The Red Devils are into the World Cup semi-finals after beating the Selecao 2-1, with Roberto Martinez considered to have got his tactics spot on.
Brazil had no idea how to contend with Belgium’s ferocity on the counter during the first half of the Red Devils’ “really beautiful” 2-1 World Cup quarter-final win, according to Kevin De Bruyne.
Belgium went into half-time 2-0 up thanks to a Fernandinho own goal and De Bruyne’s fierce strike, giving a Brazil side previously seen as World Cup favourites a mountain to climb.
Both goals came as the result of swift counter-attacks – De Bruyne’s finish applied after a brilliant run and pass from Romelu Lukaku.
And De Bruyne feels Brazil’s inability to properly adapt to Belgium’s tactics ultimately cost them.
“I think we switched things up tactically,” Man of the Match De Bruyne told reporters at the Kazan Arena.
“Romelu [Lukaku] and Eden [Hazard] changed position they tried to create many opportunities with Marcelo on the flank.
“I think in the first half we played very well, generated a lot of opportunities and they didn’t really know what they had to do.
“In the second half they changed tactically and Brazil were better, but even then we managed to create opportunities.”
Up next for Belgium in the last four is Didier Deschamps’ France, and De Bruyne is ready to grasp a rare opportunity for his country.