England continued to run rampant over Euro2016 qualifying Group E as Theo Walcott scored the only first half goal in the Three Lions' match against Estonia.
The Arsenal forward has come back to form for his club and it has now extended to his form for England. In the 45th minute Walcott latched onto a Ross Barkley through ball in the center of the box and slotted it home. The goal was England's reward for dominating the first half with 69% possession and an advantage of four shots on target to none. England will need to get more clinical as the quality of the opposition grows but for now they are on their way to nine wins in nine qualifiers.
Santi Cazorla got Spain's only goal in the first half against Luxembourg despite dominating play.
Spain can't be upset with enjoying a significant advantage in possession and a nine to zero advantage in shots on target in the first half but they will be upset at only being up 1-0. Cazorla scored in the 42nd minute to break the deadlock. Spain have lost David Silva and Alvaro Morata to injury in the first half but will be satisfied with a win under and circumstances as it will confirm their place in Euro2016.
Manchester City suffered another major injury blow over the international break as David Silva left Spain's qualifier against Luxembourg after 10 minutes, his condition will be evaluated.
On the heels of Sergio Aguero leaving Argentina's shocking loss on Thursday, the possible loss of David Silva will cause even more concern around the Etihad. City struggled mightily with Silva missing when they dropped points against West Ham and Tottenham in Weeks 6 and 7. Bournemouth shouldn't present too much of a challenge immediately after the international break but Week 10 brings a trip to Old Trafford and City will need to be at full strength for that encounter. More details on the extent of Silva's injury as they become available.
Despite an overwhelming lead in their group, England manager went with a proven line-up for England's Euro2016 qualifier against Estonia at Wembley Stadium today.
The Three Lions have dominated Group E having won it with two matches to play and enjoying a 23 goal difference over the first eight matches of qualifying. Perhaps he feels that his regulars need more time practicing together because rather than giving starts to newcomers like Jamie Vardy and Deli Alli he started a group of England veterans. Some, like Theo Walcott, haven't featured in a while and there was a change at left back enforced by the absences of Luke Shaw and Leighton Baines but otherwise it was by-the-numbers team selection.
Mesut Ozil had two great chances but one was judged to be offside and the other went just wide as Germany dropped a shocking 1-0 decision to Ireland in Dublin in Euro2016 qualifying.
Ozil was correctly judged to be offside in the first half when a ball came in from the wing. Whether or not Ozil touched it, he certainly interfered with the play so the call was a good one. Ozil's second big chance came from a ball at the edge of the box that he fired just wide. The loss leaves Germany only a single point ahead of Poland and the Republic of Ireland with one qualifying match to be played. With the Republic of Georgia the World Cup holders' final opponent they should top the group but perhaps not as comfortably as they might have hoped for.
Jurgen Klopp has introduced his folksy brand of management to Liverpool with the declaration that he is "The Normal One" in separating himself from big managerial names like Jose Mourinho.
It was as perfect an introduction as Liverpool supporters could have hoped for. Klopp embraced the current squad saying that he will find a way to win with the talented players on hand. Calling himself a football romantic he referenced how special a place Anfield is and how special Liverpool is as a club. He embraced the passion of Liverpool supporters and promised an attractive brand of football filled with passion. Whether Klopp actually performs significantly better than Brendan Rodgers remains to be seen but he certainly hit all of the high notes in ingratiating himself to supporters and the media.
The German Football Federation have confirmed that Bastian Schweinsteiger missed Thursdays’ Euro qualifying game in Dublin because of injury.
Schweinsteiger was said to have suffered an adductor [groin] problem during his final training session as Germany prepared to face the Republic of Ireland. The 31-year-old was not included in the squad that played at the Aviva Stadium as team manager Joachim Low indicated Schweinsteiger was being assessed "I will need to see, the medical staff said two or three days’ rest." On a more positive note. Michael Carrick will feature in tonights’ game against Estonia after missing training on Thursday as a precaution [muscular tightness] while Marcos Rojo and Ander Herrera have re-joined the main group. The pair could come into contention for game week nine.
Manchester City are sweating on the fitness of their star striker Sergio Aguero after the Argentine was stretchered off during the World Cup qualifying defeat to Chile.
Argentina kicked off their road to Russia – 2018 World Cup Finals – at home to South American rivals Chile in Buenos Aires but the hosts were disappointing - losing two nil – while the early departure of Aguero only served to compound matters. After a lacklustre start to his domestic campaign Aguero looked poised to kick on following a sensational display against Newcastle but the sight of Kun clutching his hamstring as he chased down a long ball is likely stop the striker in his tracks. With another qualifying match [Paraguay] - plus the loss of Messi - and important fixtures in the Premier League [Manchester derby] and Champions League [Sevilla] coming up his absence will be a major blow. Aguero will need a scan to determine the full extent of the damage but judging by the players’ post-match reaction he could be set for a number of weeks on the sidelines.