After last week’s international football, there was another round of football this week with almost all Real Madrid players involved. This included youth team players in Nacho Fernandez for Spain U-21, Denis Cheryshev for Russia U-21 to first team players as well.
Spain U21 3-1 Russia U21
Having been called up and featuring for Real Madrid Castilla, Denis Cheryshev, was back in the international fold with Russia U21 to take on Spain U21 in Alcorcon. Spain U21 picked up yet another victory in their preparation for Euro Championship in Israel later this year. Russia, who have also qualified for the tournament, picked up yet another loss after their loss to Italy on the weekend.
Nacho had come on as a substitute for Spain U21 against Norway U21 last week but this time he started the game. Nacho Fernandez, the only Real Madrid Castilla player called up into the Spanish youth team started and played 56 minutes before being substituted by Real Sociedad’s Iñigo Martinez.
Denis played for Real Madrid Castilla on Sunday coming on as a substitute in the 78th minute in Castilla’s 4-0 win versus Cordoba. Having started and played the first half against Italy last week, Denis once again started and played the first half before being substituted off.
La Fabrica products in Rodrigo Moreno (now with Benfica) started and scored yet again for Spain U21. He scored Spain’s first and was later substituted off in the 56th minute. Pablo Sarabia (now with Getafe) started and played 46 minutes and Sergio Canales (now with Valencia) started and played 56 minutes.
Spain’s goals came courtesy of Rodrigo Moreno, Iker Muniain and Thiago Alcantara. Yakovlev got the goal for Russians. (All goals)
Brazil 1-1 Russia
Unlike Brazil’s 2-2 draw against Italy last week where both Kaka and Marcelo came off the bench, Luiz Felipe Scolari started with two Real Madrid players against Russia at Stamford Bridge with Jose Mourinho watching courtesy of an invite by the Brazilian FA.
Kaka played 78 minutes before being replaced by Atletico Madrid’s Diego Costa. Marcelo played the full game and provided a late assist for Fred to score the equaliser. (Video)
After the game, Scolari praised Marcelo for his man of the match performance:
Everyone says Marcelo attacks well but has problems when it comes to marking.
Today, his performance was balanced, he attacked when he had to attack and marked well, so we have found another player for the team.
He has skill, he can dribble, he surpassed expectations
He was also asked about Kaka but he didn’t say much on his play. Kaka was playing for the first time under Scolari.
Kaka lived up to expectations.
Azerbaijan 0-2 Portugal
With Cristiano suspended, Pepe and Coentrao were the two representatives from Real Madrid in Portugal’s starting XI. Both of them started and played 90 minutes with Bruno Alves and Hugo Almeida getting the goals. Pepe picked up a booking in the first half which rules him out of playing against Russia in Portugal. Coentrao provided the cross (assist) for Almeida. (video)
Germany 4-1 Kazakhstan
After last week’s comfortable win in Kazakhstan, Germany were this time on home turf against the same opposition. Much like last week, Germany kept their foot on the gas and turned on the charm with a spectacular 4-1 win in Nuremberg despite being “strikerless”. Sami Khedira and Mesut Ozil started and played 90 minutes in the rout with Ozil providing two assists. Germany’s goals came from Borussi Dortmund’s trio of Marco Reus (two goals) and a goal each by Mario Gotze and Illkay Gundogan. Kazakhstan pulled one back through Heinrich Schmidtgal just after half time. Ozil provided assists for Reus (video) and Gundogan (video). With this, Ozil has been involved in 9 goals directly – 5 goals scored and 4 assists.
Bolivia 1-1 Argentina
Argentina travelled to Bolivia’s La Paz with Di Maria starting for the first time since the win versus Manchester United in the most intimidating conditions possible as the stadium is located 4100 metres above sea level. Gonzalo Higuain wasn’t eligible for the game due to collection of yellow cards. Di Maria started and played until the 90th minute before being substituted off. He was taken off on a stretcher in the second half after a knock and needed to wear the oxygen mask to get back into the game (image). Bolivia scored courtesy Marcelo Martins before Ever Banega equalised with a well placed header in the corner. (Videos)
France 0-1 Spain
Spain got their World Cup qualifying campaign back in order with a clumsy goal by Pedro assisted by Arsenal’s Nacho Monreal. The goal was enough to carry Spain through with a 1-0 margin at Saint Denis as Xabi Alonso returned to the starting XI (along with Xavi). Alvaro Arbeloa and Sergio Ramos were the other two Madridistas in the starting XI as Raul Albiol stayed on the bench yet again. All three started and played full ninety minutes for La Roja. Xabi had an excellent game as he bossed the midfield around and added that extra strong depth which Spain lacked v Finland last week. Arbeloa was booked in the second half for a foul on Menez.
Over in the French side of things, Raphael Varane and Karim Benzema both started despite Benzema getting a lot of stick in the press for his recent performances. Varane played the full game while Benzema was substituted in the 82nd minute. As Benzema walked off, he was booed off by the fans. Later in the mixed zone he said, “I don’t know why people booed at me today. But it’s okay, it’s football, it’s life”. (videos)
Wales 1-2 Croatia
Luka Modric started and played the full 90 minutes in Croatia’s comeback win against Wales in Swansea. Wales took the lead through Gareth Bale but Dejan Lovren and Eduardo scored in the second half to give Croatia the win. (videos)