Three Manchester United players had the chance to see action during Monday’s 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers. Serbia wanted to secure a direct berth to the World Cup, while Italy and Spain had nothing to play for. And even though in the end only two United players ended playing, that is enough to take a quick look at how they did representing their respective countries.
2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers: Serbia vs Georgia
Out of the three Manchester United players slated to see action during Monday’s 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers matches, no one had more to play for than Nemanja Matic. The holding midfielder once again started for a Serbia team that needed a win to book their place in the World Cup next year. And that is exactly what happened.
Matic did not thrive, and in fact he was far from his best version in this game against Georgia. But none of that matters. Serbia won 1-0 against Georgia, and that pushed them to the World Cup after missing out four years ago.
The former Chelsea midfielder finished with a shot on target, three dribbles, four fouls, and two tackles. He also received a yellow card. Barring an unexpected injury, it is safe to say Matic will play a key role for Serbia during the World Cup as well. He was one of the most consistent players for the team during the entire qualifying campaign.
2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers: Albania vs Italy
Matteo Darmian played 61 minutes during Italy’s 1-0 win over Albania. And the right-back completed a solid effort on his natural position. Despite the fact he usually plays as a left-back for Manchester United, his performances for Italy could convince Mourinho he could see some time on the opposite flank as well.
Darmian finished this game with three tackles, two clearances, and one interception. As if that was not enough, he also added one shot off target and one dribble. Darmian looked like a constant threat pushing forward on the right. He played a pivotal role for an Italy side that clinched a berth in the playoff round to be held in November.
2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers: Israel vs Spain
David De Gea did not play during Spain’s 1-0 win over Israel. Knowing the side had already clinched a World Cup berth, Julen Lopetegui rested some of the team’s most important players. And considering the Manchester United goalkeepeer started the previous nine matches in the qualifying campaign, it made sense to give him some time off. De Gea was one of the best goalkeepers during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers.
Due to this, now De Gea will be absolutely and completely rested for Manchester United’s weekend match against Liverpool. He is certainly coming on top form following another stellar effort for Spain. In fact, he has only arrived one goal in his last four matches with the National Team.