Croatia blanks Belgium as snakebit Lukaku denied super sub status – NBC Sports

Belgium’s golden generation crashed out of the World Cup following a scoreless draw with Croatia, who will finish second to victorious Morocco in Group F at the 2022 tournament in Qatar.
Romelu Lukaku came off the bench and came close to being the hero on several occasions, but the Red Devils could not find the goal needed to send Croatia home and visit the Round of 16.
How’d we get here? Croatia snapped off a 4-1 win over Canada to move atop the group following an opening draw with Morocco, while Belgium fell to the Moroccans after beating the Canadians.
[ LIVE: World Cup 2022 schedule, how to watch, scores, hub ]
😐 La que acaba de fallar Lukaku…#HRV 0-0 #BEL #MundialTelemundo #ElMundialLoEsTodo #HRVvsBEL #Qatar2022
— Telemundo Deportes (@TelemundoSports) December 1, 2022

Romelu Lukaku finally made his tournament debut, a halftime sub with the Red Devils requiring a win to claim a spot in the knockout rounds.
The Belgian was cued up by Kevin De Bruyne and Thorgan Hazard amongst others, the latter lifting a ball onto Lukaku’s chest inside the six in the 90th minute, but the Inter Milan man just couldn’t get it over the line.
His xG over 45 minutes of work was 1.67 and De Bruyne was credited with three chances created, but Croatia stood firm and got the point required to line up against Group E’s winner in the Round of 16.
RB Leipzig’s Josko Gvardiol will leave this group stage will an escalated price tag, if there was even room for it to go up; The well-rated 20-year-old center back was instrumental in the clean sheet and had more interventions than even Croatian keeper Dominik Livakovic.
Josko Gvardiol
Kevin De Bruyne
Luka Modric
Borna Sosa
Thibaut Courtois
Kick off: 10am ET, Thursday, Dec. 1
Stadium: Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan
TV channels en Español: Telemundo
Streaming en Español: Peacock (all 64 matches)
Croatia looked sleepy in the opening draw with Morocco, a draw that looks better after the Atlas Lions beat Belgium. They snapped to life, perhaps somewhat fueled by Canadian coach John Herdman’s confident pre-match talk, and now look capable of taking down anyone in the field. Or was that merely Canada’s beleaguered defense? We’ll find out when Mateo Kovacic and Co. meet the Belgians.
Kevin De Bruyne made waves after the win over Canada when he said Belgium’s golden generation missed its window by not claiming honors at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, and perhaps it shouldn’t be a surprise that the Red Devils failed to take down Morocco. They’ve been without Romelu Lukaku so far this tournament and Michy Batshuayi has the lone goal. Will Roberto Martinez’s men head home far earlier than expected?
Current FIFA world ranking: 5
World Cup titles: 1 (1966)
World Cup appearances: 15
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from UEFA
Coach: Gareth Southgate
Key players: Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Declan Rice
Current FIFA world ranking: 20
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 5
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from AFC (Won Group A)
Coach: Dragan Skocic
Key players: Ehsan Hajsafi, Sardar Azmoun, Mehdi Taremi

Manchester City host Tottenham at the Etihad Stadium on Thursday as both teams need to show a big reaction after derby defeats at the weekend.
Pep Guardiola’s City were beaten 2-1 at Manchester United in controversial fashion as they lost more ground on Premier League leaders Arsenal. City have lost two games in a row in all competitions and just haven’t looked like themselves since the World Cup break. Even Erling Haaland has stopped scoring goals.
Antonio Conte’s Tottenham are really struggling for confidence and after their defeat at home against north London rivals Arsenal on Sunday, they are well off the top four and need a big result to reignite belief. Spurs continue to start games slowly and put themselves in tough situations and they’ve now lost five of their last nine Premier League outings.
Here’s everything you need for Manchester City vs Tottenham.

