Varane: Portugal win the benchmark for France

Varane - Portugal win the benchmark for France

France set a new benchmark in beating Portugal to reach the Nations League Finals on Saturday, according to defender Raphael Varane. In a winner-takes-all contest in Lisbon, the world champions prevailed 1-0 thanks N’Golo Kante’s second-half strike, advancing due to their superior head-to-head record over Saturday’s opponents. Although Portugal – the Nations League holders who will not now defend their title – piled on the pressure in the closing stages, it was a deserved success for France. Les Bleus had sensationally lost 2-0 to Finland in a friendly earlier in the week, but a much-changed side could have been out of sight before half-time against Portugal. Rui Patricio was in inspired form in the home goal, although one of his six saves eventually succeeded

Ronaldo´s France drought continues and Portugal pay the price

Ronaldo´s France drought continues and Portugal pay the price

Portugal can usually rely on Cristiano Ronaldo to find the net, with only Iran’s Ali Daei topping his international tally of 102 goals. But that has not been the case against world champions France, who have never conceded to the Juventus superstar. Ronaldo again drew a blank against Les Bleus in a 1-0 Nations League defeat on Saturday which saw holders Portugal lose the opportunity to reach the Finals and defend their title. It was the sixth time the former Manchester United and Real Madrid forward had played France without netting, which is his worst such goalless record against any single opponent for club or country. Only once has Ronaldo beaten France and even then he played a mere 25 minutes, although that came in

Nations League Roundup: France End Portugal’s Long Unbeaten Run, Sergio Ramos Misses TWO Penalties & More

Nations League Roundup: France End Portugal's Long Unbeaten Run, Sergio Ramos Misses TWO Penalties & More

We may not have the Premier League or Europe's heavyweights to keep us company this weekend, but Saturday's Nations League offering has more than made up for it with a wonderfully entertaining evening of action. There was plenty at stake on this pulsating night across Europe, with top spots, relegation places and the in-betweeners all still to be decided. On top of that, we were treated to the continent's powerhouses going head to head, with Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal entertaining France, while Germany and Spain were also in action. So, how did they all get on? Check out our Nations League roundup below. The big news from League A Group 3 was that France defeated holders Portugal 1-0 in Lisbon, simultaneously booking their place

England 0-1 Denmark: Three Things We Learned as Eriksen Penalty Is Enough For Victory

England 0-1 Denmark: Three Things We Learned as Eriksen Penalty Is Enough For Victory

Denmark secured their first win in England for 17 years as a Christian Eriksen’s penalty proved enough at Wembley Stadium on Wednesday evening. The Inter Milan midfielder struck in the 35th minute shortly after Harry Maguire had been sent off for two bookable offences. England’s disappointment was compounded late on as Reece James was also handed a straight red card following the final whistle. Here are three things we learned from a grim day for the Three Lions in the capital: Maguire feels the pressure again Considering all of the attention surrounding Manchester United captain Maguire and his arrest in Greece before the start of the season, it was always going to be a difficult campaign for the defender. The scrutiny on his performances

England 0-1 Denmark: Player Ratings as Three Lions Slip to Disappointing Nations League Defeat

England 0-1 Denmark: Three Things We Learned as Eriksen Penalty Is Enough For Victory

England followed up their impressive win over Belgium by slumping to a 1-0 home defeat to Denmark in Wednesday's Nations League group stage clash. Having started brightly, the Three Lions were reduced to ten men after two needless, lazy yellow cards from Harry Maguire. A penalty for Denmark followed soon after, one Christian Eriksen tucked away. Barring a pair of Mason Mount and Conor Coady headers, England never came close to equalising after that. Here are your player ratings. Maguire went off for two yellow cards  Jordan Pickford (GK) - 4/10 - Walker may have conceded the penalty, but he was put off by a bizarre decision from Pickford to come flying off his line. Didn't even look comfortable with the ball at his

