Nations League

Nations League A roundup: France beaten, Belgium thrashed, Rangnick's Austria win

Sean Walsh
Memphis Depay scored twice in Netherlands' win over Belgium
Memphis Depay scored twice in Netherlands' win over Belgium / Soccrates Images/GettyImages

There were only three matches from League A of the UEFA Nations League on Friday night, but all three sent pretty seismic waves around Europe.

There were significant wins for the Netherlands and Denmark, while Ralf Rangnick made the perfect start to life as Austria boss after leaving Manchester United.

Here's everything that went down on the opening night of the 2022/23 Nations League...

Nations League A, Group 1

Croatia 0-3 Austria

Austria put a strong Croatia side to the sword with an emphatic and surprising 3-0 win at the Stadion Gradski vrt.

Champions League winner Luka Modric started on the bench and the Vatreni really could have used him sooner, with manager Zlatko Dalic waiting until his side were three goals down to throw him on.

Marko Arnautovic gave the visitors the lead on the stroke of half-time against the run of play with a superb strike from 18 yards.

Things went from bad to worse for Croatia after the break when Austria hit them with a quick-fire double, with Michael Gregoritsch and Marcel Sabitzer securing three valuable points for Rangnick's men.

France 1-2 Denmark

A brace from substitute Andreas Cornelius saw Denmark come from behind to beat France.

Karim Benzema was enjoying himself back at Stade de France six days after his exploits there in the Champions League final and went close to breaking the deadlock on several occasions before doing so after 51 minutes, linking up well with Christopher Nkunku and coolly slotting home past Kasper Schmeichel.

But that was as good as it got for France as Denmark came roaring back and deservedly turned the game around. A lofted ball over the top from Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg was volleyed in by Cornelius, who scored the winner with minutes remaining with a powerful strike into the roof of Hugo Lloris' net.

Nations League A, Group 4

Belgium 1-4 Netherlands

Belgium players were met with boos during their 4-1 thrashing by neighbours Netherlands.

An ominous night began badly for Belgium after Romelu Lukaku was forced off with injury just 27 minutes into proceedings.

Louis van Gaal's men took the lead five minutes before the break when Steven Bergwijn's piledriver found the bottom corner.

Memphis Depay added a second just after the interval before Denzel Dumfries got in on the act and the crowd at the Stade Roi Baudouin turned on the home players. Soon after, Barcelona forward Memphis notched home the Oranje's fourth.

Timothy Castagne had a consolation ruled out for offside with 15 minutes remaining, but Michy Batshuayi did manage to get on the scoresheet in stoppage time.