Euro 2020 - 'I am feeling bad' - Matthijs de Ligt takes blame for Netherlands' shock exit after red card
Matthijs de Ligt has taken the blame for the Netherlands' shock exit from Euro 2020. The Czech Republic beat the Dutch 2-0 to reach the quarter-finals and were helped massively by De Ligt's sending off for a cynical handball. “I am feeling bad. We lost the game because of me. We had the game under control," he said after the loss.
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While De Ligt was quick to point the finger at himself, his team-mates refused to blame the defender.
Frenkie de Jong insisted it was a poor performance in a crucial game, saying: "We can't just blame De Ligt, I know he feels like he's responsible but he is exaggerating. We failed together."
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - JUNE 27: Tomas Holes of Czech Republic celebrates after scoring their side's first goal during the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship Round of 16 match between Netherlands and Czech Republic at Puskas Arena on June 27, 2021 in Budapest, Hunga
Image credit: Getty Images
Georginio Wijnaldum, Netherlands’ captain, said it was a game of missed chances for the Dutch.
“The goals we gave away, the chances we didn’t take; all that goes through your head,” he said.
After the red card we found it difficult to put them under pressure. Things just got more difficult for us.
Speaking to the BBC, former Netherlands defender Mario Melchiot was critical of the tactics used by the Dutch and called into question their maturity as a side.
"Sometimes we have to understand we have to be happy with the things we achieve,” he said.
“Sometimes we over expect things and I think that's why we got beaten so hard.
"Sometimes it's a wake-up call. The tactical level how the Czech played was totally different. I always said the Dutch team never got tested on the back.
“Look at the goals they conceded. Tactically Czech Republic were ready, they set the team out and the energy level that they brought was incredible.
"They didn't play the way we know Holland like to play and that's because the Czechs played a system that was very difficult to break down and Holland didn't have the energy levels to compete with that."