Two young Chelsea players came up against each other in Friday night’s internationals and it was Andreas Christensen and Denmark who are promoted to the top division of the UEFA Nations League thanks to their win in Cardiff.
Christensen played the whole of the 2-1 victory against Wales who would have been promoted if they won but instead finish second in the three-team group. Ethan Ampadu came on five minutes into the second half, replacing injured James Chester in the Welsh central defence, by which stage Denmark were 1-0 up with that goal coming late in the first half, scored by Feyenoord’s Nicolai Jorgensen.
Middlesbrough’s Martin Braithwaite hooked in a goal on the volley late in the game to make it 2-0 and although Gareth Bale pulled one back, it was too little too late.
There was a shock for France in the Netherlands. The world champions needed just a point to reach the UEFA Nations League finals but went down 2-0 in Rotterdam with Georginio Wijnaldum scoring just before half-time and Memphis Depay converting a penalty deep into injury time.
The result was a fair reflection on the balance of play. Olivier Giroud and N’Golo Kante both started the game for Les Bleus, with the striker replaced by Ousmane Dembele 65 minutes in.
It was France’s final game in this group stage of the fledgling competition and their first defeat in 16 games. The Dutch can now make the finals at their expense if they draw against Germany away next week. The Germans are already relegated.
Also on Friday night, Arsenal’s Emirates stadium hosted an all-South American friendly between Brazil and Uruguay, decided in the Brazilians’ favour by a Neymar penalty. Willian was an unused sub.