Roberto Mancini’s Italy will not be going to Qatar come November after failing to qualify but it still has a chance to clinch silverware after qualifying for the Nations League last four with a 2-0 win against Hungary.
In England, Gareth Southgate’s men showed that they haven’t forgotten how to fight with a spirited performance in front of a demanding Wembley crowd where it came back from a 2-0 deficit against Germany to register a 3-3 draw.
Here’s all the results from the latest round of fixtures of the UEFA Nations League
- ⦿England fights back: England has had a lacklustre Nations League campaign, to say the least, and a 2-0 defeat against Italy saw Gareth Southgate’s men get relegated to League B (second-tier) of the Nations League. However, the Three Lions showed heart against Germany to come back from a 2-0 deficit and register a 3-3 draw at Wembley. England has a mountain of work ahead if it plans to make an impact in the Qatar World Cup but Southgate’s men showed positive signs.
- ⦿The Maguire dilemma: Gareth Southgate has been called out for his many flaws but showing loyalty to his players isn’t one of them. He has always backed his players in public and whatever talking happens, usually stays hidden from the public domain. However, the England manager faces a dilemma with Harry Maguire, one his primary centre-backs who played a crucial role in England’s World Cup semifinal run in 2018 and reaching the European Championship final in 2021. Maguire has had a bad start to the season and despite being the official captain of Manchester United, he isn’t on Erik Ten Hag’s starting list. To add to Maguire’s woes, it was his mistake that led to Gundogan’s penalty in the second half against Germany when he clumsily brought down Jamal Musiala inside the box. Maguire, who was booed by some fans when the teams were being announced before the Germany match might still be in the good books of Southgate, but given his limited game time at the club level and his poor form, it won’t be a surprise if Maguire doesn’t feature as heavily for England as he is used to.
- ⦿Adam Szalai’s international retirement: Adam Szalai did not have the fairytale ending to his international career as his team Hungary lost 2-0 to Italy but he showed optimism and said, “I hope that in the coming years all our young talents will mature and we can continue this journey.” Szalai, who is signed to Swiss side Basel until June 2023, already has a coaching role in his mind post-retirement. Szalai made his Hungary debut in a friendly 1-0 loss to Israel in 2009 and scored 26 goals for the national side.