Weekly Round-Up: United Players On International Duty

Roundup

Here’s how United players fared for their respective National sides in the ongoing World Cup Qualifiers-

Belgium- Lukaku and Fellaini

Lukaku bagged a superb hat-trick in Belgium’s 9-0 rout of Gibraltar and is now only 5 goals shy of becoming Belgium’s all-time top scorer. Axel Witsel was sent off in the 40th minute, but that didn’t matter too much for the Red Devils who ran riot over the minnows. Eden Hazard returned from injury and scored a goal, while PSG’s Thomas Meunier struck three goals and assisted another four in a man-of-the-match display. Marouane Fellaini, however, did not feature in the match.

In the second match against Greece, both Lukaku and Fellaini started. Lukaku scored the winner as the Red Devils ran 2-1 winners, scoring an emphatic header in the 74th minute as Belgium became the first European side to qualify for the World Cup finals. Fellaini played an important role as well and was subbed off in the 89th minute when the damage was done.

Sweden- Lindelof
Victor Lindelof played the full 90 minutes in his side’s 3-2 defeat to Bulgaria.

Victor Lindelof played the full 90 minutes in his side’s 3-2 defeat to Bulgaria.
The second outing, however, was better for him as he starred in his side’s 4-0 demolition of Belarus, catching the eye with some beautiful passes and solid defending. Sweden are now placed second in Group A, trailing France.

France- Pogba

Ten-man France defeated Netherlands 4-0, courtesy of goals from Griezmann, Mbappe and a brace from Arsenal target Lemar. Pogba played the entire match, operating the midfield alongside Kante.

In their second outing of this international break, a star studded France side were held to an embarrassing 0-0 draw by lowly Luxembourg. Pogba came close through on two occasions, with his shot being superbly saved by Jonathan Joubert and his late header coming off the bar. France are now top of their group and are just a point ahead of Sweden.

Netherlands- Blind and Fosu-Mensah

Netherlands began their break with a horror show against France, losing 4-0 to the Les Blues. Blind operated at centre-back, but it was Fosu-Mensah who caught the eye. He was brilliant on his debut, making flawless tackles and interceptions and being the lone bright spot for his side. He was undoubtedly the best Dutch player on the pitch.

Things did improve for the Dutch side, who got a timely boost in a 3-1 win over Bulgaria. Blind was in sensational form, as he assisted both Davy Proepper and Arjen Robben. Fosu-Mensah was an unused substitute in the win.

Spain- De Gea

David De Gea kept a clean sheet in his side’s 3-0 win over Italy. Morata’s goal and Isco’s superb brace did the job for the Spaniards, who were kept in the match when Belotti’s bullet header forced a brilliant save from De Gea.

David De Gea kept a clean sheet in his side’s 3-0 win over Italy. Morata’s goal and Isco’s superb brace did the job for the Spaniards, who were kept in the match when Belotti’s bullet header forced a brilliant save from De Gea.
With this win, Spain are now on course to qualify for the World Cup finals, leading the group with a three point advantage over Italy.

Italy- Darmian

Matteo Darmian played the full 90 minutes in his side’s 3-0 loss to Spain. Darmian’s most notable action was his pinpoint cross, which was met with Belotti’s bullet header but was well saved by De Gea.
With this loss, the Azzurri are now likely to enter the playoffs, unless they can overturn a three-point deficit in the three remaining games.

Serbia- Matic

Nemanja Matic played 76 minutes in Serbia’s 3-0 win over Moldova, putting in a flawless display in central midfield. The Serbs are now top of Group D, and they next face Ireland- a match which could confirm their qualification for next year’s World Cup.

Argentina- Romero

Romero kept a clean sheet in Argentina’s 0-0 draw with Uruguay, who are now undefeated in six games. The keeper didn’t have much to do in his side’s first competitive game under Sampaoli. They are now two points behind Colombia with 23 points, but time is running out for them as only the top four teams automatically qualify.
They next face Venezuela in a must-win match.

Ecuador- Valencia

Played at right back in Ecuador’s 2-0 loss at the hands of Brazil, who qualified for the World Cup with nine victories in a row. The United star couldn’t do much to pull his side out of the defeat, with his best contribution coming in the second half when his brilliant shot was blocked by new Barcelona signing Paulinho.

Ivory Coast- Bailly

Eric Bailly picked up a yellow card as the Elephants cruised to a 3-0 win over Gabon, courtesy of a brace from Seydou Doumbia. They are now top of their group, ahead of their match against the same opposition on Tuesday.

Armenia- Mkhitaryan

Micki played the full 90 minutes but ended up on the losing side as Romania defeated Armenia 1-0 to top the group. Mkhitaryan came closest with a low shot, and the hosts missed a penalty against a ten-man Armenian side.

England- Rashford, Smalling, Jones

Phil Jones helped the Three Lions keep a clean sheet in a 4-0 victory over Malta. Goals from Kane, Bertrand and Welbeck inspired the win, and Rashford came off the bench in the second half to replace Sterling. His most eye-catching action was a well-executed back-heel, which was a hot topic amongst the fans. Smalling was an unused substitute.
England next face Slovakia on Monday night.