Belgium boss criticises Hazard and Benteke

Matt Stead

Belgium coach Marc Wilmots watched his side edge closer to Euro 2016 and then heavily criticised Eden Hazard and Christian Benteke.

Belgium may have beaten Cyprus 1-0 with a late Hazard goal but coach Wilmots admits he was close to substituting the Chelsea man, who has had a poor start to the season with his club.

He also singled out Liverpool striker Christian Benteke for criticism after replacing him with his Liverpool teammate Divock Origi at half-time.

Wilmots said: “He (Hazard) was the worst tonight. I thought about substituting him, but in the last 10 minutes he always has the ability to do that. At the World Cup, this was the case. I obviously expect more from him, but he will grow as the season progresses.

“We won two games in a row but this is the poorest team performance I have seen and we will try to rectify the issue.”

Asked why Benteke was substituted at half-time, the Belgium coach said the striker had put in a “half-performance”.

Nine of Belgium’s starting XI against Cyprus are Premier League players.