More nations concluded their Euro 2020 qualification campaign on Monday night and the Chelsea players involved finished happy.
Italy had already qualified as group winners prior to today’s games but they did not take their foot off the pedal as they demolished Armenia 9-1 in Palermo. Jorginho played the full game and scored the seventh goal from the penalty spot having provided an assist for the fifth, netted by Roma’s Nicolo Zaniolo who scored twice. Lazio’s Ciro Immobile also bagged a pair with the rest of the goals shared around.
Denmark did have work to do in their final match to make it through to Euro 2020 and they succeeded in qualifying by drawing 1-1 away to the Republic of Ireland, a result which ended Irish hopes of direct qualification for next summer’s tournament. They instead go into March’s play-offs.
Andreas Christensen began the game in Dublin on the Danish bench but was brought on for the closing minutes to shore up the visitors defence, moments after Wolves’ Matt Doherty had equalised for the Irish. Denmark had taken the lead on 73 minutes through Martin Braithwaite of Leganes. Christensen made a block in the final seconds as Ireland pushed hard for a winner. Denmark finish second in their group behind Switzerland.
Spain, like Italy, were already guaranteed top spot in their group before their final game and although they did not quite reach the heights the Azzurri managed, it was another big win and also a clean sheet for Kepa Arrizabalaga. Villarreal striker Gerard Moreno scored two of the goals in a 5-0 win over Romania in Madrid.
At junior level, Ian Maatsen and the Netherlands had to settle for fourth place at the Under-17s World Cup after they lost the third/fourth place play off 3-1 to France. The Dutch had lost their semi-final on penalties to Mexico having drawn the game 1-1. Maatsen was successful with his spot-kick in the shoot-out. The tournament was won by host nation Brazil who beat the Mexicans 2-1 in the final.
England Under-18s played a third friendly international in Spain in three days on Monday afternoon, this time against Czech Republic. Unlike the previous two goal-packed matches, this one was a tighter affair but it was a good day for Chelsea defender Dynel Simeu as he helped England keep a clean sheet and win 1-0.