Manchester City's rivals have been warned that Erling Haaland has not even fully adapted to the team's style of play yet, with Kevin De Bruyne adamant there is much more to come.

Haaland was in lethal form again on Tuesday as he scored twice in City's comfortable 4-0 win over Sevilla at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan on matchday one of Champions League Group G.

His first saw him get on the end of a De Bruyne cross, while his second was a rebound tap-in after a Phil Foden shot was parried straight to him.

Haaland became only the fourth player to score on his Champions League debut with three different clubs, having also done so for Borussia Dortmund and Salzburg.

His exploits in Seville continued from his electric start to the Premier League season, taking him to 12 goals in just seven matches across all competitions.

And what could strike even more fear into opponents is that De Bruyne does not think he has fully adapted yet.

"I think the way he's adapted to us is really good but I think outside the goalscoring there's still another part in the game," he told BT Sport.

"I think that part is tougher to adapt to. It makes it more exciting. If he can adjust to the way we play, then the levels will go up."

He added: "I try to do my job, make the right movements and try to create as many chances as I can and I know one way or another, Erling is going to be there.

"For the moment, he is scoring the goals so it helps us win the games."

City coach Pep Guardiola was almost nonplussed about Haaland's record, pointing out it is not too dissimilar to the goalscoring frequency he had at his previous clubs.

He just hopes the Norway striker continues the way he has started.

"I think his numbers across his career, not just here but in previous teams, is quite similar," Guardiola said.

"So he has an incredible sense of goal – he scored two and had chances for two or three more to score.

"We have incredible numbers in scoring goals, so we want to continue like that. Another battle next on Saturday against Tottenham, so hopefully he can continue scoring goals."

Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema has been named the 2021-22 UEFA Men's Player of the Year, beating team-mate Thibaut Courtois and Manchester City playmaker Kevin De Bruyne to the gong.

The France international solidified his status as the frontrunner for this year's Ballon d'Or with victory over the pair, with the award bestowed following the Champions League group-stage draw in Istanbul on Thursday.

Benzema, top scorer in both the Champions League and LaLiga last term as he guided Madrid to a double, netted 44 goals in 46 games across all competitions.

Coach Carlo Ancelotti also was feted at the ceremony, beating Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola and Liverpool's Jurgen Klopp to be awarded the UEFA Men's Coach of the Year Award.

We are just three weeks into the new Premier League campaign and already fantasy football managers are getting twitchy over their team selection.

While a number of big-name players have made a fast start to the season, others have yet to get going and some tough decisions have to be made.

Whether you're looking to make up ground on the leaders or consolidate your position among the early pacesetters, matchday three presents a chance to get points on the board.

With the aid of Opta data, Stats Perform has picked out a goalkeeper, defender, midfielder and striker for your consideration.


DEAN HENDERSON (Everton v Nottingham Forest)

David de Gea's shaky start to the season at Manchester United has coincided with Henderson's good form at Nottingham Forest, where he is spending the season on loan from Old Trafford.

Henderson conceded twice against Newcastle United on the opening weekend, but he starred in last week's 1-0 win over West Ham to give Forest lift-off on their top-flight return.

No goalkeeper has made more saves (11) or prevented more goals (2.2) in the Premier League than Henderson this season, while his save percentage of 75.52 since the start of 2019-20 is the best of any keeper to have recorded at least 50 saves.

 


RAYAN AIT-NOURI (Tottenham v Wolves)

Wolves are seeking their first win of the season at the third attempt this weekend, having so far struggled to find a way past opponents with just one goal in two games.

That is not down to a lack of trying from Ait-Nouri, as only Trent Alexander-Arnold and Aaron Cresswell (six) have created more than his four chances among defenders.

Ait-Nouri's expected assists (xGA) return of 0.53, meanwhile, is bettered only by Alexander-Arnold (0.97) and Reece James (0.48) in the same positional category.

 


KEVIN DE BRUYNE (Newcastle United v Manchester City)

Picking up from where he left off last term, De Bruyne has assisted a goal – and scored one of his own – in each of City's opening two Premier League matches.

The Belgium playmaker's three direct goal involvements this term is bettered only by former team-mate Gabriel Jesus, who has scored two and assisted two for Arsenal.

De Bruyne has been involved in 24 goals in his past 22 games in the competition, and he is one of four players to have scored and assisted in 20 different games since 2015-16.

