The Nations League is now in full swing – though you wouldn’t have thought so if you caught the first 70 minutes of England’s ‘match’ with Iceland.
While that fixture was a relative snooze-fest for all but a couple of red cards and a few penalties squeezed into the final 20 minutes, there was plenty of action to enjoy later in the night across the continent.
Here’s your roundup for all of Saturday’s Nations League happenings.
Iceland 0-1 England
I’ve been dreaming of this day ever since I was little kid. It was an honour to represent my country tonight and I can’t wait to push on and play more!! pic.twitter.com/P8xq70IVEs
— Phil Foden (@PhilFoden) September 5, 2020
This was not a very exciting game.
Injuries and the lack of a proper left back meant England’s team was a pretty weird one, with Kieran Trippier shunted away from the right, where Kyle Walker was preferred to Trent Alexander-Arnold, because…reasons.
James Ward-Prowse and Phil Foden – making his debut – partnered Declan Rice, with usual attackers Jadon Sancho, Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling all starting.
Kane had a goal wrongly disallowed early on and all the drama was left for the closing stages. Walker was sent off for a second bookable offence – ruling him out of the Denmark game on Tuesday – before Iceland’s Sverrir Ingason suffered the same fate, giving away a penalty for handball in the process.
Sterling rolled it in, only for Joe Gomez to give away a spot-kick at the other end barely seconds later. However, Birkir Bjarnason could only blaze wide, handing Gareth Southgate and his side a barely deserved win.
You can check out the player ratings from that game here.
Denmark 0-2 Belgium
Belgium eased to victory against a good Denmark side this evening without the likes of Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne and Thibaut Courtois…
Scary how much strength this side has! 👀 pic.twitter.com/W9IpHKyzl4
— 90min (@90min_Football) September 5, 2020
Belgium, the number one ranked side in the world, made pretty light work of Denmark.
Jason Denayer netted inside the opening ten minutes and, while possession and attempts on goal were pretty even, Belgium made their opportunities count as Dries Mertens rattled in a second to put the game to bed.
It’s likely that Belgium and England will be the two teams battling it out for top spot in Group 2, though they don’t face each other until October.
Portugal remain unbeaten in the UEFA Nations League:
Their biggest win so far, and without CR7. 😏 pic.twitter.com/GDP4PdIsON
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) September 5, 2020
We should all be very wary of Portugal. Very, very wary.
Fernando Santos’ side were without Cristiano Ronaldo against Croatia, but still had Diogo Jota, Joao Felix and Bernardo Silva to provide their opponents with all kinds of problems.
It wasn’t their talented attackers who got the ball rolling, though. Instead, Manchester City full back Joao Cancelo thumped in a stonking drive from range, with the Seleção having previously hit the woodwork twice.
Wolves’ Jota then doubled their lead, controlling Raphael Guerreiro’s long pass well before slotting past Dominik Livakovic. Felix soon got in on the act, slamming home from the edge of the area.
Sweden 0-1 France
That guy Kylian Mbappe just loves scoring goals, and his strike against Sweden was pretty, pretty, pretty…good.
The Paris Saint-Germain star squeezed home from the tightest angle for the game’s opener. Manager Didier Deschamps opted to play three centre backs, with highly rated RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano starting alongside Raphael Varane and Presnel Kimpembe.
There was plenty of game time for Premier League stars, with Hugo Lloris, Lucas Digne, N’Golo Kante, Anthony Martial and Olivier Giroud all getting minutes.
Barcelona fans wouldn’t have been too happy with Antoine Griezmann’s showing, however. The forward needs a big season but he couldn’t convert a penalty won by Martial, smashing the ball into oblivion with the final kick of the game.