The International Break: October 2021

The International Break was full of highs and lows. As it comes to a close, let us look at how the Reds performed for their respective countries:

Paul Pogba, Raphael Varane, and Anthony Martial (France)

France was up against Belgium in the semi-final of the Nations League. After going 2-0 down in the first half, Le Bleus won the match courtesy of goals by Mbappe, Benzema, and a last-minute winner by Milan left-back Theo Hernandez. Pogba and Varane started for France. Martial was on the bench.

Then, France was set to face Luis Enrique’s Spain in the final on Sunday, which they won 2-1. Deschamps got his 2nd international title in the span of just 3 years. France made a statement, that the world cup winning team isn’t done yet, and would be looking to emulate their success even next year.

Pogba and Varane started again, but the latter was forced to come off during the match due to a groin injury. Subsequently, Varane is expected to be out for 2-3 weeks, the club confirmed. This, in effect, will mean that United will be without both Maguire and Varane, leaving their positions to Lindelof and Bailly.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Bruno Fernandes, and Diogo Dalot (Portugal)

Bruno Fernandes and Cristiano Ronaldo in the International Break

Portugal beat Qatar 3-0 after dominating throughout the ninety minutes. Diogo Dalot assisted Ronaldo in the first half, after which Ronaldo was subbed off due to a minor knee issue. Whereas, Bruno Fernandes was subbed on in the second half and came close to assisting Milan’s Raphael Leao. Both Fernandes and Ronaldo looked very sharp.

Likewise, Dalot too was impressive throughout the ninety minutes and even came close to scoring in the first half.

Then, Portugal went on to thrash Luxembourg 5-0, with Ronaldo scoring his record 10th international hat-trick. Bruno Fernandes also scored for Os Navegadores as Dalot sat out the game on the bench.

Jadon Sancho, Jesse Lingard, and Luke Shaw (England)

England comfortably won 5-0 against a timid Andorra side. With 2 assists for Chilwell and Abraham, Sancho looked back in form. Lingard started in the midfield.

However, the Three Lions dropped points at home when they were held to a surprising 1-1 draw against Hungary. Shaw conceded a penalty in the first half and Roland Sallai converted from the spot to give Hungary the lead. Immediately, Stones equalized for the English after a kind deflection. England failed to muster a winner in the second half, and Sancho and Lingard didn’t get minutes this time.

Scott McTominay (Scotland)

Despite having a mediocre game, McTominay scored a 94th-minute winner for Scotland as they sailed to a 3-2 win against Israel. Mctominay’s strike significantly boosted the Scottish hopes for qualifying for next year’s World Cup.

Subsequently, Scotland managed to steal a 1-0 win against the Faroe Islands after Lyndon Dykes struck for the Scot. McTominay played a pivotal role for Steve Clarke’s side.

Fred (Brazil)

Brazil played a 0-0 draw against Colombia. Fred played the whole 90 minutes.

In the next match against Uruguay, Fred played a crucial role in midfield alongside Fabinho. He worked hard all game to regain possession and even assisted Neymar for the opening goal with a fine through ball.

Edinson Cavani (Uruguay)

Uruguay too played a 0-0 draw against a defensively solid Colombia. Cavani came off the bench.

After that, Argentina beat Uruguay 3-0 comfortably. Cavani could not make an impact again for Uruguay after coming off the bench against the current Copa America winners.

In their third match, Uruguay lost to Brazil 4-1 ending a dismal international break. Cavani started for Uruguay.

Brazil vs Uruguay was played early Friday morning. Therefore, despite all the top 6 clubs chartering a flight from South America to England, Fred and Cavani are certainly out for the match against Leicester on Saturday.

Victor Lindelof (Sweden)

After missing the game against Kosovo due to the birth of his second child, the Sweden captain joined the team for their match against Greece. Lindelof kept a clean sheet, which is a good sign for Manchester United fans as his services will be vital for the club over the next few weeks in the absence of both Maguire and Varane.

Eric Bailly (Ivory Coast)

Bailly got an assist for Ivory Coast against Malawi as a second-half Kessie penalty ensured a 2-1 win for Les Éléphants.

David De Gea (Spain)

Spain won the Nations League semi-final, beating Italy 2-1. But, France beat Spain in the final.

De Gea sat out both the matches.

Author: Devansh