Chelsea’s Timo Werner & Kai Havertz Both Score in Germany Draw

Chelsea's Timo Werner & Kai Havertz Both Score in Germany Draw

Chelsea forwards Timo Werner and Kai Havertz both scored for Germany in the UEFA Nations League on Tuesday night, contributing towards a 3-3 draw with Switzerland. Germany were initially 2-0 down inside 26 minutes at the game in Cologne, but Werner pulled the first one back soon afterwards and Havertz equalised after half-time. Switzerland went back ahead again, only for Bayern Munich’s Serge Gnabry to make it 3-3. Havertz scored his second international goal in the 3-3 draw  Havertz, who only turned 21 in June, admitted that Germany are currently a ‘young side’ that need to learn and improve. However, he also thought there were ‘plenty of positives’ to take away. For Havertz, it was only the second goal of a fledgling senior international

Ukraine 1-0 Spain: Tsygankov stuns La Roja on return to hallowed ground

Ukraine 1-0 Spain - Tsygankov stuns La Roja on return to hallowed ground

Spain suffered a shock 1-0 defeat to Ukraine in Tuesday’s Nations League clash as Luis Enrique’s side endured an unhappy return to the scene of one of their greatest triumphs. There were around 20,000 fans inside Kiev’s Olympic Stadium, the venue where La Roja won Euro 2012 to cap an unprecedented four-year spell of dominance. Spain had less to celebrate this time, though, as goalkeeper Georgi Bushchan made eight saves to keep Luis Enrique’s side at bay before Viktor Tsygankov capitalised on some slack concentration at the back to score the winner 14 minutes from time. Spain remain top of their group but there will be plenty to play for when the competition resumes next month. Bushchan tipped over a header from Rodrigo Moreno

Germany 3-3 Switzerland: Player Ratings as Spoils Shared in Six-Goal Thriller

Germany 3-3 Switzerland: Player Ratings as Spoils Shared in Six-Goal Thriller

Germany and Switzerland played out a thrilling 3-3 draw in their Nations League clash on Tuesday night. The Swiss got off to a flying start as Mario Gavranovic looped his header over a helpless Manuel Neuer after Xherdan Shaqiri had squandered a glorious early opportunity. The visitors impressed in Cologne  The hosts' woes were then doubled after Atalanta's Remo Freuler rounded off a swift Swiss transition with a delicate dink over an uncharacteristically conservative Manuel Neuer. Timo Werner, however, quickly halved Germany's deficit with a tidy left-footed finish which left the visitors with a 2-1 lead at the break following an entertaining opening period. The madness ensued after the break with Kai Havertz equalising before Gavranovic handed the visitors the advantage once more. A bit

France 0-0 Portugal: Player Ratings as European Giants Cancel Each Other Out

France 0-0 Portugal: Player Ratings as European Giants Cancel Each Other Out

France and Portugal played out a 0-0 draw in the Nations League, with the result keeping Cristiano Ronaldo's side top of group A3. In a first half of very few chances, both teams struggled to break each other down. It was a similar story after the break. Pepe thought he had opened the scoring with 20 minutes left to play, only for his strike to be ruled out for offside. Here are our player ratings on another night of UEFA Nations League action... Hernandez was in fine form for France  Hugo Lloris (GK) - 7/10 - Only had a handful of saves to make but performed when called upon. Benjamin Pavard (RB) - 7/10 - Rock solid at the back and provided Les Bleus with much needed

England 2-1 Belgium: Mount´s deflected strike inflicts rare defeat on Red Devils

England 2-1 Belgium: Mount´s deflected strike inflicts rare defeat on Red Devils

Mason Mount’s deflected strike earned England a 2-1 Nations League victory over a Belgium side who suffered defeat for the first time in almost two years. Belgium beat England twice at the 2018 World Cup and were ahead after 15 minutes at Wembley through Romelu Lukaku’s penalty, awarded when the Inter forward was brought down by Eric Dier. It was the first goal Gareth Southgate’s side had conceded in a year but they drew level before the interval, Thomas Meunier conceding a soft spot-kick from which Marcus Rashford scored. Having spent much of the first half on the back foot, England looked reinvigorated for the second period and got their reward when Mount’s shot looped off Toby Alderweireld and beyond Simon Mignolet’s reach, as the world’s top-ranked footballing nation were beaten for the