International roundup: Manchester United players in action


Manchester United’s finest talents have been strutting their stuff on the international stage over the past seven days in retrospective qualifiers and friendlies. Here’s a roundup of all the key results and talking points.

A total of nine United players have represented their countries during October’s international break, with all of them facing tournament qualifiers bar Marcos Rojo, who had two friendlies lined up for Argentina.

Prior to the weekend, seven Red Devils’ were due to play starting with Rojo on Wednesday evening whose Argentina side travelled to the Westfalenstadion, the home of Borussia Dortmund, to take on Germany.

Rojo started the match at centre-half but conceded two early goals to fall behind 2-0 within the first 22 minutes. Argentina didn’t respond prior to the break and an all-guns-blazing approach in the second half meant Rojo was withdrawn for striker, Marcos Acuna.

On Thursday night, Dan James registered an assist for Wales has Ryan Gigg’s side drew 1-1 with Slovakia in Group E of Euro 2020 qualifying. Scott McTominay’s Scotland were also due to play Thursday, but McTominay was suspended for one too many yellow cards throughout the qualifying campaign.

Tahith Chong didn’t feature for Netherlands under-21s on Friday night against Portugal, however, England trio Harry Maguire, Marcus Rashford and Dean Henderson were all included in the matchday squad for the trip to the Czech Republic.

England lost the match 2-1, with Maguire featuring for the whole 90 minutes. Rashford made a 17-minute cameo to try to snatch all three points when the score was 1-1.

Saturday Night Football

Saturday night football included matches involving Sweden and Spain. Victor Lindelof has been included in the squad for the international break despite missing out in United’s last game against Newcastle, however, he was still unfit to feature on the weekend.

David de Gea on-the-other-hand was fit but wasn’t selected as Spain drew 1-1 with Norway. The pair could come up against each other this evening, though, as the top two in Group F go head to head in the Euro qualifiers.

Sunday saw three United players in action. Argentina travelled back to South America for a friendly against Ecuador, which they won 6-1. Rojo was an unused substitute.

Wales drew 1-1 once again, this time against Croatia. James once again played a full 90 minutes for Giggs’ team, however, both came under criticism after the 21-year old faked being knocked out from a blow to the head. Giggs’ labelled it “streetwise” but it has since been questioned by brain injury charity Headway.

Scotland put six past San Marino, as McTominay returned to the park with a full 90-minute performance. It was his teammate John McGinn who stole the headlines though, netting a first-half hat-trick. There are rumours that the Aston Villa midfielder could be an ideal signing for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Maguire and Rashford were named in the starting XI for England last night against Bulgaria in Group A of the Euro qualifiers. The Three Lions ran out comfortable 6-0 winners, with Rashford opening the scoring on the night with a right-footed thunderbolt.

However, the match was overshadowed by some disgraceful scenes as the contest had to be halted twice, with a risk of abandonment, due to sections of the Bulgarian crowd directing racial abuse towards Raheem Sterling, Tyrone Mings and Rashford. Despite claims before the match, the England team did not walk off the pitch and let their football do the talking.

Pundits, players and viewers alike came out after the match and demanded that UEFA need to brandish severe sanctions in order to cement a firm stance against racism in football.

The last two matches of the October international break involving Manchester United’s stars are this evening. Tahith Chong will be hoping for minutes with the Netherlands under-21s as they travel to Norway.

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Just over the border De Gea and Lindelof will be going head-to-head as Sweden host Spain. The two sides occupy the second and first spots in Group F of qualification to Euro 2020, respectively, with neither teams fate yet to be confirmed.