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Saturday 07 September 2013

Road to Brazil: League stars in among the goals

A review of Barclays Premier League players in action in European qualifying for 2014 World Cup

  • Welbeck scored twice for England against Moldova

  • Southampton's Lambert also scored in the 4-0 victory at Wembley

  • Everton's Mirallas came off the bench to seal Belgium's win over Scotland

  • New Norwich signing Elmander got an equalising goal for Sweden in Dublin

  • Van Persie rescued the Dutch unbeaten record with a late equaliser against Estonia

Qualification for the FIFA 2014 World Cup resumes this weekend with nations across the world vying for a place to join Japan, Australia and the host country Brazil.

Almost 90 players from Barclays Premier League clubs saw action on Friday in European qualifying for the FIFA 2014 World Cup in Brazil, with 10 of those scoring 11 goals. Here is a rundown of the players who were involved.

Group A

Group leaders a Belgium side which featured seven Premier League players moved closer to qualification with a 2-0 win over Scotland at Hampden Park. Steven Defour opened the scoring on 38 minutes before Everton striker Kevin Mirallas came off the bench to ensure victory in the final minute.

Croatia, who are second, lost ground after being held 1-1 by Serbia in Belgrade.

A penalty from Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey was not enough for Wales, who went down 2-1 to FYR Macedonia in Skopje.

FYR Macedonia 2-1 Wales
Boaz Myhill (West Brom), Ashley Williams (Swansea), Ben Davies (Swansea), Jack Collison (West Ham, sub off 78), James Vaughan (Sunderland; sub off 85), Jonathan Williams (Crystal Palace), Craig Bellamy (Cardiff City), Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal). Subs: Danny Gabbidon (Crystal Palace), Paul Dummett (Newcastle United), Declan John (Cardiff).

Scotland 0-2 Belgium
David Marshall (Cardiff City), Alan Hutton (Aston Villa), Russell Martin, Chris Whittaker, Robert Snodgrass (sub off: 58) (all Norwich). Subs: Steven Naismith (Everton), Charlie Adam (Stoke City), Barry Bannan (Crystal Palace), Craig Conway (Cardiff).
Belgium: Jan Vertonghen (Spurs), Marouane Fellaini (Man Utd) (sub off: 68), Nacer Chadli (Spurs), Kevin de Bruyne (Chelsea), Christian Benteke (Aston Villa; sub off 87). Subs: Simon Mignolet (Liverpool), Romelu Lukaku (WBA), Kevin Mirallas (Everton; 68), Mousa Dembele (Spurs; 87).

Serbia 1-1 Croatia
Branislav Ivanovic (Chelsea), Aleksandar Kolarov, Matija Nastasic (both Man City).
Croatia: Dejan Lovren (Southampton). Sub: Nikica Jelavic (Evertotn; 76).

Group B

Italy moved to within a win of qualifying for the finals in Brazil with a 1-0 victory over Bulgaria. Sunderland’s Emanuele Giacherrini came off the bench for Italy, while Aston Villa’s summer signing Aleksandar Tonev started for Bulgaria. A goal from Arsenal’s Tomas Rosicky was not enough to stop a Czech Republic side with Chelsea’s Petr Cech in goal from suffering a shock 2-1 defeat at home to Armenia. In the same group Christian Eriksen, in his first action since signing for Spurs, helped Denmark beat Malta 2-1.

Czech Republic 1-2 Armenia
Czech Republic:
Petr Cech (Chelsea), Libor Kozak (Aston Villa), Tomas Rosicky (Arsenal).

Italy 1-0 Bulgaria
Italy: Sub:
Emanuele Giaccherini (Sunderland; 62).
Bulgaria: Aleksander Tonev (Aston Villa; sub off 61).

Malta 1-2 Denmark
Daniel Agger (Liverpool), Christian Eriksen (Spurs). Sub: Jores Okore (Aston Villa).

Group C

Arsenal’s pair of Per Mertesacker and Mesut Ozil helped Germany make light work of second-placed Austria in a 3-0 victory. An equalising header from Norwich City striker Johan Elmander helped Sweden come from behind to beat the Republic of Ireland 2-1 in Dublin.

Germany 3-0 Austria
Per Mertesacker (Arsenal), Mesut Ozil (Arsenal; sub off 83). Sub: Andre Schurrle (Chelsea).
Austria: Andreas Weimann (Aston Villa), Marko Arnautovic (Stoke City; sub off: 67).

Rep. of Ireland 1-2 Sweden
Rep. of Ireland:
Seamus Coleman (Everton), Marc Wilson (Stoke), John O’Shea (Sunderland), Glen Whelan (Stoke), James McCarthy (Everton), Shane Long (West Brom), Jonathan Walters (Stoke; sub off 68). Subs: Robbie Brady (Hull City), Kieren Westwood (Sunderland), Ciaran Clark (Aston Villa), Paul McShane (Hull), Anthony Pilkington (Norwich City; 74), Wes Hoolahan (Norwich).
Martin Olsson (Norwich), Sebastian Larsson (Sunderland), Johan Elmander (Norwich City; sub off 90), Alexander Kacaniklic (Fulham). Subs: Jonas Olsson (West Brom; 90).

