October 11, 2022
England, Italy, Germany, Hungary, Wales and Belgium draw Nations League

Reece James eventually got the start, as did Tammy Abraham and Fikayo Tomori, but England failed to score from open play for the third game in a row as they battled to a 0-0 draw against England. Italy at Wolverhampton. The game took place at Molineux and should have been played behind closed doors as punishment for the turmoil seen in last summer’s Euro 2020/1 final at Wembley – but as with the England in Hungary last week, UEFA allowed children under 14 to attend for free. Some 3,000 were subjected to this aimless effort tonight.

Mason Mount also started as Gareth Southgate looked determined to knock him into the ground and hit the woodwork while surviving a solid tackle from Lorenzo Pellegrini. England also came close when Reece James, one of their best players, put him on the plate for Raheem Sterling, but Chelsea’s transfer target went unconverted. It will fit well then!

Declan Rice and Aaron Ramsdale also walked away with some credit from the scoreless 90 minutes, and we also got an appearance from Marc Guéhi towards the end. Unfortunately, Conor Gallagher did not agree. Neither Jorginho nor Emerson have played for Italy, having already been excused from those pseudo friendlies last week.

Meanwhile, in Hungary, Germany overcame an early goal but couldn’t find a winner as they also battled to a 1-1 draw. Both Timo Werner and Kai Havertz started for the visitors, but it was right-back Jonas Hoffman, who was linked with Chelsea last summer, with the goal for them.

In Group 4, Wales and Belgium also settled for a draw in a match that featured more VAR-ruled out goals than disallowed goals. One of the efforts to score was this spectacular left-footed effort from Ethan Ampadu.

Michy Batshuayi has resumed starting for Belgium as he continues to replace Romelu Lukaku – could we see that at Chelsea too next season? – and he grabbed the assist on their goal.

And finally, on a busy Saturday, Billy Gilmour played the second half for Scotland, who clearly came back from their disappointment in World Cup qualification as they were easily beaten by the Republic of Ireland, 3- 0.

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