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UEFA Nations League

Batshuayi Belgium performance and brace delights Martinez

03:09 GMT+3 16/11/2018
Michy Batshuayi - cropped
The striker has only netted twice for Valencia this season, but showed character after missing two simple chances in the first half

Roberto Martinez praised Michy Batshuayi for netting two Belgium goals despite being frustrated in the first half of the 2-0 home victory over Iceland on Thursday.

Valencia striker Batshuayi ended a barren run of club form with the brace, and gave Martinez's men winning momentum ahead of their final Nations League fixture away to Switzerland, where a point will be enough to book a finals berth.

Starting in place of the injured Romelu Lukaku, Batshuayi eventually made his opportunity count as he benefited from Eden Hazard's defence-splitting pass to break the deadlock just after the hour.

The 25-year-old had squandered two chances in the opening 20 minutes, but finished the match on a high thanks to Hannes Halldorsson's gift of a second goal nine minutes from full-time.

"In the first half [Batshuayi] experienced some setbacks," Martinez told broadcaster VTM.

"He moved well for the opening goal. I'm glad he scored twice, but he also played a good game. I was delighted with his overall performance.

"In this type of match you have to remain constantly focused and be able to score a goal with one action."

Belgium struggled to break down relegated Iceland despite fielding a strong 11 for what was essentially a dead rubber, the result not affecting either side's standing in Group 2 of League A.

A hard-earned 2-1 win over Switzerland in October puts the Red Devils in the box seat to advance, but Martinez anticipates strong resistance on Sunday.

"I expect a very difficult game," he said. "The game we had in Brussels showed that Switzerland are a very strong group that have been together for a very long time.

"They are a very strong tactical team that use the players in their best system.

"They are playing at home, they have really good momentum in the Nations League. It is a game we are really looking forward to.

"We expect the same level of performance as in the Brussels game."