Chelsea players were in action on two continents during the latest round of Nations League fixtures in Europe and the second matches of World Cup qualifying in South America.
Reece James made the first start of his fledgling international career and it turned out to be an eventful one. Both he and Mason Mount can consider themselves unlucky to have been on the losing side, having been two of the best players on the pitch as the Three Lions were defeated 1-0 at Wembley by Andreas Christensen’s Denmark.
James twice forced saves from goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel, first with a left-footed shot from the edge of the box after cutting in from the right, and the second from a powerful free-kick. The damage had already been done in the first half, though, when England were reduced to 10 men by Harry Maguire’s red card shortly before conceding from a penalty.
It was Mount who went closest to getting an equaliser for England, which would have been his third international goal on his 10th appearance for the Three Lions. His header, after close friend and former Chelsea Academy team-mate Declan Rice had sent a set-piece back across goal, looked destined for the net before Schmeichel clawed it away.
Mount was then withdrawn with just over 15 minutes remaining as England continued to chase an equaliser, but the Three Lions were unable to find the goal they needed for a point at Wembley. James’ full debut was soured slightly when he was shown a red card after the final whistle, as he voiced his frustration to the referee as they left the pitch.
That meant a clean sheet for Christensen, who played the first half for Denmark, being taken off at half-time having picked up a yellow card.
Jorginho earned his 25th cap for Italy as he played the whole of their match against the Netherlands on an emotional evening in Bergamo. It was the first Italy international played in the town for 14 years and marked its status as the part of the country worst hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, with local healthcare workers joining mayors from 240 other suffering regions at the stadium.
On the pitch, an entertaining match in which both sides had chances, finished 1-1 with both goals coming 10 minutes apart in the first half.
Olivier Giroud came on for Antoine Griezmann late on in France’s 2-1 win over Croatia. Griezmann had opened the scoring early on but Croatia equalised in the second half, after Mateo Kovacic had come on at half-time. After the French had again taken the lead, Kovacic was close to getting a second equaliser, but his long-range shot was saved by Hugo Lloris with five minutes left.
Ethan Ampadu, on loan at Sheffield United, helped Wales to a dramatic victory away at Bulgaria. He played the whole game as the Welsh had to stay patient, before getting the only goal of the game with five minutes left.
In the early kick-off in Europe, English-born forward Armando Broja, currently playing his club football on loan with Vitesse Arnhem, made his second international start for Albania.
His first came three days earlier in a 0-0 draw with Kazakhstan and this one away at Lithuania also ended goalless, despite Albania dominating the game, with Broja playing the first hour.
Thiago Silva played the whole match as captain as Brazil negotiated the often tricky tie away against Peru, in the early hours of Wednesday. That made it two wins from two games in World Cup qualifying, putting them above Argentina at the top of the table on goal difference.
However, it was far from simple for Thiago Silva and his international team-mates in Lima, as they went behind early in the first half and again in the second, fighting back to equalise on both occasions.
That set things up for a crazy finale, as Peru had two men sent off in the last five minutes of normal time and Neymar scored two penalties, the second four minutes into added time, to complete a hat-trick and give Brazil a 4-2 victory.