 


OLLIE WATKINS (Crystal Palace v Aston Villa)

England international Watkins may be seeking his first goal of the campaign, but he chipped in with two assists in last week's victory over Everton.

The 26-year-old has now been involved in six goals in his past seven Premier League matches, scoring three and assisting three, having also ended last season strongly.

That form could spell bad news for Palace, as only against Liverpool (five) has he been involved in more top-flight goals than he has against the Eagles (three).

 

The second Saturday of the new Premier League campaign did not disappoint, serving up a thrilling comeback, a spectacular home debut and a familiar sinking feeling for Manchester United supporters.

If last week's 2-1 loss to Brighton and Hove Albion represented a baptism of fire for Erik ten Hag, United's trip to Brentford provided further despair as the dismal Red Devils hit a 30-year low.

There was more joy for rivals Manchester City as they cruised to a 4-0 win over Bournemouth, while Gabriel Jesus made good on his pre-season promise with a dominant performance against Leicester City.

Here, Stats Perform trawls through Opta's data to bring you some of the best numbers from the day's Premier League action.

Brentford 4-0 Manchester United: Ten Hag matches unwanted Chapman record against brilliant Bees

Where do you start with this one? New United boss Ten Hag was left in no doubt regarding the side's problems when a Pascal Gross double sent them crashing to an opening-day defeat last week.

But not even the most pessimistic United follower could have predicted their collapse in west London, as Ten Hag became the first Red Devils manager to lose his first two games at the helm since John Chapman in November 1921.

Things got off to a dreadful start when David de Gea let Josh Dasilva's shot squirm into the net after 10 minutes; since the start of the 2018-19 season, only Jordan Pickford (11) has made more errors leading to Premier League goals than the Spaniard.

Mathias Jensen, Ben Mee and Bryan Mbeumo joined Dasilva on the scoresheet by the 35th minute as Brentford scored with their first four shots on target, while Cristiano Ronaldo cut a dejected figure on his return to the United team.

Only two teams had previously scored four first-half goals against United in a Premier League game; Tottenham in October 2020 and Liverpool in October 2021.

The result is that United have begun a top-flight campaign with back-to-back defeats for the first time since 1992-93, the Premier League's inaugural season.

And while the table has not quite taken shape two games in, United ended the day bottom of the Premier League for the first time since August 21, 1992.

Arsenal 4-2 Leicester City: Miraculous home debut for Jesus

Another side with Champions League ambitions has made a far brighter start to the Premier League season, as Mikel Arteta's Arsenal made it two consecutive wins with an entertaining victory over Leicester.

Former Manchester City forward Jesus was hailed as a coup for the Gunners when he arrived in the off-season, and he enjoyed a home debut to remember by scoring two goals and adding two assists.

In doing so, the Brazilian became the first player to score multiple goals on his home Premier League bow for Arsenal, as well as the first Gunners player to double up for goals and assists in a single league game since Theo Walcott against Newcastle in December 2012 (three goals, two assists).

Before Jesus assisted compatriot Gabriel Martinelli for Arsenal's fourth goal, he became the 12th different Brazilian to score in the Premier League for Arsenal – the most of any side in the competition's history.

Jesus was not the only player to impress, however, with Granit Xhaka both scoring and assisting in the same match for the first time in an Arsenal shirt, 252 games into his Gunners career.

Leicester, meanwhile, were subjected to a familiar feeling of frustration in north London – this was the sixth time they have conceded at least four goals in a Premier League game against Arsenal.

Manchester City 4-0 Bournemouth: Champions cruise despite quiet day for Haaland

Home teams hitting four goals seemed to be a theme of the day, as Pep Guardiola's Premier League champions followed up a win at West Ham by cruising past Bournemouth.

Scott Parker's team were likely not expecting a result at the Etihad Stadium; City have now won all 11 of their Premier League matches against Bournemouth, the best 100 per cent winning record against a particular team in the competition's history.

A Jefferson Lerma own goal came after strikes from Ilkay Gundogan, Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden, as the Cherries made it 17 league matches without a win against City in their history – the most one side has faced another without a victory in English league history.

Kevin De Bruyne was at his creative best for City, scoring his 16th league goal since the start of last season before teeing up Foden's strike.

The Belgian has both scored and assisted in 20 separate Premier League matches since his September 2015 debut. Only Mohamed Salah (24) and Son Heung-min (21) have done so on more occasions in that time.