Kick off: 3pm ET, Thursday
TV Channel: Peacock
Online: Stream via Peacock Premium
Erling Haaland has gone three games without a goal in all competitions, while Kevin de Bruyne is doing his best to carry City and did superbly to set up Jack Grealish’s goal at Manchester United. City look suspect defensively as full backs Kyle Walker and Joao Cancelo are struggling to contain wingers from getting in-behind. Rodri continues to be a baller.
Harry Kane is trying to do it all on his own for Spurs, while Heung-min Son is bang out of form and Hugo Lloris made a huge error against Arsenal in the NLD. At least Tottenham have Richarlison, Dejan Kulusevski and Rodrigo Bentancur back fit and that will give them extra quality in the final third. Also, this is worth noting: Tottenham have won four of their last five PL games against Manchester City.
John Stones and Ruben Dias are back in training but this game may come too soon for them. Jack Grealish and Julian Alvarez are pushing for starts and don’t be surprised if Rico Lewis starts at right back.
Bentancur is back, which is a huge boost, while Lucas Moura is the only injury issue for Tottenham. With a full squad to choose from, will Antonio Conte go for a more attacking lineup against City? Probably not. He will set them up to be dangerous on the counter.

Michael Olise scored perhaps the free kick of the season to give Crystal Palace a share of the points and a 1-1 draw with Manchester United at Selhurst Park on Wednesday.
[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]
Manchester United led 1-0 from the 44th minute onward, after Bruno Fernandes hammered the ball past Vicente Guaita to open the scoring. The Red Devils had a handful of key chances to double their lead and put the game to bed, but their finishing was poor (just four of 15 shots on target).
Erik ten Hag’s side so nearly escaped with the three points, though, as David de Gea made three saves with the score still 1-0 in the second half. That was, until Olise uncorked his stunning strike from nearly 25 yards out at a tight angle well wide of the goal.
De Gea covered a large amount of ground as he scrambled across the face of goal and dove high toward his left-hand post, but the ball dipped under the crossbar at the last possible moment. De Gea could get nowhere near it, as the 21-year-old midfielder wheeled away and south London erupted.
A victory would have sent Manchester United (39 points – 3rd place) above two-time defending champions and rivals Manchester City, thanks in part to their derby triumph on Saturday, but instead the draw leaves them level on points and the blue half of the city on top via goal difference (+28 to +8). Crystal Palace (23 points), meanwhile, remain 12th in the Premier League table, now just five points off the top half of the table and eight points clear of the relegation zone.

For years, Manchester United’s top priority during transfer windows should have been a world-class defensive midfielder to make the side more stable and consistent on both sides of possession. Yet, for years, the directors ignored the no. 6 altogether and signed one flashy, expensive attacker after another. Some of those stars scored goals, some didn’t, but one constant was that Man United’s defense being overrun by greater, equal and lesser opposition.
Now, with Casemiro camped at the base of midfield, with Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez forming a solid partnership at center back behind him, and Bruno Fernandes and Christian Eriksen pulling the strings in front of the Brazilian, Manchester United’s spine is the best it’s been since the side was built around Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and Paul Scholes.
Since Sir Alex Ferguson departed in 2013, Manchester United have been, with the brief exception of the “good times” of Jose Mourinho’s tenure, been very easy to play against and through, and to beat. That is no longer the case, with the Red Devils’ spine now becoming the side’s strength.
Erik ten Hag, on the result…
“We dropped two points. When you’re winning with two minutes to go…
“They don’t create anything except one which was a corner and this one was a free-kick from far. You don’t expect to drop points. We have to invest more to get that second goal and then not be in that situation that a lucky moment costs you two points.
“We were 1-0 up. In the second half, we had a lot of space to kill them and go for the second. I never saw we really went for the second goal.
“It’s difficult to say [why]. I have to criticize my team. Go for the second. Bruno and Rashy on the wings, Garnacho, a lot of creativity, speed and power, and McTominay with penetration behind.
Follow @AndyEdMLS
Kick off: 3pm ET, Wednesday
TV Channel: Peacock
Online: Stream via Peacock Premium
Palace have looked a little sluggish in attack in recent weeks as they’ve lost four of their last five games and have failed to score in all four of those defeats. Patrick Vieira has all of his attacking options available and it seems like he just isn’t getting the right players out there together. Palace need a big win to kick-start their season because teams below them are starting to pick up victories and the Eagles no longer look comfortable in midtable. Vicente Guaita was excellent against Chelsea and Wilfried Zaha needs to recapture his brilliant early-season form.
United are surging and Marcus Rashford is the man of the moment. He has scored seven goals in his last six games and has been on fire since returning from the World Cup. Casemiro is dominating midfield, Bruno Fernandes is dictating play and Luke Shaw has been a revelation as a left-sided center back. This is the best United have looked in a long time and Erik ten Hag knows they still have a lot of improvement left in the tank. That is the most pleasing thing for United when it comes to this long winning run. They haven’t got close to top gear yet but they’re finding a way to grind out wins and look so solid defensively.
James McArthur and Nathan Ferguson remain out injured, while Joachim Andersen is a doubt after picking up a knock against Chelsea. That could mean USMNT defender Chris Richards coming in for his first start in the Premier League.
Our starting XI for tonight 👊
🤝 @shophumm #CPFC | #CRYMUN
— Crystal Palace F.C. (@CPFC) January 18, 2023

