The big match was in England where Leicester City hosted Napoli. Ayoze Pérez finished a superb team move to put Leicester ahead and Harvey Barnes added a second. However, Victor Osimhen scored a brilliant first before thumping in a header from Matteo Politano’s cross to earn his side a point, Leicester losing Wilfred Ndidi to a second yellow card in stoppage time.
The best club competition in the world returned last week as the new Champions League season got underway with some high-profile matches.
The top teams like Bayern Munich, Liverpool, Chelsea, Real Madrid, and Manchester City all showed that they are true contenders to win the Champions League this season. Meanwhile, other potential contenders like Manchester United, Barcelona and PSG failed to live up to expectations on matchday 1.
Player of the round was undoubtedly Ajax striker Sebastien Haller who scored four goals in Ajax’s 5-1 hammering of Sporting Lisbon.
The impact of COVID and travel restrictions is beginning to impact Premier League sides as nine clubs refused to allow players to travel to South America for the recent World Cup qualifiers. A clear violation of FIFA guidelines.
Fifa can ban players not released in an international window for a period of five days after the window ends and Wolves, Newcastle, Watford and Blackburn will all lose players this weekend after complaints from the Chilean, Mexican and Paraguayan associations.
The big issue is what happens to the six Premier League clubs who refused to release players for Brazil’s World Cup qualifiers.
Sounds like a good night’s work, so why all the pessimism?
Pre-match, Scotland boss Steve Clarke asked for his side to “be on the front foot, be positive and get the goals needed to win”.
The head coach got his wish, but it could have been so much more comfortable for the hosts against the world’s 175th-ranked nation after a flurry of clear-cut chances were squandered.
Roberto Mancini’s side had their chances early on against a Switzerland side that with key figures missing through injury and COVID and new management bedding in needed time to settle into the game. Their slow start should have been punished, not least by Domenico Berardi. One on one with the Swiss goalkeeper he somehow contrived to roll the ball at his arms.
I have seen a lot of crazy things take place on a football pitch, but today’s incident in Brazil during a World Cup qualifier between the host nation and their biggest rivals Argentina was a first for everyone in attendance.
Five minutes into the game the match was abandoned after Brazilian health officials objected to the participation of three Argentine players they believe broke quarantine rules.
The visitors walked off the pitch at the Corinthians Arena after the officials came out to stop the game.
The dramatic intervention came hours after Brazil’s health authorities had said four England-based players for Argentina had to quarantine.
La Roja produced a dominant display in Extremadura following their 2-1 defeat in Sweden last time out.
The home side were in cruise control as Valencia pair Jose Luis Gaya and Carlos Soler put them 2-0 in front inside the first 30 minutes.
Manchester City winger Ferran Torres added a third goal before the break to kill off any potential chance of a Georgia fight back.
Afterwards, Spain boss Luis Enrique was full of praise for his players saying:
The Chelsea striker raced onto a Hans Vanaken through ball to score with a first-time finish from the edge of the box. Timing his run to a tee, he darted down the inside right channel to collect Vanaken’s pass. Opening up his body he shaped to bend the ball inside Tomas Vaclik’s far post but instead lifted it high into the top corner
Mykola Shaparenko put the hosts ahead with an excellent 44th-minute strike into the top corner from 20 yards. But Manchester United striker Anthony Martial bundled in a close-range equalizer for only his second international goal, and first since 2016.
Moussa Diaby almost won the game for France, but hit the post from Karim Benzema’s pass.
Speaking after the match Martial rued the dropped points but was happy to see his side come back and at least get something from a losing position.
Serge Gnabry got Germany off to a flying start with two goals in the first 15 minutes before Marco Reus and Timo Werner took the scoreline to 4-0 before the interval, the latter netting his second in as many international games.
Jonas Hofmann had performed impressively in a full back role for Flick and was rewarded with a goal before two of the great young hopes of German football combined for the sixth in added time, Florian Wirtz giving the ball to Karim Adeyemi, darting on for the pass back to him before teeing up the Red Bull Salzburg striker for a goal on his international debut.