But while City were rampant, new talisman Haaland was quiet. The Norwegian only managed eight touches and two successful passes, but still managed to make an impact.

One of Haaland's passes was from kick-off, the other teed up Gundogan to score the first goal.

Southampton 2-2 Leeds United: Saints manage rare comeback as Aribo opens account

Elsewhere, Jesse Marsch's Leeds failed to make it two wins from two as Southampton launched a stirring comeback on the south coast.

Rodrigo was on the scoresheet in a win over Wolves last week before hitting a brace at St Marys, making him the first player to score three goals in Leeds' first two games of a Premier League season since Alan Smith in 2000-01.

But Leeds could not hold on, failing to win after going two goals ahead for only the second time in their last 36 Premier League games, and for the first time in 14 such contests (since a 3-3 draw with Charlton Athletic in May 2004).

Southampton have now avoided defeat in two of the last five Premier League games where they have gone two goals down (also a 2-2 draw against Brighton in April), but their love of a comeback is a new characteristic.

Before April, the Saints had only managed one win and one draw from the last 58 Premier League games in which they went two goals behind.

Joe Aribo represents one of their most impressive additions following his arrival from Rangers, and his goal made him the first Nigerian to score in the Premier League for Southampton, as well as the 38th in the competition's history overall.

Kevin De Bruyne feels Erling Haaland must continue to adapt to the Premier League with Manchester City, while hailing the forward's efforts against Bournemouth on Saturday.

The Norway international teed up an opening assist for Ilkay Gundogan in a 4-0 victory at the Etihad Stadium, but otherwise struggled to influence proceedings.

Even as De Bruyne and Phil Foden added further goals, Haaland cut a peripheral figure for the hosts, and ultimately had just eight touches throughout the entire match.

De Bruyne still feels that the Leeds-born attacker is bedding into life in a different league, however, pointing to the differences between the English top flight and the Bundesliga, where Haaland has arrived from.

"He played really well," the Belgian said. "Obviously, it's so tight. I don't think in Germany, he played a lot of games where teams were so defensively narrow, so it is something he will have to adapt to.

"With Gundogan, he finds him perfectly, and he set us up for the win. If he plays that way, he will be good."

Kevin De Bruyne pulled the strings for Manchester City in the Premier League on Saturday as he guided the champions to a 4-0 victory over Bournemouth.

The Belgium international bagged one goal and assisted another as Pep Guardiola's hosts delivered an imperiously composed performance at the Etihad Stadium in their first home match of the season.

Phil Foden matched the playmaker's involvement with a double goal contribution of his own, while Ilkay Gundogan also got in on the act against an outclassed Cherries side, who helped City out with an own goal to complete the scoring.

Scott Parker's men got their first season back in the top flight off to a winning start against Aston Villa last weekend, but this represented a significant step up.

A relentless start from City forced goalkeeper Mark Travers into a clutch of close-range stops, but Gundogan broke through when he played a superb one-two with Erling Haaland to cut into the box and fire a low finish home.

De Bruyne doubled the home side's lead just after the half-hour mark, taking on the Bournemouth defence before shaping a fine effort off the outside of his boot into the far corner.

And two soon became three as Foden's shot evaded Travers following some neat work down the left from De Bruyne.

The half-time whistle brought much-needed respite for the visitors, but they continued to struggle to get to grips with the might of City, who dominated possession throughout.

In scorching conditions, Guardiola's men turned in a more leisurely display after the interval, although a fourth goal eventually followed when the irrepressible Joao Cancelo saw a square ball diverted into the net by Jefferson Lerma.

Seven-time Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi has not been named on the 30-man shortlist for the 2022 award.

Messi – who won last year's award – endured a frustrating first season at Paris Saint-Germain in 2021-22 after arriving on a free transfer from Barcelona, scoring just 11 goals in 34 games in all competitions.

Three goals in two games at the start of the new season were not enough to see Messi make the cut, but great rival Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United was included.

Six players from Ronaldo's former club Real Madrid have been named among the 30, including heavy favourite for the award Karim Benzema, while there are also six inclusions each from Premier League duo Manchester City and Liverpool.

The nominees for the prestigious award were announced on Friday, with notable names including Bayern Munich's Sadio Mane and City's Kevin De Bruyne, the latter of whom is also among the three nominees for the 2021-22 UEFA Men's Player of the Year Award along with Benzema and Thibaut Courtois.

