Chris Smalling and Wayne Rooney both started England’s 1-0 win over Denmark but had differing performances. Smalling was far more assured in his natural centre-back position while Rooney didn’t have the best of games before being taken off for Danny Welbeck, who made an immediate difference to England going forward. Michael Carrick and Tom Cleverley were unused substitutes.
Shinji Kagawa put in an outstanding first half performance against New Zealand with a goal and an assist within ten minutes but was noticeably quieter in the second half.
Patrice Evra and Robin van Persie played each other in France’s 2-0 victory over Holland. Evra put in a mixed 45 minutes before being taken off while Van Persie had an ineffectual full 90 minutes to continue his mysteriously distant form.
Marouane Fellaini impressed up against a powerful Ivory Coast side and grabbed himself a trademark headed goal from a corner. It’s a performance which is promising for Manchester United ahead of our trip to West Brom this weekend.
Antonio Valencia completed a magnificent comeback with Ecuador as they fought back from 3-0 down to win 4-3 in stoppage time and Valencia provided the cross for the winning goal.
Darren Fletcher‘s road to a full recovery continued with his return to the international scene as a substitute and it was one to remember as Scotland beat Poland 1-0 in a win which will boost their confidence.
Manchester United had three representatives in England’s Under-21s squad but none featured in the game against Wales. Michael Keane pulled out before kick-off while Wilfried Zaha and Jesse Lingard were unused substitutes. However, Tom Lawrence did impress for Wales’ Under-21s.
Marnick Vermijl was also an unused substitute for Belgium’s Under-21s while Northern Ireland’s Paddy McNair was given the last 15 minutes in their 2-0 loss to Italy.