The footballing Gods finally lifted their international break injury curse which was cast upon Stamford Bridge, as all our players who represented their respective nations came back fit and fine ahead of our heavyweight clash away to Manchester City. A rare occurrence this season, and to add to the good news, we no more have to deal with this stress until March next season as the Euro 2020 qualifiers (group stage) reached their conclusion. So lets find out how the players fared, donning their national colours:
The Spanish goalkeeper has had a rocky and inconsistent start to the season, but did manage to keep a clean sheet in their game against Romania, after sitting out Spain’s first game against Malta. He was rarely called upon in the game, but made two saves, one of which was early on, to preserve Spain’s lead.
The talented centre back finally made his much anticipated England debut after coming off the bench for the last few minutes of the game against Kosovo, where the English side comfortably ran out 4-0 winners. Much to the disappointment of several Chelsea fans, he could not warrant a start ahead of Tyrone Mings into Gareth Southgate’s side, but still made his first senior appearance for the nation, and could go a long way in establishing himself as a first choice player by the time the next set of games arrive.
The Italian full back finally seems to have shaken off his injury as he played a very important role for his side in their 3-0 success against Bosnia, providing a constant threat on the left hand side, linking up with Insigne.
The 23 year old defender didn’t feature extensively for Denmark, managing just 18 minutes across their two games against Gibraltar and Ireland. In the 6 minutes which he played in the latter game, he made a very important block to cement his nation’s status in Euro 2020.
Brazilian born Jorginho, who represents Italy, continued his fine form this season by putting up two phenomenal displays against Bosnia as well as Armenia. The second game was where he was unbelievable, lobbing the ball perfectly into the path of the attackers several times before finally claiming an assist from Zaniolo’s goal. His unique penalty style was on display once again as he put the ball into the net from the spot as his side scored nine goals against a stunned Armenian team.
The Croatian midfielder played 25 mins in his side’s first game against Slovakia, and started the second one at home to Georgia. He was his usual self, spinning away from the hopeful pressing midfielders and carrying the ball from the defence and converting it into an attack.
Despite Lampard requesting former Chelsea player and current French national team manager Didier Deschamps to rest Kante, he was selected by the 51 year old and started the first game against Moldova. He was his usual self and luckily finished the whole game without getting injured again. He was benched against Albania and did not feature.
The English midfielder put in good performances in both his games, starting the first against Montenegro while coming off the bench for the second one against Kosovo. He scored his first senior goal for England in the second game and continued to showcase his stellar pressing.
The 31 year old Brazilian winger featured only once for his national team, in their 1-0 loss at the hands of bitter rivals Argentina. His crosses seemed dangerous and were unlucky not to be tapped in on couple of occasions, with Messi’s goal the ultimate decider.
The young winger has had a bit of a rough patch off late, but still started England’s game against Kosovo. He completed all of his dribbles but unfortunately could not contribute to any goal. He did seem a little bit indecisive on the ball, giving it away cheaply on a few occasions.
The French veteran striker continues to be selected for the World Champions despite featuring meagerly for Chelsea this season owing to Tammy’s fantastic form. He justified this selection by netting a penalty in France’s win over Moldova, while also starting the other game against Albania.
Batsman continues to play second fiddle to Lukaku for the Belgian team. He came off the bench in their 4-1 win away to Russia, but failed to leave any significant mark. Boyata did wear Batshuayi’s jersey for the first half, but I don’t think we can count that as minutes played by the striker.
The man of the hour, the English striker continued his fine start to the campaign by netting his first goal for England, scoring in the side’s 7-0 demolition of Montenegro. No sign of stopping this lad – he’s absolutely on fire.
Kurt Zouma was selected for the French team, but did not make an appearance. Ethan Ampadu, who is on loan at German side RB Leipzig, also put in some good performances for the Welsh side as they marched into Euro 2020. Christian Pulisic did not travel for the United States games as he is recovering from a hip injury. Ross Barkley also pulled out of the England team.
A daunting task at the Etihad prevails, and we were blessed to return from the break unscathed. Hopefully we can continue our good form in the league and prove to newly appointed Spurs manager Jose Mourinho that we can get results in the big games.