Thursday 13 October 2016

International Reds round-up: Lingard debut and Pogba hits winner

Jesse Lingard was the beneficiary of Adam Lallana's withdrawal from the England squad as the United winger started both games over the international break.

Lingard, who played for the Under 21s under interim boss Gareth Southgate, made his senior England bow in the 2-0 win over Malta before a second appearance followed in the feisty goalless draw in Slovenia.

 Marcus Rashford came on as sub in both games with Lingard getting a warning after protecting his younger team mate following a coming together late on.

Captain Wayne Rooney also featured in both matches, coming off the bench in the latter, despite the ongoing debate over his international future but Luke Shaw has not been rushed back and sat out England's latest qualifiers. 

Elsewhere, club record signing Paul Pogba came up against United duo Daley Blind and Memphis Depay and his superb solitary goal fired the European Championship finalists to victory over Netherlands as France went top of Group A (Anthony Martial played the final 23 minutes in Amsterdam). 

Spain picked up four points from their two qualifiers- 1-1 in Italy and 2-0 in Armenia, but Ander Herrera will have to wait for a senior Spain debut having been an unused sub in both matches.

Juan Mata missed out on selection but David De Gea cemented his status as his country's number one keeper by starting in both games. 

Belgium, now under the stewardship of former Everton manager Roberto Martinez, continued their 100% start to their Group H campaign with comprehensive wins over Bosnia and Gibraltar respectively.

Marouane Fellaini started in the 4-0 win over the former- claiming an assist for Chelsea's Eden Hazard, but the United man missed the 6-0 success in Gibraltar after a booking against Bosnia ruled him out of that match. 

Henrikh Mkhitaryan missed Armenia's matches against Romania (0-5) and Poland (1-2) as he bids to regain full fitness but it was a busy few days for United's South American trio Sergio Romero, Antonio Valencia and Marcos Rojo. 

Valencia scored in Ecuador's 3-0 win against Copa America winners Chile while Argentina suffered a shock 1-0 reverse at home to Paraguay which followed a disappointing draw in Peru with Romero and Rojo featuring across the two matches. 

Eric Bailly's Ivory Coast side won their opening Group C qualifier 3-1 at home to Mali as they bid to successfully negotiate the final round en route to Russia in 2018.

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