed plenty to resilience and a little bit to luck.

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