Chelsea’s International Round-Up
Chelsea, with all their super talented players, had a lot of representatives in the national teams during the international break.
Let us take a look at how these players fared in the two rounds of matches.
Gary Cahill started both of England’s matches during the international break, against Slovenia and then against Scotland. England won both the matches 3-1, with goals from Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck in the first match and then goals from Rooney and Oxlade-Chamberlain in the second against Scotland. Cahill played the full 90 minutes against Slovenia but was replaced against Scotland in the second half by Phil Jagielka on 66 minutes. In both the matches, Cahill looked composed and untroubled by the opponents’ attackers.
Chelsea jewels Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas had pulled out of the squad before their Euro qualifier against Belarus. Cesar Azpilicueta was left out of the starting eleven. However, against world champions Germany, Cesar Azpilicueta returned to the starting line-up to play the full 90 minutes, with Costa on the bench. Fabregas was deemed unfit to feature in the squad. Azpilicueta played in the right back spot for Spain, in place of first choice Juanfran, and gave an average performance in their 1-0 loss.
Chelsea winger Willian scored the last goal as Brazil beat Turkey 4-0 in the first match of the international break. Against Austria, Chelsea trio Willian, Oscar and Filipe Luis all started and contributed heavily to Brazil’s 2-1 win. First it was a headed goal from ex-Chelsea man David Luiz from an Oscar corner followed by Brazil conceding a penalty when Oscar fouled Andi Weimann in the box. Later in the game, Filipe Luis played a delightful pass and hence provided the assist for Brazil’s winner scored by Firmino.
Thibaut Courtois and Eden Hazard both played in the Euro qualifier against Bosnia-Herzegovina with the match ending 1-1. Edin Dzeko scored for the Bosnians while Nainngolan equalized for Belgium. Thibaut Courtois made a couple of top saves to keep Belgium in the match. Eden Hazard could have raked up an assist had his pass been converted by former blue Romelu Lukaku. Against Wales, again Courtois and Hazard played the full 90 minutes. While Courtois was mostly untested during the match, Hazard was unable to break the stubborn Welsh defence. The match ended an a scoreless draw.
Kurt Zouma is yet to make an appearance for the senior French team, though he was in the squad for both matches against Albania and Sweden.
Petr Cech played for his country in the Euro qualifier on Sunday against Iceland and conceded a bad goal, for which he was at fault as he failed to claim the ball after coming off the goal line. However, the Czechs pulled two goals back, eventually winning the match 2-1.
Serbian Blues Branislav Ivanovic and Nemanja Matic played in both the matches, losing the first match at home to Denmark, then winning 2-0 on Tuesday against Greece.
John Obi Mikel and Kenneth Omeruo played for Nigeria against South Africa but failed to qualify for the African Cup of Nations as Sudan beat Congo.
Edited By: Vikram Vadiganeni