As many as 10 Manchester United stars were in action for their countries in the Nations League international fixtures played this week.
After suffering a horrific 6-1 loss to Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United superstars were seen on the international stage with their respective national team in order to find their footing before returning to the Premier League to face Newcastle United. Here is a closer look at the performances of the many Red Devil stars with their nation.
Spain: David de Gea
The Man Utd and Spain first-choice keeper had a great first game in their win against Switzerland on Saturday, keeping a clean sheet but had a below-par outing against Ukraine as Spain fell to shocking 1-0 defeat as Victor Tsygankov scored the winner in the 76th minute with Ukraine’s only shot on target of the game.
England: Harry Maguire and Marcus Rashford
Maguire, who had been left on the bench against Wales as part of a rotated England side, returned to the squad and had a solid 90 minutes at the back in his first game as the Three Lions overcame top-ranked side Belgium 2-1. But the England international had a horrific outing in his second game against Denmark after he got sent-off just past the half-hour mark for receiving two very avoidable yellows.
Marcus Rashford celebrated getting his MBE award in style with an impressive display for England, where he coolly slotted home the equalizer from the penalty spot against Belgium. His second game featuring for the international giants was very average though as he was on the pitch for just the 72 minutes attempting to score thrice, with only one of those shots on target, as England fell to a 1-0 defeat to Denmark.
France: Anthony Martial and Paul Pogba
Paul Pogba featured and heavily impressed in midfield and looked every bit of the quality player he is as France played out a high quality 0-0 draw with European champions Portugal in their second game. The match against Croatia was a repeat of the World cup final with France again coming out on top, winning 2-1 with Pogba coming off the bench in that one.
Anthony Martial finally earned a recall to the France squad last month, having been out since March 2018. United’s star forward featured in all three games for the World cup winners with him being taken off at half-time against Ukraine, playing 63 minutes against Croatia, and coming off the bench to feature against Portugal.
Netherlands: Donny Van De Beek
Manchester United’s new Dutch signing also featured for his national side playing the full 90 minutes in two of the Netherlands’ three international fixtures. The midfielder started in the number 10 role in the 1-0 defeat to Mexico, then got benched against Bosnia & Herzegovina but came back into the side, this time on the right side of midfield, against Italy and scored a crucial goal to earn his side a big 1-1 draw.
Portugal: Bruno Fernandes
Fortunately for United and his national side, Fernandes tested negative for Covid, despite his contact with Cristiano Ronaldo who just recently returned a positive test. The Portuguese star wasn’t involved in the 0-0 friendly against Spain but featured and played a crucial role in both Nations League games against France and Sweden.
Wales: Daniel James
Dan James has become a regular starter for Ryan Giggs’ Wales squad since 2019 and aims to keep improving under him. Although the United winger was left on the bench in the friendly against England, he went on to start both the Nations League fixtures against Ireland, which ended in a dull 0-0 draw, and Bulgaria, a big 1-0 win.
Brazil: Alex Telles
Man Utd’s newly acquired star signing at left-back appeared as a substitute in both of Brazil’s World Cup qualifiers against Bolivia and Peru, which they won 5-0 and 4-2 respectively. This has been the first time he has featured for the national team since his first and only call-up in March 2019 where he made his debut in a friendly against Panama.
Scotland: Scott McTominay
McTominay continued at center-back for Scotland, where he’d first featured during the international break in September. The lack of centre- back options for Scotland meant manager Steve Clarke had no choice but to try out McTominay in defence, where he’s performing well for a player playing out of position.
The young United midfielder played the full 120 minutes of the Euro 2020 qualifier against Israel, with him scoring his spot kick in the 5-3 penalty shootout win. He also then started and played every single minute in their back-to-back Nations League 1-0 victories over Slovakia and Czech Republic.
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