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Netherlands progress with easy win
Billed as the biggest game in the group, the affair between Austria and the Netherlands ended up being somewhat one-sided.
The Oranje swept a lacklustre Austria side away thanks to an early penalty from Memphis Depay and a second tournament goal for Denzel Dumfries. With this victory they qualified for the knockout rounds of the tournament.
On the other hand, Austria rarely threatened, failing to even muster a shot on target.
Nevertheless, there are lessons to be taken from the game- 101 runs you through the top 5.
1.North Macedonia are out
The consequence of the Netherlands beating Austria is that North Macedonia are officially the first team out of Euro 2020. The Macedonians have lost both of their games, to Austria and the Ukraine, and sit on zero points.
On the other hand, Austria and the Ukraine both sit on three points, and meet each other in the final round of fixtures, meaning that it is now impossible for the Macedonians to qualify for the knockout rounds.
It will come as a disappointment but certainly not a surprise to their fans, who were happy that their side even reached this stage of the tournament.
2. The Dutch should be taken seriously
It was hard to look at the Dutch ahead of the tournament and take them seriously, partly because of their leaky defence. However, they looked composed in the face of an admittedly weak Austrian side.
The return of Matthijs De Ligt, the young sensation at Juventus, certainly helped this, while Denzel Dumfries put in another impressive shift at right wing-back.
—First international goal is a game-winner vs. Ukraine
—Second goal in as many games
First Euros and Denzel Dumfries is making his mark ✨ pic.twitter.com/u04NZqsxnW
— B/R Football (@brfootball) June 17, 2021
If they can sort out their defensive issues, they will certainly be a force to be reckoned with in the latter stages.
3. PSG are lucky to be getting Wijnaldum
One thing has been shown clearly across both of the Netherland’s victories so far this tournament- Giorgino Wijnaldum is far better than he looks in Liverpool’s midfield.
Often shackled to the confinements of Jurgen Klopp’s system, for the Oranje, Wijnaldum is released to play further up the pitch.
— UEFA EURO 2020 (@EURO2020) June 13, 2021
And boy does he do it well. His ability to drive with the ball and arrive late in the box caused Austria all sorts of problems, with none of their back three willing to pick up the PSG-bound midfielder.
With the likes of Leandro Paredes and Marco Verratti around him in Paris, Wijnaldum may be a player Liverpool come to regret letting go.
4. Austria need to find a way to use their best players effectively
Austria have a host of impressive individuals, but seemed unable to find a system to allow them all to shine. In particular David Alaba, the most successful Austrian player in history, seems woefully misused.
Fielded on the left of midfield in the warm-up game against England at the Riverside Stadium, Alaba began the game at the heart of Austria’s back three, unable to truly affect the game as he would have liked.
Marcel Sabitzer, a traditional central midfielder, was deployed at the top of the pitch in Austria’s odd 3-5-2 formation.
Although they were never going to be favourites going into the game, the system that they opted for did them no favours whatsoever.
5. Denzel Dumfries may be on the move this summer
Denzel Dumfries is a player that has caught the eye in both games so far. Operating as a right wing-back, the Dutchman currently plies his trade for PSV Eindhoven. However, he may not be there for much longer.
Scoring against Ukraine, Dumfries could arguably have scored two or even three, missing a pair of glorious chances against the Eastern Europeans. In Amsterdam, Dumfries was again brilliant, haring up to support Donyell Malen to turn home the second goal.
With right-backs currently at a premium, do not be surprised to see another good performance put the right back firmly in the shop window.
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