Belgian press react to Manchester United's Fellaini's performance

Belgium's Marouane Fellaini

Can Marouane Fellaini really be blamed for Belgium's loss?

Belgium's Marouane FellainiBelgium's Marouane Fellaini

Marouane Fellaini was unable to make a positive difference as Belgium lost their opening Euro 2016 game against Italy.

The Manchester United star, looking even more recognisable that usual due to his blonde haircut, was predictably heckled by fans on Twitter criticising his display, but the view from his homeland is a little different.

Belgian newspaper Nieuwsblad praised Fellaini's performance, noting that he was asked to do too much.

They wrote: "Fellaini played well and could be found everywhere but got the ball too much at his feet, so he had to make the action himself. Now that's just not his strong point. That creativity, he does not have in his feet."

Belgium's Marouane Fellaini in action with Italy's Marco ParoloBelgium's Marouane Fellaini in action with Italy's Marco Parolo

Instead the criticism was reserved for Manchester City's Kevin de Bruyne and Chelsea's Eden Hazard, who went missing in attack, with Nieuwsblad noting the pair "did not play well."

Belgium's Kevin De Bruyne shoots at goalBelgium's Kevin De Bruyne shoots at goal

Unfortunately for Fellaini, his place could be under pressure for Belgium's next game, with the excellent Mousa Dembele left on the bench.

The big man is an easy target for criticism, but he held his own in terms of creativity - making seven key passes.

That was as many as Hazard (3) and De Bruyne (4) did combined, but of course the figures which really matter are the zero goals scored column, and Belgium need to put this defeat behind them and move on.

Belgium's Axel Witsel, Marouane Fellaini, Jan Vertonghen, Kevin De Bruyne, Radja Nainggolan and Eden Hazard line up before the gameBelgium's Axel Witsel, Marouane Fellaini, Jan Vertonghen, Kevin De Bruyne, Radja Nainggolan and Eden Hazard line up before the game

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