International round-up: Marcus Rashford impresses, Marouane Fellaini suffers set-back

by Leo Nieboer

Sergio Romero

Manchester United’s second choice keeper had very little to do between the sticks against Peru as Argentina somehow failed to find a way past the visitors at La Bombonera, leaving his chances of heading to Russia next summer firmly on a knife edge.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan

The Armenian endured a torrid evening against Poland last week, succumbing to a 1-6 home defeat and struggling to make many attacking inroads, but opened the scoring for his country against Kazakhstan with a crisp finish after 26 minutes.

Marouane Fellaini

Roberto Martinez has hardly managed to endear himself to Man United supporters after starting Fellaini against Bosnia and Herzegovina on what was a torrid playing surface, culminating in a medial knee ligament sprain that forced him off in the first half and ruled him out of the trip to Anfield on Saturday.

Antonio Valencia

Produced a commanding, dedicated display at right back against Chile and followed Alexis Sanchez everywhere, but couldn’t prevent his country from a 2-1 loss which ruled out any chance of qualifying for Russia next summer.

Jesse Lingard

Came on in the second half against Slovenia, with England struggling to break down the visitors, and added some vital impetus going forward, making a series of stretching runs in behind as Gareth Southgate’s men finally found a way past Jan Oblak in injury time.

Marcus Rashford

Without doubt England’s star performer against Slovenia. He was the only player to offer any kind of unpredictability, swerving past opponents on the left hand side and bringing the ball up the pitch with urgency. Didn’t see as much of the ball against Lithuania but looked enterprising whenever handed a chance to run into space.

Matteo Darmian

Featured as a wing-back against Macedonia and produced a confident display on the ball, working diligently to link up with midfielders. Could have perhaps offered greater attacking impetus as the hosts, who will now have to book their place in Russia through the play-offs, struggled to carve out chances.

Eric Bailly

Picked up another clean sheet at the back – and a yellow card – ahead of the trip to Anfield as the Ivory Coast took another step to Russia with a 0-0 draw against Mali. A win over Morocco next month would secure his country’s place at the World Cup next year.

Daley Blind

Displayed his usual composure and intelligence on the ball during Holland’s 3-1 win over Belarus, making a series of penetrative passes forward, but will not be heading to the World Cup following another substandard qualifying campaign from the Oranje.

Nemanja Matic

Placed himself at the centre of what was an enthralling encounter with Austria. Dominated midfield proceedings but struggled to make many inroads going forward – mainly due to a largely static attacking performance from Serbia, who knew a win would take them to Russia. Scored a thunderous equaliser seven minutes from time, only to then see his side concede a winner in injury time, meaning they will have to beat Georgia to cement their place at the finals.

David de Gea

Another day, another clean sheet for the Spaniard, this time against an Albania side that hardly threatened his goal as Spain booked their place at the World Cup with a 3-0 win.

Victor Lindelof

This was more of a training exercise for the defender than anything. Stepped into midfield at times to take part in the fun against Luxembourg, with Sweden claiming an emphatic 8-0 win against the minnows.

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