Gary Neville does not spare Matthijs De Ligt after Dutch crash out
The Dutch are out of Euro 2020 the Czech Republic shocked them in Budapest
Having watched the way in which they breezed through the group stages, you'd have been forgiven for backing Frank De Boer's Netherlands side to go far at Euro 2020. In Budapest, they and defender Matthijs De Ligt had a disaster.
After a nightmarish second half against the Czech Republic, the Dutch have fallen at the last-16 stage. The game in Budapest seemed to hinge on two significant moments which came early in the second half.
The first saw Donyell Malen surge clear of the Czech defence to find himself one-on-one with Tomáš Vaclík in the Czech goal. Perhaps with too much thinking time, the PSV Eindhoven opted to try and take it around the goalkeeper, who was able to gather the ball from his feet.
With Vaclík rolling the ball forward, the Czechs soon played the ball forward into space behind De Ligt. Though the former Ajax defender appeared well positioned to deal with it, he misread the bounce and was quickly under pressure from Patrik Schick.
As he lost his footing, the ball made contact with De Ligt's arm. Though he was initially given a yellow card by the referee, the decision was changed to a red after consulting VAR.
Following the game, former Manchester United and England defender Gary Neville did not spare De Light. He told ITV:
"The Netherlands were really poor after that sending off. They didn't tactically adapt. But the Czechs did well - down that right-hand side, they kept pummelling them and pummelling them and, in the end, it was a set-piece that broke the dead-lock. They fully deserved it. They had more character and personality"
"Malen does so well and then he just complicates it," Neville continued, as he discussed that crucial 25 seconds.
"To be fair to the goalkeeper, a big moment and he reads it and anticipates what he is going to do. He was fantastic... And this then basically runs into what was the moment of the match.
""De Ligt, I have to say, I was speaking to Nigel [de Jong] about De Ligt in the first half. He looked slow, he looked sluggish. He looked like he was going to expose himself. I know he has had some criticism from the Dutch press.
"I never buy into, because I've done it myself, [someone saying] 'I've slipped'. You never slip or you're never unlucky. You only slip, as a defender, when you've got your footing wrong, when you're out of position or when you've mis-read the flight of a ball. Then you panic, you slip or your footing goes wrong. He gets his footing wrong as he has mis-read the flight of the ball. It's a really poor bit of defending.
"When your first bit of defending goes wrong, the young defender always goes and tries, and makes the mistake that really costs himself. An experienced, mature, composed defender makes the first mistake and just lets the forward go through and score, because you've still got 11 on the pitch. A young one doesn't."
A man down, the Dutch lost control. Tomáš Holeš scored with little over 20 minutes still to play to give the Czechs the lead. Any faint flicker of hope of a Dutch revival was extinguished with 10 minutes to go when Schick doubled the lead.