Donny van de Beek is ruled out for the season after his knee injury, while Jadon Sancho remains out but he is working on his recovery. Red-hot Marcus Rashford should shake off a hip issue, while Diogo Dalot is not being risked as he recovers from a thigh injury. Wout Weghorst could make his United debut after his loan move from Burnley. We are about to see how strong this United squad is as Erik ten Hag will need to rotate a little, and especially ahead of their huge game against Arsenal on Sunday.
🚨 Tonight’s team news is in — and there’s a United debut for Wout Weghorst! 🇳🇱#MUFC || #CRYMUN
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) January 18, 2023

The FA Cup always delivers shocks and plenty of Premier League clubs fell in the third round.
Aston Villa was stunned by Stevenage, Newcastle lost at Sheffield Wednesday, Nottingham Forest was handled by Blackpool, and Bournemouth was well-beaten by Burnley.
Everton, Chelsea, Crystal Palace, and Brentford all fell to Premier League rivals as Manchester United, Manchester City, Southampton, and West Ham moved onto the next stage.
Tottenham, Leicester City, Fulham, and Brighton withstood upset bids, while Wolves and Liverpool drew and are headed for a replay, while Leeds will have to re-engage with Cardiff City.
[ LIVE: Follow FA Cup scores, updates ]
The fourth-round draw’s already been conducted and Arsenal will tangle with Manchester City in a tantalizing tie.
Chelsea’s lost the last three FA Cup Finals but that run will not continue as Graham Potter’s first FA Cup tie in charge of the Blues was a blowout loss to Man City.
Read on for FA Cup stream info, fixtures, and predictions.
Dates: Third round replay (January 17-18)
Times: Below
Online: Live updates via
How to watch: ESPN+
Swansea City 1-2 (AET) Bristol City
Forest Green Rovers 1-2 Birmingham City (original tie postponed due to waterlogged pitch)
Wigan 1-2 Luton
Wolves 0-1 Liverpool
West Brom 4-0 Chesterfield
It’s @LFC through thanks to a rocket from Harvey Elliott 🚀#EmiratesFACup
— Emirates FA Cup (@EmiratesFACup) January 17, 2023

Leeds United 5-2 Cardiff City
It was a 5️⃣ star performance from @LUFC, as their young forward Willy Gnonto shone to help book their place in the #EmiratesFACup fourth round after a 5-2 victory over @CardiffCityFC! 🤩
— Emirates FA Cup (@EmiratesFACup) January 18, 2023

Tuesday, January 24
Accrington Stanley vs Boreham Wood
Manchester United 3-1 Everton
Marcus Rashford forces an own goal from Conor Coady.
He’s playing on another level right now 👏
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) January 6, 2023

Preston North End 3-1 Huddersfield Town
Reading 2-0 Watford
Tottenham 1-0 Portsmouth
Gillingham 0-1 Leicester City
Forest Green Rovers vs Birmingham City — PPD
Crystal Palace 1-2 Southampton
Hull City 0-2 Fulham
Middlesbrough 1-5 Brighton
Fleetwood Town 2-1 QPR
Ipswich Town 4-1 Rotherham
Bournemouth 2-4 Burnley
Blackpool 4-1 Nottingham Forest
Chesterfield 3-3 West Brom
Millwall 0-2 Sheffield United
Boreham Wood 1-1 Accrington Stanley
Shrewsbury Town 1-2 Sunderland
Brentford 0-1 West Ham
Coventry City 3-4 Wrexham
Luton Town 1-1 Wigan
Grimsby Town 1-0 Burton Albion
Sheffield Wednesday 2-1 Newcastle
Liverpool 2-2 Wolves
Simply 𝘀𝘂𝗯𝗹𝗶𝗺𝗲, @HKane 😮‍💨@SpursOfficial #EmiratesFACup
— Emirates FA Cup (@EmiratesFACup) January 7, 2023