Benzema is fancied to take home the prize after a season in which he scored 27 goals in 32 LaLiga games as Madrid won the title, and he also scored 15 in 12 Champions League outings as Los Blancos lifted their 14th European crown in Paris in May.

The Yashin Trophy for the best goalkeeper will be contested among 10 nominees, including Courtois and Eintracht Frankfurt's Europa League winner Kevin Trapp.

The 10 nominees for the Kopa Trophy for the best player under the age of 21 includes six players from the Bundesliga, with Borussia Dortmund's Jude Bellingham and Bayern's Jamal Musiala among them.

Alexia Putellas, last year's winner of the Ballon d'Or Feminin, has been announced as one of 20 nominees despite missing the Women's Euro 2022 with an injury.

Five of Lyon's Champions League-winning side are included, as are three members of the England team who won the Euros on home turf last month.

The winners of each award will be announced on October 17, a month before the men's World Cup, meaning the tournament in Qatar at the end of the year will count towards consideration for the 2023 awards.

Full nominee lists

Ballon d'Or: Thibaut Courtois (Real Madrid), Rafael Leao (Milan), Christopher Nkunku (RB Leipzig), Mohamed Salah (Liverpool), Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich), Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Vinicius Junior (Real Madrid), Bernardo Silva (Manchester City), Luis Diaz (Liverpool), Robert Lewandowski (Barcelona), Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City), Casemiro (Real Madrid), Son Heung-min (Tottenham), Fabinho (Liverpool), Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Mike Maignan (Milan), Harry Kane (Tottenham), Darwin Nunez (Liverpool), Phil Foden (Manchester City), Sadio Mane (Bayern Munich), Sebastien Haller (Borussia Dortmund), Luka Modric (Real Madrid), Antonio Rudiger (Real Madrid), Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United), Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City), Dusan Vlahovic (Juventus), Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool), Joao Cancelo (Manchester City), Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain), Erling Haaland (Manchester City)

Ballon d'Or Feminin: Selma Bacha (Lyon), Fridolina Rolfo (Barcelona), Vivianne Miedema (Arsenal), Lucy Bronze (Barcelona), Sam Kerr (Chelsea), Christiane Endler (Lyon), Lena Oberdorf (Wolfsburg), Kadidiatou Diani (Paris Saint-Germain), Catarina Macario (Lyon), Alexia Putellas (Barcelona), Alexandra Popp (Wolfsburg), Aitana Bonmati (Barcelona), Wendie Renard (Lyon), Alex Morgan (San Diego Wave), Beth Mead (Arsenal), Asisat Oshoala (Barcelona), Marie-Antoinette Katoto (Paris Saint-Germain), Millie Bright (Chelsea), Trinity Rodman (Washington Spirit), Ada Hegerberg (Lyon)

Yashin Trophy: Yassine Bounou (Sevilla), Alisson (Liverpool), Thibaut Courtois (Real Madrid), Ederson (Manchester City), Mike Maignan (Milan), Edouard Mendy (Chelsea), Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Jan Oblak (Atletico Madrid), Kevin Trapp (Eintracht Frankfurt), Hugo Lloris (Tottenham)

Kopa Trophy: Karim Adeyemi (Borussia Dortmund), Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund), Eduardo Camavinga (Real Madrid), Gavi (Barcelona), Ryan Gravenberch (Bayern Munich), Nuno Mendes (Paris Saint-Germain), Jamal Musiala (Bayern Munich), Josko Gvardiol (RB Leipzig), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Florian Wirtz (Bayer Leverkusen)

Real Madrid duo Karim Benzema and Thibaut Courtois, alongside Manchester City playmaker Kevin De Bruyne, are the three nominees for the 2021-22 UEFA Men's Player of the Year Award.

The three are joined by bosses Carlo Ancelotti and Pep Guardiola, plus Liverpool's Jurgen Klopp, on the three-man shortlist for the UEFA Men's Coach of the Year Award.

Ahead of this week's Ballon d'Or nominations, France forward Benzema has further enshrined his frontrunner status, after firing Madrid to a continental double last term in La Liga and the UEFA Champions League.

But there is no room for any player from Liverpool, the side who Ancelotti's men vanquished in last season's final in Paris.

Five Reds stars - Mohamed Salah, Virgil van Dijk, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Fabinho, plus the departed Sadio Mane - made the 15-man longlist, but none made the final cut for the eventual nominations.