Kazakhstan 2 Faroe Islands 1

Group D

Manchester United forward Robin van Persie’s injury-time penalty maintained the Netherlands’ unbeaten record in qualifying with a 2-2 draw in Estonia. The Dutch are six points clear at the top but a Romania side captained by Tottenham Hotspur’s new signing Vlad Chiriches and including West Ham United defender Razvan Rat moved to second with a 3-0 defeat of Hungary in Bucharest.

Estonia 2-2 Netherlands
Michael Vorm (Swansea City), Robin van Persie (Man Utd). Subs: Ron Vlaar (Aston Villa), Ricky van Wolfswinkel (Norwich), Jonathan de Guzman (Swansea; 75).

Romania 3-0 Hungary
Razvan Rat (West Ham), Vlad Chiriches (Spurs).

Turkey 5-0 Andorra

Group E

An Iceland team featuring Cardiff City’s Aron Gunnarsson and Spurs’ Gylfi Sigurdsson recovered from being 4-1 down to draw 4-4 with Switzerland.

Switzerland 4-4 Iceland
Switzerland: Sub:
Philippe Senderos (Fulham).
Iceland: Aron Gunnarsson (Cardiff City), Gylfi Sigurdsson (Spurs).

Norway 2-0 Cyprus
Brede Hangeland (Fulham).

Slovenia 1 Albania 0

Group F

West Bromwich Albion’s Chris Brunt was sent off for Northern Ireland as they went down 4-2 to a Portugal team that included Manchester United’s Nani as a second-half substitute and was inspired by a Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick. West Brom’s Gareth McAuley scored for Northern Ireland.

Northern Ireland 2-4 Portugal

Northern Ireland: Gareth McAuley (West Brom), Jonny Evans (Man Utd), Steven Davis (Southampton), Chris Brunt (West Brom). Subs: Alex Bruce (Hull City).
Sub: Nani (Man Utd; 55)

Russia 4-1 Luxembourg

Group G

A Bosnia team with Stoke’s Asmir Begovic in goal and Man City’s Edin Dzeko up front suffered their first defeat of qualifying as Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel led Slovakia to a shock win. Bosnia are now joint top with Greece.

Bosnia-Herzegovina 0-1 Slovakia
Asmir Begovic (Stoke City), Edin Dzeko (Man City).
Slovakia:  Martin Skrtel (Liverpool).

Liechtenstein 0-1 Greece
Greece: Sub:
Giorgios Karagounis (Fulham; 67)

Latvia 2-1 Lithuania

Group H

England capitalised on dropped points for Montenegro, held 1-1 in Poland, as they marched to a 4-0 home win over Moldova to go level on points at the top of Group H with the Montenegrins. Manchester United striker Danny Welbeck scored twice and Liverpool’s Steven Gerrard and Southampton’s Rickie Lambert got the others.

England 4-0 Moldova
Joe Hart (Man City), Kyle Walker (Spurs), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Phil Jagielka (Everton), Cole (Chelsea; sub: 45), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Jack Wilshere (Arsenal; sub: 59), Theo Walcott (Arsenal), Rickie Lambert (Southampton; sub: 70), Danny Welbeck (Man Utd). Subs: Leighton Baines (Everton; 45) Ross Barkley (Everton; 59), James Milner (Man City; 70), John Ruddy (Norwich), Chris Smalling, Michael Carrick, Tom Cleverley, Ashley Young (all Man Utd), Jermain Defoe (Spurs), Raheem Sterling (Liverpool), Andros Townsend (Spurs).

Poland 1-1 Montenegro
Artur Boruc (Southampton). Subs Not Used: Wojciech Szczesny, Lukasz Fabianski (both Arsenal).
Elsad Zverotic (Fulham). Sub: Stevan Jovetic (Man City).

Ukraine 9-0 San Marino

Group I

Reigning world champions Spain were helped by a goal from Man City’s Alvara Negredo as they  took a firm grip on the group as they beat Finland 2-0 while a France side that used six Barclays Premier League players were frustrated by a goalless draw in Georgia. France trail leaders Spain by three points.

Finland 0-2 Spain
Spain: Subs:
Alvaro Negredo (Man City; 71), Santi Cazorla (Arsenal; 81), Jesus Navas (Man City; 55). Nacho Monreal (Arsenal), David Silva, Javier Garcia (both Man City), Roberto Soldado (Spurs).

Georgia 0-0 France
Hugo Lloris (Spurs), Patrice Evra (Man Utd), Bacary Sagna, Laurent Koscielny, Olivier Giroud (all Arsenal), Moussa Sissoko (Newcastle United). Subs: Samir Nasri (Man City; 78) Mathieu Debuchy (Newcastle United), Gael Clichy (Man City).

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Key Points

  • More than 70 players from the Barclays Premier League in international action in Europe
  • They scored 11 of the goals in 2014 World Cup qualifying
  • The players who saw action are outlined in the article