As often happens, Michy Batshuayi filled in for Romelu Lukaku at the head of the Red Devils’ attack, and he proved equal to the task on Wednesday in Belgium's first match at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
The Fenerbahce striker scored the winning goal in the 44th minute to help Belgium to a 1-0 victory over Canada in Al-Rayyan, with Lukaku, the top scorer in the history of the national team injured.
“We’ve got to get better,” ‘Batsman’ told RTBF after Belgium’s opening game in Group F of the World Cup. "We knew it was going to be a difficult start. We have to analyse the negative points to be better in the next games. I hope we can improve,” the 29-year-old striker said.
"We could have scored more"
The former Standard player went on to talk about his 27th goal in 49 caps for the Devils. “I receive the ball, I realise I am close to the goal and I shoot without thinking. I’m happy to have scored,” he said.
He feels that, given Belgium’s attacking efficiency, the win could have been bigger. “We could have scored more because we had some good counter-attacks and they gave us space,” Batshuayi said.
Roberto Martinez "wasn't happy" after the first half
The Red Devil striker said he was somewhat surprised by the Canadian domination during the game. “We didn’t underestimate this team either,” he said. “It’s a very tough competition for everyone. The most important thing was to win. We will keep our feet on the ground and work on the negative points.”
Finally, Batshuayi lifted a corner of the veil on Roberto Martinez’s chat at the end of a febrile first half: “He shouted. He wasn’t happy. He told us to keep the ball, to stall and to set our pace in the game. We know this is not the best Belgium at the moment, but we will work to be better and better.”