Several Chelsea stars featured for their nations in international fixtures last night, with mixed results for many of the senior stars.
Ashley Cole played the full 90 minutes as England continued to exorcise their world cup demons after an inexorable summer as the Three Lions demolished Bulgaria 4-0 at Wembley.
Ash played a part in the first goal after some incisive running saw his initial shot blocked, only for the Blues left back to slot the loose ball across goal for Jermaine Defoe to score.
England’s players still have some way to go to get the fans back on side but a repeat performance and result on Tuesday, in Zurich, against Switzerland will start to ease the pain.
Danny Sturridge scored the only goal of the game in a must win qualifier for Stuart Pierces England U21’s against Portugal. Linking up with Manchester United’s Tom Cleverley, Studge timed his run to perfection and sent a deft chip over the head of Portuguese goalkeeper, Pedro Joao Goncalves to secure a vital 3 points for the Young Lions. Victory against Lithuania in Colchester next week will secure a play off place for the side in their quest to qualify for the U21 European Championships.
Three players currently out on loan also featured with Michael Mancienne captaining the side before being substituted with an injury, left back Ryan Bertrand completed the full 90 minutes and Jack Cork made a cameo for the last five minutes.
Moving away from the England set up, the Barclay’s Premier League Player of the Month, Frenchman Florent Malouda suffered a humiliating home defeat in Paris to minnows Belarus on the night when he first captained his country. Les Bleus have failed to stop the rot of a horrendous 2010, which has seen them amass a miserly record of P 9 W 1 D 2 L 6 in competitive internationals.
All eyes will be on the clash with Bosnia-Herzegovina on Tuesday night.
Yuri Zhirkov missed Russia’s 2-0 win over Andorra whilst Jeffery Bruma also missed out on the Holland U21 loss to Spain. Patrick Van Aanholt however completed the full 90 minutes.
Connor Clifford and also featured in the Republic of Ireland U21’s side 1-0 loss to Switzerland.
Earlier in the week, Chelsea new boy Yossi Benayoun netted a hat-trick as he captained Israel to a comprehensive 3-1 victory over Malta.
Check back next week to see how the Blues stars fair in their next set of fixtures and check the Cfcnet twitter for live updates from the games.