International Round-Up: How Our Blues Faired For Their Countries
Chelsea players will resume Premier League action this weekend after a fortnight of international duties. Let’s take a look at how our boys have performed for their respective nations.
Nigeria 1 – 1 Uganda:
Bad news for Chelsea loanee Kenneth Omeruo who went down in the 13th minute due to a groin injury after starting as center back. Nigeria conceded a late equalizer after an average performance against Uganda.
Belgium 5 – 0 Cyprus:
Belgium moved above Cyprus in UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying after an emphatic win in Brussels. Eden Hazard was at his best, constantly dribbled past his opponents and penetrated the Cyprus defense quite easily. Chelsea’s young star had a fine personal display playing a one-two with Axel Witsel and curling the ball into the right top corner and also earned an assist. Fellaini scored twice and Benteke found the net once. With Belgium in complete control Thibaut Courtois had very little to do throughout the game and managed to keep a clean sheet.
England 4 – 0 Lithuania:
England remained six points clear at the top of the Group E with an impeccable win against Lithuania. Rooney started things off with a goal in the 6th minute while, Harry Kane came off the bench and scored within 79 seconds in his England debut. Chelsea’s Gary Cahill played the entire 90 minutes and was happy to keep a clean sheet as he was barely tested throughout the game. He took over the captain’s armband for the final 20 minutes when Wayne Rooney came off the pitch.
France 1 – 3 Brazil:
Brazil came from behind to beat France in Paris recording their seventh successive victory since their 2014 World Cup humiliation. Oscar found the equalizer when he linked up with Firmino and put the ball past the French goalkeeper. Brazil’s head coach Dunga praised Willian’s attacking contribution as the Chelsea star setup Gustavo and helped Neymar to score his eighth goal for Brazil. Felipe Luis started at the left-back position and had a great day at office.
Czech Republic 1 – 1 Latvia:
Petr Cech was back in action for Czech Republic as he played for the 113th time for his country. It wasn’t his worst game ever, especially as Latvia concentrated on keeping things solid at the back, Cech perhaps could have done better with the conceded goal. Latvia went ahead in the 31st minute before Pilar equalized in the 90th minute. With 73% of the possession Czech Republic could certainly have performed well.
Portugal 2 – 1 Serbia:
Portugal claimed their third successive win in European Championship qualifying Group I by edging out Serbia at Estadio da Luz. Ricardo Carvalho headed the hosts into an early lead before Chelsea’s Nemanja Matic leveled with an outstanding overhead volley just after the hour mark. The celebrations were short lived as Portugal counter attacked with Coentrao scoring within two minutes of Matic’s goal. Branislav Ivanovic on the other hand had a decent day captaining his side against Portugal.
Colombia 6 – 0 Bahrain:
Chelsea’s January Signing Juan Cuadrado played for 83 minutes on the left side of the front three in Colombia’s friendly win against Bahrain, hitting the post after just six minutes. Bahrain was overpowered by a strong and fast Colombian side.
Brazil 1 – 0 Chile:
Brazil head coach Dunga is known to rotate his squad quite frequently as Chelsea’s Brazilians started from the bench. Willian and Filipe Luis came off the bench in the second half and Chelsea’s number 10 Oscar remained an unused sub.
France 2 – 0 Denmark:
20-year-old Chelsea defender Kurt Zouma came on for the final eight minutes to make his first senior international appearance as France defeated Denmark in a friendly in St. Etienne. Alexandre Lacazette and Olivier Giroud scored before half-time, making it difficult for Denmark to get back.
Spain 1 – 0 Ukraine:
Premier League’s assist king Cesc Fabregas was an unused sub during Spain’s 1-0 Euro 2016 qualifier victory against Ukraine. Juventus striker Alvaro Morata, on his first start for Vicente del Bosque’s side, netted in the 28th minute, giving Spain sole possession of second spot. Spain are now three points clear of third-placed Ukraine in the pool.
Israel 0 – 1 Belgium:
With Fellaini’s 9th minute goal gave Belgium a narrow win over Israel. Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois had very little to do throughout the game as Israel lacked the necessary quality in the final third to truly trouble the Chelsea goalkeeper, Courtois maintained a clean sheet yet again. Although Eden Hazard was not at his best, but looked dangerous during the long balls played into the third half of the pitch. The little Belgian played for 63 minutes before being replaced by Chadli.
Italy 1 – 1 England:
An experimental England line-up earned a creditable draw in Turin. Southampton striker Graziano Pelle’s header looked to have put Italy on course for yet another victory before Andros Townsend’s spectacular strike leveled things in the 79th minute. Chelsea defender Gary Cahill remained as an unused sub through the game.
Netherlands 2 – 0 Spain:
Guus Hiddink’s men were on top on Tuesday as they walked all over Spain, scoring twice in the first 16 minutes of the game. Chelsea’s Cesc Fabregas played in the midfield alongside Arsenal’s Santi Cazorla and was unable to keep the hosts quite in the opening stages of the game. Fabregas captained his side and played the full 90 minutes.
Slovakia 1 – 0 Czech Republic:
Tomas Vaclik replaced Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech. The Chelsea legend wasn’t even named on the bench. Duda scored the only goal for Slovakia in the 49th minute as the Czechs lost to half-brothers Slovakia 1-0.
Ghana 1 – 2 Senegal:
Chelsea loanee Christian Atsu played for an hour before being replaced. Moussa Konate scored twice after coming on as a second-half substitute having replaced the former Chelsea striker Demba Ba.
Chelsea take on Stoke City this Saturday at Stamford Bridge and Mourinho would be hoping fatigue does not play an important role during this crucial fixture. The Blues have a luxurious six-point lead over their title rivals Manchester City and would be hoping to outplay Stoke and earn three valuable points with 9 games to go.
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Edited By: Harshal Ahire