Three Manchester United players faced Euro 2016 action on Thursday with Germany squaring off against Northern Ireland and Spain playing Croatia in their final group game.
Bastian Schweinsteiger came off the bench against Northern Ireland for the final 20 minutes which is the most he’s played so far in France. There wasn’t too much of note to say for his performance but Bastian now has 14 European Championship appearances and is only two behind Edwin van der Sar and Lillian Thuram who are the record appearance holders with 16 each.
Unfortunately for Paddy McNair he was left on the bench for the full 90 minutes. Michael O’Neill’s decision to play a slightly more expansive team in Northern Ireland’s final two group games meant there was no space for McNair.
David de Gea once again started in goal for Spain. Having broken Gordon Banks’ 50 year old record by going over 450 minutes without conceding, he was in confident form going into the match. In the first half, De Gea had a real scare when he was uncharacteristically poor with the ball at his feet and Ivan Rakitic couldn’t have been any closer with his chip that hit both the crossbar and post.
Just before half-time, Croatia equalised with a deftly taken goal that De Gea couldn’t react quickly enough to stop it and he wasn’t able to keep out a late winner for Croatia after a slight deflection from Gerard Pique took it away from him. Spain go through in second place and for De Gea it wasn’t the best of nights.