Domestic football once again broke off for an international break, with countries taking part in the UEFA Nations League over the last 10 days.
With 6 days comprising of 46 games in total, there were once again some superb games, great performances and a shock result or two along the way. So, let’s look at the highlights of what has been another compelling round of fixtures.
We’ll kick things off by looking at England’s two games in the competition this time around. They played first played out a 0-0 draw against Croatia at an empty Stadion HNK Rijeka, due to the game being played behind closed doors. You could say that the lack of atmosphere transmitted onto the pitch, but if any team was going to win the game, it would’ve been England.
England then headed to Seville to take on Spain, putting in an exceptional performance to win 3-2. It was arguably the best England display under Gareth Southgate so far, as his team really put Spain to the sword in the first half, going in at the break 3-0 up thanks to two Raheem Sterling strikes, with a Rashford goal sandwiched in between. While Alacacer scored in the 58th minute and then Ramos in the 97th, it didn’t take the shine off what was a stunning victory.
It was a bad couple of fixtures for Germany during the international break though, with the pressure really on Joachim Low now. He first saw his side lose 3-0 at the hands of a rejuvenated Netherlands team, before seeing Germany thrown a 1-0 lead away against World Champions France, with a Griezmann double securing victory for Didier Deschamp’s side.
Scotland’s losing run continued under manager Alex McLeish, after a 2-1 defeat to Israel at the Haifa International Stadium. The Scots were 1-0 up thanks to a Charlie Mulgrew penalty, but Dor Peretz brought the hosts level, before a Kieran Tierney own goal secured the victory. Scotland also had John Souttar sent off in the second half, which is another blow for an increasingly under-fire McLeish.
The biggest round of applause during this set of UEFA Nations League fixtures must surely go to Gibraltar. Not only did they manage to secure consecutive victories against Armenia and Liechtenstein, they had to come from behind against the latter to grab the win.
A Joseph Chipolina penalty was enough to see off Armenia, with Gibraltar winning the game 1-0. In their second game, Liechtenstein had gone 1-0 ahead thanks to a Dennis Salanovic goal, before George Cabrera and Chipolina turned the game on its head in the space of five minutes, with Gibraltar going on to win 2-1.
Elsewhere, the Republic of Ireland and Wales played out a tense affair at the Aviva Stadium, with a Harry Wilson freekick separating the sides on the night, handing Wales a crucial victory. It was the second time Ryan Giggs’ side have beaten the Republic of Ireland, and it sees them sit top of Group B4.