International round-up: Eric Bailly Africa Cup of Nations success, Wayne Rooney frustrates fans

by Leo Nieboer


Sergio Romero: Kept a clean sheet against a Uruguay side containing Luis Suarez and Edison Cavani. Fumbled a cross after 54 minutes but recovered well to stop Cavani’s drive, alongside an array of shots towards the end of the game as Óscar Tabárez’s side peppered Argentina’s goal in the closing stages, ensuring the home side held on to a vital 1-0 win.

Wayne Rooney: Received widespread criticism following an abject midfield performance in Sam Allardyce’s first game as England manager. A series of stray long passes and sloppy touches led to supporters scrutinising Allardyce’s decision to deploy the 30-year-old in the heart of midfield, who vacated the No.10 role to optimise time on the ball, only to leave a yawning gap between attack and midfield. Much like with Manchester United, questions will now surround how exactly Rooney fits into Allardyce’s model – or perhaps whether he merits a place at all.

Eric Bailly: Another indomitable performance from the 22-year-old, acting as the binding force at the back as the Ivory Coast closed out a 1-1 draw with Sierra Leone. The result means that Bailly’s side qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations – an excellent achievement for the Ivorian, but one that Man United fans – who have grown to view Bailly as an indispensable member of Jose Mourinho‘s squad – won’t enjoy.

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