Nottingham Forest star Orel Mangala started for Belgium last night and he helped the team defeat Germany 3-2 away from home. It proved a dominant display for the nation that endured a drab World Cup and the shoots of recovery starts here.
This was only a friendly fixture. Domenico Tedesco did shuffle his pack a little bit and that allowed Mangala to win a starting berth. After nine minutes here they were 2-0 up, with Yannick Carrasco and Romelu Lukaku firing home.
Niclas Fullkrug halved the deficit with a penalty before the break, but Kevin De Bruyne restored the two-goal advantage in the 78th minute. Serge Gnabry did pull another one back for the Germans late on but it proved in vain.
Mangala was an interesting signing made by Forest during the summer. For a player who is only 24-years-old, he boasts a lot of first-team action to his name and the Reds managed to get him for just £12 million from VfB Stuttgart.
Last night, Mangala collected his fourth cap for his country but this was his first start. He didn’t disappoint either, with Belgian publication HLN praising the Forest man and giving him a 7/10.
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They wrote: “Did it more than well. Showed an added value. Took no chances. Was at the base of the 0-2 with a frivolous ball touch.”
Mangala started for Belgium and earned praise from national media
It’s great to see Mangala producing the goods. He’s a neat and tidy player and it’s no unfair to suggest that he’s perhaps been underused at Forest by Steve Cooper.
He’s made just 21 appearances in all competitions this season for Forest. Just 11 of those have come in the starting eleven, although he did miss some of the early games through injury.
He’s clearly valued by the national team. It’s great to see him getting a start for his country and at a time when he’s perhaps not considered first choice for his club.
Mangala’s performance last night was very decent. In the process, Cooper might now have some food for thought ahead of Saturday’s home game against Wolves.