Other players included Robert Lewandowski and Luka Modric, who came fourth and fifth respectively, while Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappe came eighth, one spot ahead of Madrid forward Vinicius Junior.

Benzema is feted for his superb efforts in helping Madrid bounce back to glory under Ancelotti, with 44 goals in 46 games across all competitions, while Courtois is recognised for his superb feats between the posts.

De Bruyne meanwhile helped City and Guardiola to another Premier League crown, while Klopp steered Liverpool to two domestic trophies, plus a second-place league finish and the Champions League final.

The winners will be announced at the ceremony for the 2022-23 Champions League group stage draw in Istanbul on August 25.

Erling Haaland netted a goal on his debut as Manchester City defeated Bayern Munich 1-0 at Lambeau Field in their pre-season friendly on Saturday.

Torrential rain meant lengthy delays and 40-minute halves, with the two sides sent back to respective dressing rooms after only 13 minutes of play, but not before Haaland opened his account for City.

The 22-year-old was left with a relatively simple finish, tapping in from close range after the reigning Bundesliga champions failed to clear a dead ball, with Kevin de Bruyne playing Jack Grealish in for the evential assist.

The Norway international made way for Julian Alvarez during a shortened half-time break, while Bayern looked particularly out of sorts in possession without the talismanic Robert Lewandowski.

Bayern managed only three shots over the 80 minutes - with Gabriel Vidovic taking their only attempt in the penalty area in the 73rd minute - in comparison to City's 22.

Alvarez, De Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez had chances to double the margin and the reigning Premier League champions arguably should have per the xG count, notching up a cumulative score of 2.42 to Bayern's 0.11.

Kevin De Bruyne led the Manchester City players wishing Raheem Sterling well after the winger completed his move to Chelsea.

With City having bolstered their fearsome attack with the additions of Erling Haaland and Julian Alvarez, Sterling has joined Gabriel Jesus in heading for pastures new – both men moving to London.

Whereas Jesus has gone to Arsenal, Sterling has made for the west side of the capital, joining Chelsea in a deal reportedly worth £45million.

The England forward has signed a five-year deal with Chelsea, who were in need of another attacker after loaning Romelu Lukaku back to Inter less than a year after his return to Stamford Bridge for a club-record fee.

Sterling scored 17 goals in all competitions for Pep Guardiola's team last season, a tally only bettered by Riyad Mahrez (24) and De Bruyne (19), who was among those City players to use their social media channels to congratulate the 27-year-old.

"We came seven years ago together to this club to win trophies together and play good football and we achieved that," De Bruyne posted on Instagram.

"Was a pleasure to play with you. Wishing you all the best in future bro @sterling7."

Sterling replied: "Was a pleasure bro."

Jack Grealish, City's record signing, posted a good luck message to his fellow England international to his Instagram story.

Riyad Mahrez wrote "countless memories, will miss you brother" on his Instagram story, while Aymeric Laporte also uploaded a post.

Sterling leaves City having made at least 46 appearances in each of his seven seasons at the club, scoring a total of 91 Premier League goals.

Vinicius Junior will be one of the leading candidates for the Ballon d'Or in 2023, according to Rivaldo. 

Brazil international Vinicius was a key part of the Real Madrid side that won LaLiga and the Champions League in 2021-22, scoring the only goal of the game as Los Blancos beat Liverpool in the European final. 

The 21-year-old scored 22 goals and supplied 16 assists – more than he managed across the previous three campaigns combined – in 52 games in all competitions. Only Kylian Mbappe (60), Karim Benzema (59), Christopher Nkunku (51) and Mohamed Salah (46) were involved in more goals in all competitions among players in the top five European leagues. 

Benzema is the favourite for the 2022 Ballon d'Or, which will be awarded in October, but World Cup-winning former attacker Rivaldo believes next year could be Vinicius' time. 

"After a fantastic season with Real Madrid, in which he scored the goal that won the Champions League, I can only hope the young Brazilian attacker continues to develop in this way," Rivaldo told Betfair. 

"He has improved a lot in front of goal and if he continues like this he can claim to be the star of Real Madrid, because Karim Benzema will retire one day. 

"It's hard to name favourites [for the Ballon d'Or] when the season hasn't started, but I don't seem him behind Kylian Mbappe, Kevin De Bruyne and others. 

"The titles that each club wins will be very important in the final choice." 

