Men's Team

De Bruyne and Ake claim Nations League victories

Kevin De Bruyne and Nathan Ake both starred as Belgium and the Netherlands came out on top in the UEFA Nations League.

De Bruyne was on target for the Red Devils in a 2-1 win over Wales, while Ake put in an assured display at the heart of the Dutch defence as they came away from Warsaw with a 2-0 triumph against Poland.

With both sides vying for top spot in Group A4, neither could afford to slip up in their penultimate matches of the round.

And De Bruyne, in typically impressive fashion, eased any potential nerves inside ten minutes at the King Baudouin Stadium with his 25th international goal.

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The midfielder found a pocket of space on the edge of the visiting box and, after receiving a pass from Michy Batshuayi, found the bottom corner with a composed first-time finish on his left foot.

He turned from scorer to provider just under half an hour later, combining once again with Fenerbahce forward Batshuayi to hand Roberto Martinez’s men a commanding position.

Bournemouth striker Kieffer Moore halved the deficit early in the second half, but Belgium’s foothold on the game was rarely challenged.

And De Bruyne continued to be in the thick of the action, initially winning a penalty after referee Ali Palabiyik judged the midfielder to have been brought down by Joe Morrell, but the decision was rightly overturned.

It sets up a grandstand encounter in Amsterdam on Sunday evening, when Belgium lock horns with the Netherlands in their final Nations League group matches.

Ake and co. maintained their spot at the top of Group A4 courtesy of a deserved victory over Poland, in which the defender played the full 90 minutes.

The Dutch were ahead on 14 minutes through PSV’s Cody Gakpo, before Steven Bergwijn doubled the advantage after an hour.

It means Ake and co.’s impressive unbeaten run stretches to 13 matches, with their last defeat coming at the hands of the Czech Republic at Euro 2020.

The Netherlands enter Sunday’s tie with De Bruyne’s Belgium in the driver’s seat, knowing they simply have to avoid defeat to reach the semi-finals of this year’s Nations League.

Kick-off is scheduled for 19:45 (UK), and you can find out how our City stars get on with a match report soon after the final whistle right here on mancity.com and the official Man City app.

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