Three Chelsea players all found the back of the net for their countries in tonight's international friendlies, while a young Blue continued to impress at this level on his first start for England...
Kai Havertz and Timo Werner started in a front two and fired Germany to a 2-0 friendly win over Israel, their eighth win in a row to maintain a 100 per cent record under manager Hansi Flick. Antonio Rudiger was an unused substitute.
Havertz has been in fine scoring form for Chelsea recently and had already been denied twice by the goalkeeper when he headed Germany into the lead from a corner after 36 minutes. Werner joined him on the scoresheet with a left-footed near-post finish shortly before half-time.
That made it six goals in his last six international appearances for Timo. The Blues duo were taken off before a chaotic ending saw both teams miss injury-time penalties.
Conor Gallagher made his full international debut alongside Mason Mount in England’s starting line-up as they came from behind to beat Switzerland 2-1 at Wembley. Former Chelsea defender Marc Guehi was also one of three players making their first appearance for England.
It was the Swiss who seemed to have the advantage in the first half, taking the lead through Breel Embolo, but Gallagher set up an equaliser for the Three Lions on the stroke of half-time to continue his impressive start to life on the international stage, as he earned his second cap on his first start.
When a risky clearance was blocked, the midfielder picked up the ball and slid a pass into the path of Luke Shaw, who finished confidently. Gallagher and Mount were both withdrawn from the friendly just after the hour mark, before a Harry Kane penalty gave England the victory.
Michy Batshuayi opened the scoring for an inexperienced Belgium side, as only players with less than 50 caps were called up for their friendly against the Republic of Ireland, meaning Romelu Lukaku was not involved.
Therefore it was Batshuayi who led Belgium’s attack and it took him just 12 minutes to get the first goal, picking up the ball on the left and driving into the space between two defenders before curling a shot into the back of the net.
Two further goals, both deflections, left Belgium leading 2-1 in the closing stages, but they had to settle for a 2-2 draw after a late equaliser ensured the Republic of Ireland shared the glory as the Football Association of Ireland marked its centenary.
Marcos Alonso started for Spain and Cesar Azpilicueta came off the bench in a night of late drama against an Albania side featuring Armando Broja. It was Alonso’s third start for his country in the last six months, meaning the 31-year-old has played more international minutes during that time than in his whole previous career.
Despite enjoying 82 per cent of the possession, Alonso had already been replaced and Azpilicueta introduced when Spain finally took the lead in the 75th minute, before Albania equalised with their only shot on target five minutes from the end and the home side finally secured a 2-1 victory in injury time in Barcelona.
Mateo Kovacic started for Croatia in a new-look 3-5-2 system. They started well against Slovenia in one of the Qatar stadiums set to be used for the World Cup later this year, as Croatia dominated possession and took a first-half lead through Andrej Kramaric.
However, they failed to press their advantage and, after Kovacic and several other experienced players had been substituted, the Vatreni came under late pressure and conceded an injury-time equaliser to draw 1-1.
In the younger age groups, Harvey Vale captained an England Under-19s side which also featured Bashir Humphreys and Xavier Simons, as they beat Armenia 4-0 to go top of their qualifying group for the European Championship.
It was Vale’s dangerous corner which was headed into his own net by Armenia’s Narek Manukyan for England’s second goal, before the Chelsea youngster was withdrawn at half-time. There was further drama as both teams ended the game with 10 men and a fourth Blues player, goalkeeper Ted Sharman-Lowe, came on for the last few minutes.
Leo Castledine and Tudor Mendel-Idowu both came off the bench for England Under-17s, but couldn’t prevent a 3-1 loss to France in their opening European Championship qualifier. Having come back after conceding an early penalty, the Young Lions weren’t able to hold on as two goals in the last 10 minutes condemned them to defeat.