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“He cannot be blamed” – Everton star defends Manchester City youngster following catastrophic error



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Everton midfielder Amadou Onana has offered support to international teammate Jeremy Doku, after a costly mistake during Belgium’s Euro 2024 loss on Monday.

Manchester City pair Kevin De Bruyne and Jeremy Doku both started for Belgium at the European Championship on Monday, as they suffered a surprise 0-1 loss to Slovakia in their opening Group E fixture in Frankfurt.

Romelu Lukaku had two second-half goals disallowed following VAR interventions, with Slovakia having taken an early lead after a major mistake by Doku, who allowed forward Ivan Schranz to break the deadlock.

Despite dominating possession and registering 16 attempts, Belgium failed to turnaround the group stage game, with Manchester City forward Doku thrown into the spotlight after the 22-year-olds costly error.

The winger, who marked his first season at the Etihad Stadium by winning the Premier League title last month, moved to Manchester City for £55.5 million from Stade Rennes last August, and played 43 times for Pep Guardiola’s side.

Doku was directly involved in 17 goals for the Sky Blues during the recent campaign, including 12 direct goal involvements in 29 Premier League appearances, with notably impressive performances away to West Ham and against Bournemouth at the Etihad Stadium.

The 22-year-olds international teammates have been quick to rally around the Manchester City forward in the aftermath of Monday’s mistake, including Everton midfielder Amadou Onana.

Speaking following the surprise 0-1 defeat, Onana defended Doku, saying: “He cannot be blamed. You win together, you lose together, this is a collective sport. He is and remains an extraordinaire.

“What he shows offensively, that intensity in his dribbling – not many can do that. He just has to keep doing what he always does.”

Belgium are back in action on Saturday, facing Romania in Cologne in their second Group E match of the European Championship, where Domenico Tedesco’s side can be boosted by a victory.