A goal of @FIFAWorldCup winning quality from Alexis Mac Allister 🤯@OfficialBHAFC#EmiratesFACup
— Emirates FA Cup (@EmiratesFACup) January 7, 2023

Signed. Sealed. Delivered ☑️
Shane Long confirms @ReadingFC‘s spot in the #EmiratesFACup fourth round
— Emirates FA Cup (@EmiratesFACup) January 7, 2023

Bristol City 1-1 Swansea City
Derby County 3-0 Barnsley
Cardiff City 2-2 Leeds
Stockport 1-2 Walsall
Hartlepool 0-3 Stoke City
Norwich 0-1 Blackpool
Aston Villa 1-2 Stevenage
Man City 4-0 Chelsea
The @StevenageFC players are definitely going to enjoy this win 🎉
— Emirates FA Cup (@EmiratesFACup) January 8, 2023

Oxford United 0-3 Arsenal
Manchester United 3-1 Everton
Preston North End 1-2 Huddersfield Town
Reading 1-0 Watford
Tottenham 3-0 Portsmouth
Gillingham 1-2 Leicester City
Forest Green Rovers 1-0 Birmingham City
Crystal Palace 2-1 Southampton
Hull City 0-1 Fulham
Middlesbrough 0-2 Brighton
Fleetwood Town 1-2 QPR
Ipswich Town 1-0 Rotherham
Bournemouth 2-1 Burnley
Blackpool 0-3 Nottingham Forest
Chesterfield 1-2 West Brom
Millwall 2-1 Sheffield United
Boreham Wood 0-1 Accrington Stanley
Shrewsbury Town 1-2 Sunderland
Brentford 1-2 West Ham
Coventry City 2-3 Wrexham
Luton Town 1-0 Wigan
Grimsby Town 2-1 Burton Albion
Sheffield Wednesday 1-3 Newcastle
Liverpool 4-3 Wolves
Bristol City 0-1 Swansea City
Derby County 1-0 Barnsley
Cardiff City 0-2 Leeds
Stockport 1-0 Walsall
Aston Villa 3-0 Stevenage
Man City 2-0 Chelsea
Oxford United 1-4 Arsenal
Boreham Wood/Accrington Stanley vs Cardiff City/Leeds United
Fulham vs Sunderland
Brighton vs Liverpool/Wolves
Bristol City/Swansea City vs Chesterfield/West Brom
Man City/Chelsea vs Oxford United/Arsenal
Sheffield Wednesday vs Fleetwood Town
Walsall vs Leicester City
Blackburn Rovers vs Forest Green Rovers/Birmingham City
Stoke City vs Aston Villa/Stevenage
Derby County vs West Ham
Luton Town/Wigan vs Grimsby Town
Manchester United vs Reading
Ipswitch Town vs Burnley
Wrexham vs Sheffield United
Southampton vs Blackpool
Preston North End vs Tottenham Hotspur

If it’s the 2022-23 Premier League table you’re after, you’ve come to the right place.
[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]
After the break for the 2022 World Cup, the Premier League is back with a bang and the start to 2023 has delivered plenty of fun.
Almost at the halfway mark of the 2022-23 season, Arsenal and Manchester City are looking head and shoulders above the rest though Newcastle is not going away and Manchester United has surged into contention.
The Gunners will have their hands full for the duration of their title challenge, as Erling Haaland continues to take the Premier League by storm with an almost impossible goal-scoring record.
Uneven Tottenham are hanging in the top four battle, while Liverpool is struggling to stay in the Champions League scrap. Chelsea has some work to do while surprising Fulham and Brighton are hanging around on the periphery and are having fine campaigns.
[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights
Everton, Wolves, and Southampton currently occupy the relegation places.
But Leicester, West Ham, Nottingham Forest, Bournemouth, and Leeds all find themselves within a few points of the bottom three after a topsy-turvy start.
Below you will find the latest Premier League table.

Follow @AndyEdMLS


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