Sunday marked the beginning of the end in the UEFA World Cup Qualifiers. Several groups were decided today, and as it has been a trend during the international break, several Manchester United players saw action representing their respective countries.
Read on to find out how they did.
UEFA World Cup Qualifiers: Kazakhstan vs Armenia
Henrikh Mkhitaryan had a good performance in Armenia’s final game of the World Cup Qualifiers. His country was eliminated, but the talented playmaker still looked decent as Armenia played to a 1-1 draw against Kazakhstan.
In fact, Mkhitaryan scored the team’s lone goal during the first half. He finished the contest with two shots (one on target), two key passes, two dribbles, six crosses, and won two fouls. As it was the trend during the entire qualifying campaign, Mkhitaryan once again was Armenia’s most dangerous and influential player.
The former Dortmund star finished the qualifying run with two goals in seven matches, and was one of the team’s top scorers.
UEFA World Cup Qualifiers: Lithuania vs England
Three United players were in the squad for England’s final match of the qualifiers against Lithuania. And all three saw different outcomes. Marcus Rashford started, Jesse Lingard came off the bench, and Chris Smalling was an unused sub.
Rashford played as an attacking midfielder behind Harry Kane in England’s 3-4-2-1 system. And the 19-year-old once again proved he is ready for a bigger role within the national team. Rashford played 72 minutes, and finished with one shot on target, eight dribbles, three key passes, and five crosses. He is not likely to play as a striker any time soon considering Kane’s recent form, but his positional versatility can offer lots of alternatives to Gareth Southgate.
On the other hand, Lingard only featured nine minutes as he replaced Dele Alli. He did not show much, but his pace was key to win duels in the final third. He is not likely to start in the near future for The Three Lions, but he is a nice option when the team needs a change of pace off the bench.
England finished the qualifying campaign with at the top of Group F with 26 points. Now the team needs to prepare for Russia because they have clinched their berth in the competition.