The most recent international games have again demonstrated the outstanding talent supply in the Premier League, with a slew of high-profile stars drawing attention in recent World Cup qualifiers and Nations League games.
While it may not be the most prestigious tournament on the football calendar, the latter certainly didn’t disappoint after a handful of dramatic encounters last week.
Elsewhere, qualifying for next year’s World Cup is always close to completion, with England having one foot in Qatar after the 5-0 away game in Andorra, while both Scotland and Wales achieved positive results to raise their hopes a play-off strengthening body.
Here are six Premier League players who shone for their respective countries over the past week.
It could have ended in disappointment after losing 2-1 to Luis Enrique blues in the Nations League final on Sunday but it looks like they’re building something special right now in Spain with Manchester City’s Ferran Torres spearheading an exciting young team.
After playing for his country at Euro 2020, the former Valencia man continued his hot run with a brilliant brace in victory over Italy on Wednesday La Roja from an early red card from Leonardo Bonucci to defeat the European champions and end his remarkable streak of 37 games without loss.
The 21-year-old had put his team in the lead before this dismissal after expertly channeling the ball into the net after a nasty cross from Mikel Oyarzabal before the two men combined again in stoppage time of the first half when Torres after the header Another clever drink came home from his teammate.
Ferran Torres scores in his third game in a row for Spain 🎯 pic.twitter.com/enpRaHBycT
-B / R soccer (@brfootball) October 6, 2021
While Roberto Mancini’s men met late through Lorenzo Pellegrini, Spain held on to secure their place in the final and to return the favor for the semi-final defeat at the EM 2020 in Wembley in just 22 games on 12 goals for their country .
After playing through the middle in this semi-final, it was a surprise to see the City man in the showpiece pitching goals from Karim Benzema and Kylian Mbappe from the right.
Still, it was another great week for the young Spaniard who may have done more than enough to secure a regular place through the middle for his club under Pep Guardiola.
Just a week after his man-of-the-match appearance against Liverpool at Anfield Road, Phil Foden hit the headlines again with another classic appearance for England against Andorra, as a heavily modified Three Lions team to victory against the international minnows drove.
While the level of the opponent may not have been particularly impressive, it was hard to ignore the quality of the Manchester City man’s performance as he pulled the strings in midfield for Gareth Southgate’s side.
Acting almost like a quarterback, the 21-year-old dropped low to dictate the game and sprayed a series of glorious passes for his teammates over the top goal after picking Jadon Sancho with another exquisite loft pass.
Though he may not have nearly as much time to spare in the Premier League, Foden demonstrated his expert knack for unlocking the door and seemingly creating an opportunity out of nowhere, as he did when he briefed Bukayo Saka for his well-received goal before the break.
– ITV soccer (@itvfootball) October 10, 2021
After looking like he found a place on the left for his club after his performance against the Reds, his performance over the weekend only raised more questions about where his best position is in a midfield role.
What a night it was for Scotland on Saturday as they came from behind twice to secure three key points in the World Cup qualifying battle opened a four-point cushion on their opponent Israel.
Aided by a crowded and noisy Hampden Park crowd, Steve Clarke’s men recovered from multiple setbacks – including a penalty shootout in the first half – to secure a dramatic 3-2 win in added time, with Manchester United midfielder Scott McTominay , landed at the rear post to spark euphoric scenes.
While that late winner ultimately made headlines, one of the game’s biggest stories was the performance of loaned Norwich City man Billy Gilmour, with the 20-year-old running the show in midfield just to enhance his already growing reputation.
No better feeling than a last minute winner! Hampden Park rocked 😍🏴 pic.twitter.com/j0wDilqpmc
– Billy Gilmour (@billygilmourrr) October 9, 2021
A standout technician, the loanee Chelsea player constantly challenged the ball from his far more seasoned teammates to dictate the pace, while also getting his body on the line to help his team win a penalty, though Lyndon Dykes all but saved his attempt saw .
He may only be six games in his senior international life, but the midfielder is quickly becoming a key figure for his country.
Another star of this thrilling win, Scotland captain Andy Robertson, posted a brilliant, tireless personal best on Saturday and provided two assists to get his team back on track.
The Liverpool man has been criticized at times for failing to replicate his club form internationally, but he was just great over the weekend, thriving in his offensive full-back role and being a wonderful fit for Kieran Tierney in providing an ongoing threat to the hosts on the left.
The two full-backs combined Scotland to equalize after Eran Zahavi’s early free kick gave the away team the advantage, duly ruffled home.
A weak defensive effort on a free kick sent the guests back only moments later, but after the break the skipper was back to level his team and fired a cross for Dykes to attack the near post. Despite a nervous waiting time after a VAR check, the goal is on a possible high foot of the striker.
With McTominay’s late goal to a deserved win, Scotland’s hopes of reaching Qatar next winter are really alive and Robertson is hoping to lead the country as captain at a first World Cup since 1998.
With the usual Gareth Bale talisman missing from injury, Wales relied on aspiring captain Daniel James to save a point.
Robert Page’s side had taken the lead in a thoroughly entertaining encounter thanks to a skilful finish by substitute captain Aaron Ramsey, before the hosts equalized just minutes later when Jakub Pesek went into the house after Danny Ward’s first good save.
The Leicester City defender then had a real moment to forget when he missed Ramsey’s back pass and accidentally tossed the ball into his own net before his blushes were spared as James calmly landed on the back post after an excellent play on a threaded pass from Harry Wilson .
As always, the Leeds United man was the main threat to the visitors throughout the match as his frenzied pace caused all sorts of problems for the Czech defense only for the striker to lose the chance.
Dan James against Czech Republic:
Played for 94 minutes
17/22 successful passes
4 opportunities created 🔥
4 ball recoveries
3/8 exact stocks
2 won duels
Accept 1/1 successfully
Fouled 1 time
1 goal ️
Equalized and created the most chances. 🏴 pic.twitter.com/27xOE3bLe3
-LUFCDATA (@LUFCDATA) October 8, 2021
After moving away from Manchester United at the end of the summer, it could be a much-needed fresh start for the 24-year-old at Elland Road, with hopes for Marcelo Bielsa’s side to repeat the consistent form he’s been in shown in recent seasons for his country.
Another trophy held by France captain Hugo Lloris as Didier Deschamps’ men endured a tough Spanish test to add the Nations League to their World Cup triumph.
In truth, such a scenario had seemed unlikely in the last 16 match against Belgium, where they fell two goals behind at half time and it was thanks to their captain that he brilliantly thwarted an early goal from Kevin De Bruyne.
The Tottenham man might have done better with at least one of the Belgian goals but did well to ensure the damage didn’t get worse as his side blocked a first-half attack before taking the game upside down remarkably set to win 3-2, thanks to a goal from AC Milan full-back Theo Hernandez in the 90th minute.
In the final, France fell back again with a goal from Mikel Oyarzabal, but quickly recovered and drew level with an impressive performance from Karim Benzema.
In the hectic last ten minutes, however, the French almost certainly looked like they were going to be punching Lloris’s goal, but the 34-year-old stood firm to deny anything that got in his way, notably holding goals from goalscorer Oyarzabal . fern and Yeremi Pino in the closing stages to ensure victory.
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