Mohamed Salah has been named the PFA Players' Player of the Year, while Phil Foden has successfully defended his Young Player of the Year award.

Manchester City edged out Liverpool by a point in a thrilling Premier League title battle, but Salah again claimed a plethora of the individual awards after another fine campaign.

The Egypt international scored 23 top-flight goals to share the Premier League Golden Boot accolade with Son Heung-min, while also securing the Playmaker of the Season award for most assists.

Salah added the Premier League Goal of the Season trophy to his haul, alongside both the FWA and PFA Fans' Player of the Year awards.

Indeed, no player in the English top flight could match the Liverpool forward's 36 goal involvements (23 goals, 13 assists), setting him a class above his competitors.

Kevin De Bruyne was widely expected to be the frontrunner alongside Salah for the PFA Players' Player of the Year title, but the latter has pipped the Belgium international to yet another personal accolade.

Salah becomes the seventh men's player to win the PFA award twice, along with Mark Hughes, Alan Shearer, Thierry Henry, Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo and De Bruyne.

De Bruyne, Harry Kane, Ronaldo and Salah's club-mates Virgil van Dijk and Sadio Mane were also in the running to land the award, with Tottenham's Son surprisingly overlooked.

"It's a great honour to win a trophy, individual or collective and this one is big so, very happy and very proud of that," Salah said after winning the award.

"This one is a really good one to win, especially because it's voted by the players. It show you that you've worked really hard and you get what you have worked for.

"I have my room with trophies in a cabinet and I made sure that I had another space for one more. I always keep space and just try to imagine that the trophies are going to come."

Foden became the fifth men's player to win the PFA Young Player of the Year award in consecutive seasons, meanwhile, joining a list that includes Ryan Giggs, Robbie Fowler, Wayne Rooney and Dele Alli.

The City midfielder played an integral role as Pep Guardiola's side lifted their fourth Premier League title in five seasons under the Catalan coach.

The 22-year-old ended the league campaign with nine goals and five assists from his 28 outings.

"I'm really honoured to be honest, especially to win it back-to-back, it shows that I've come a long way this year with the consistency of my game, and I'm really pleased to win it again," Foden said. 

"All the best players in the world have got to show consistency and keep performing at a higher level, and this year I've just tried to do that and try and help my team as much as possible.

"I've been really happy with my performances this year. Hopefully, I can win the main award in the future, but it's all about taking small steps and improving.

"I always love winning individual awards, it's just nice to look at and how far you've come."

Belgium star Eden Hazard feels he is returning to his best after his side came from 1-0 down against Poland on Wednesday to storm home for a 6-1 Nations League win.

From the moment Robert Lewandowski put Poland ahead in the 28th minute, it would be all Belgium, controlling 60 per cent of the possession for the match while producing nine shots on target to zero in the second half.

Axel Witsel made it 1-1 before half-time, before the Red Devils' dynamic duo combined, with Hazard assisting Kevin De Bruyne to pull ahead 2-1.

The last 20 minutes was an attacking exhibition from the Belgians, with two goals to Leandro Trossard, one to Leander Dendoncker, before Lois Openda completed the rout in the 93rd minute.

Speaking to RTL Sport after the win, Hazard said consistent playing time will be the key to returning to his top form.

"I'm going back to being the player I was," he said. "I will become the player I was again by stringing together games, minutes. 

"In the team, there was no more desire than against the Netherlands, it's the score that is very different. 

"But it's true that after Friday's defeat, we talked to each other and made resolutions. But it remains between us, a secret.

"It's a great reaction from the team. We needed to answer after the defeat, it's done, I think a lot of people will sleep well – and me too."

Hazard also highlighted the depth of the Belgian squad, and that he hopes there will be some rotation in the starting-11.

"There are two matches left, we will go to Wales and Poland to win," he said. "I hope coach [Roberto] Martínez will consider that there are plenty of players who can play – not just 11 or 12 players. We really are a group"

While Hazard wants to see some fresh faces getting some run, Martinez made it clear that the Real Madrid man is not willing to be the one to take a seat – and that he is looking like his former self.

"When you see Eden Hazard walk into a room, you can see straight away if he is happy or not," he said. "And there it is clear: there is no more pain. 

"He was better today, his physical stats today are as good as they have been in the past. Hazard's idea is to be in all four games to give him the rhythm he needs."

Martinez was also full of praise of the combination of Trossard and Dendoncker, saying the future of Belgian football remains bright.

