Five Manchester United players saw action during Thursday’s World Cup Qualifiers. Four represented England, and one played for Armenia. Without further ado, here is a quick recap of how each of them fared in these matches.
UEFA World Cup Qualifiers: Armenia vs Poland
Henrikh Mkhitaryan did what he could for Armenia. Unfortunately, that was not enough. Armenia looked brutally overmatched on both ends of the pitch, and lost 1-6 to Poland.
The attacking midfielder looked pretty decent in this game despite the team’s loss. And in fact, at times he seemed to be the lone player trying to turn things around. Mkhitaryan assisted on Armenia’s lone goal – a strike from Hovhannes Hambardzumyan in the first half – and finished with one shot off target, three key passes, and five crosses.
Armenia do not have chances to make it to Russia, though. Their final game will come on October 8 where they will visit Kazakhstan.
UEFA World Cup Qualifiers: England vs Slovenia
Marcus Rashford started as a left winger in place of Dele Alli, as the Tottenham star is suspended for this match. Phil Jones did not make the team due to injury. And both Jesse Lingard and Chris Smalling started on the bench.
Rashford got off to a slow start, but looked quite threatening during the second half and finished with a solid effort. On the other hand, Lingard came off the bench in the 64th minute, but did not offer many alternatives in the final third. Rashford ended the game with 12 crosses, two shots (one on target) and four key passes, while Lingard only contributed with one created chance and one shot off target.
Despite the subpar performance, England fans should be happy. They won 1-0 thanks to a stoppage-time goal from Harry Kane, and that secured The Three Lions a berth in the 2018 World Cup. A draw would have been enough as well, as Scotland defeated Slovakia 1-0.
England’s final game of the Qualifiers will be on the road against Lithuania. Considering the team already clinched their objective, Gareth Southgate could rotate the side to give some much-needed rest to some of the key players on the squad.