Wednesday 5 October
Chelsea 0:3 VfL Wolfsburg
Pretty much the same as last year as we met the holders and like last year surrendered a big first-leg deficit.
It didn’t help that we handed goals to the Germans at regular intervals with sloppy defending, misplaced passes and an inability to track runners. And all at Stamford Bridge for the first time. Emma Hayes will be hoping for a more professional second-leg.
Wolfsburg did at least give us a lesson in direct attacking and speedy breaking that we will do well to learn.
Thursday 6 October
Tammy Abraham made a late bow for England U21 as they beat Kazakhstan by the only goal. Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Lewis Baker and Nathaniel Chalobah made up the England midfield and controlled the game in a full stadium with a packed terrace jumping up and down the whole game – at U21 level, these Kazakh fans are really dedicated.
Branislav Ivanovic headed in a captain’s goal for Serbia as they beat Moldova 0-3. His usual partner in the Adriatic, Nemanja Matic, missed the game through suspension.
Diego Costa and Spain were moment away from beating Italy but a late penalty ensured the draw.
Willian was a late sub for Brazil as the beat Bolivia 5-0.
Friday 7 October
Eden Hazard helped Diego Costa celebrate his 28th birthday by sticking one past Asmir Begovic as Belgium beat Bosnia 4-0.
Saturday 8 October
England 2:0 Malta
This would be a shockingly bad score if it weren’t for the mitigating circumstances. The biggest of which is playing a fat useless bastard in midfield where he thinks he can effect games instead of trundling around too slow in thought and deed to unpick a woeful Malta backline. Still perhaps Wayne Rooney will pop his knee before we travel to Slovenia on Tuesday next week.
Gareth Southgate did at least win the game and some of the play was refreshing but the problems remain. Are you happy with Gareth Southgate? Why not join the 888Sport Premier League Social Index. How will England fare against Scotland?
Sunday 9 October
Branislav Ivanovic captained again as Serbia beat Austria in a five-goal thriller.
Captaining as well was Obi John Mikel as Nigeria beat Zambia and Diego Costa scored as Spain beat Albania 0-2.