"There is a lot of satisfaction tonight, in many areas," he said. "Players have met expectations, such as Leandro Trossard or Leander Dendoncker in defence.

"Leandro Trossard, we have seen him grow over time. And he is one of the examples why Belgium should never worry about the talent there is in this country. For some, talent must take its time to develop.

"Hans Vanaken, Leandro Trossard have had a constant evolution since their arrival in the national team. Leandro must be inspired by boys like Eden Hazard to understand the 'gap' that can exist with the world's top, but he has come so far.

"Dendoncker, sometimes we don't give him enough credit because he is versatile, between a defender and a midfielder. But he never let the team down, defensively he was very alert.

"We saw that Dendoncker could project himself as a midfielder. It was Leander's most mature performance with the national team. There were a lot of games where he proved he could be trusted, and that was the case again tonight."

Belgium bounced back from their thumping by the Netherlands with an emphatic 6-1 Nations League win over Poland on Wednesday.

Roberto Martinez's side suffered a resounding 4-1 defeat to the Oranje on Friday, but a much-improved display at the King Baudouin Stadium in Brussels saw them return to winning ways in Group A4.

They fell behind to Robert Lewandowski's 28th-minute strike, yet pulled level before half-time thanks to Axel Witsel's superb effort from outside the penalty area.

Kevin De Bruyne then put them ahead after the interval, before a double from substitute Leandro Trossard, a long-range strike from Leander Dendoncker and a late sixth from Lois Openda put the seal on a convincing win.

Despite a bright start, Belgium fell behind shortly before the half-hour mark when Lewandowski controlled Sebastian Szymanski's pass before clipping past the onrushing Simon Mignolet.

However, the Red Devils pulled level three minutes before the interval, Witsel superbly whipping in from 20 yards after Bartlomiej Dragowski had kept out De Bruyne's close-range effort.

Dragowski made an excellent double stop after the break, first pawing away Dendoncker's header and then getting down well to repel Eden Hazard's drive. 

He was powerless to stop De Bruyne in the 59th minute, though, as the Manchester City man rolled past him after being played in by Hazard. 

Trossard made it three with a cool finish after cutting in from the right, before the Brighton and Hove Albion forward added a second with a looping strike from the edge of the penalty area. 

Dendoncker added a fifth with a sublime strike from 25 yards that flashed past Dragowksi, before substitute Openda wrapped up the scoring with almost the last kick of the game.

John Stones says England's Euro 2020 win over Germany "set the bar" as he challenged the Three Lions to respond in Munich after defeat to Hungary.

England underwhelmed on Saturday at the Puskas Arena as Hungary won the Nations League opener 1-0 to record their first victory over the Three Lions since May 1962.

Meanwhile, Germany were held to a 1-1 draw by Italy in the other League A Group 3 game, with Hansi Flick's side next hosting England at the Allianz Arena on Tuesday.

England won the last meeting between the two sides 2-0 at Wembley Stadium last June in the last-16 at Euro 2020, with Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane proving the difference.

The Three Lions have not won consecutive games against Germany since a seven-game winning run between 1935 and 1966, the last game of which was the World Cup final.

Stones believes England must use their Euro 2020 triumph over Die Mannschaft as a benchmark for future performances.

"I think everyone felt the same as us, the incredible stage we beat them on, the occasion, it was a big step for us as a team and nation," Stones said at a pre-match news conference on Monday. 

"To progress to the latter stages of that tournament and show ourselves what we are capable of, we have set a marker and we have to be consistent with winning.

"We have set the bar, that’s the challenge for us as players now, the other day was a big learning curve for us as a collective.

"We have had an incredible run and that stopped, now it’s down to us how we bounce back, how we show our character and experience – what a game to do that in tomorrow."

Stones' Manchester City team-mate Kevin De Bruyne was quick to criticise the Nations League for adding further strain to the footballing calendar.

However, Stones disagrees with the Belgium international as he expressed his pride to play for his country on any occasion.

"You need to always be ready and fighting, the feeling in the camp and the players is that we would play all year round if we could," he added.

"We know how important this period is, not many games leading up to the World Cup, everyone is fighting for their place, trying to play well and trying to create partnerships.

"To play for your nation and be called up...when I was out of the team it hurt so when you are here to play in big games like this you can only cherish the moment and maximise the chances in front of you.

"I see this as a massive learning curve and a big step in the right direction to set us up for the World Cup."

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