Euro Qualifying

Euro Qualifiers Top Five, Matchday 10: Hat-tricks for Gnabry and Wijnaldum

Both stars were outstanding for Germany and the Netherlands respectively, while Italy and Belgium also had big wins.

 
11:32am on Wednesday 20th November 2019
By
Martin Macdonald
Serge Gnabry
AM (RL) - Germany - 24 yrs
MAN OF THE MATCH
81'
10
Nov 19, 2019

In what would have been unthinkable 18 months ago, Gnabry is becoming a vital player for both Bayern and Germany. On Tuesday he helped his country top their Euro 2020 qualifying group by smashing home a hat-trick against Northern Ireland, and what a hat-trick it was. The first goal saw him swivel inside the box, controlling with one foot before lashing a strike into the top corner with the other, while the second was a drilled shot into the bottom left corner from inside the box. His third was a display of impressive strength as he stole the ball from Tom Flanagan before scoring from close range. He misplaced just two passes all game. Incredible.

Georginio Wijnaldum
M, DM (C) - Netherlands - 29 yrs
MAN OF THE MATCH
90'
10
Nov 19, 2019

In the absence of Liverpool team-mate Virgil van Dijk, Wijnaldum captained the Netherlands to a comfortable 5-0 win over Estonia, with him scoring three from midfield. The first was a simple enough header, while he has Calvin Stengs' superb tracking of the defender to thank for his second, as the pair stole possession high up the pitch before Wijnaldum slotted home. Stengs was the provider for his third, too, as a pass was slid through the middle for the Liverpool midfielder to calmly evade a couple of tackles before curling into the corner. Defensively he helped stop a few Estonian counters with eight ball recoveries.

Ciro Immobile
ST (C) - Italy - 29 yrs
MAN OF THE MATCH
90'
10
Nov 18, 2019

Italy demolished Armenia 9-1 to make it a miraculous 10 wins out of 10 in Euro 2020 qualifying, with Immobile scoring two and setting up another in their last fixture on Monday. To open the scoring for the Azzurri he drifted away to the back post to nod a header in from close range, and shortly after set-up Nicolo Zaniolo for the second. He got his second of the evening after darting through on goal to dink a touch around the oncoming goalkeeper, allowing him to easily finish. He sent 20 passes into the final third, had eight touches inside the Armenia penalty area, and won the majority of his duels. He also misplaced just three passes out of 40 on the night.

Kevin De Bruyne
M (C) - Belgium - 28 yrs
MAN OF THE MATCH
68'
10
Nov 19, 2019

Kevin De Bruyne scored two and assisted another for Belgium in their 6-1 over Cyprus, actually helping them come back from behind after the visitors took a surprise lead. His first goal had a huge element of fortune as goalkeeper Neophytos Michael haplessly dropped a weak strike into the net. There was no fortune involved in his second, however, as he collected possession with his back to goal inside the box before placing a precision strike into the corner. He played a big part in Yannick Carrasco's goal with an initial pass through to Eden Hazard, and then set-up Christian Benteke's second with a through-ball. He sent 34 passes into the final third, and had nine touches inside the Cyrpus box.

Yannick Carrasco
M, AM (L) - Belgium - 26 yrs
90'
10
Nov 19, 2019

Carrasco was vital in Belgium getting back into the game after going behind against Cyprus, and assisted the equaliser for Benteke after refusing to give up on a ball towards the line, saving the attack with a reversed pass inside. Thereafter he assisted De Bruyne's second with a pass from the left-wing, and took his own individual goal brilliantly as he held his run at the back post to fire a volley into the corner from relatively close range after a cross from Hazard.

HONOURABLE MENTIONS

Federico Chiesa (10) scored highly, but was perhaps not as effective on the night as his team-mate above, even though he scored one and set-up a further two.

Sergei Petrov (10) and Daler Kuzyaev (10) were both excellent, but any win against San Marino must come with an asterisk, while the same could be said for Loris Benito (10) who impressed for Switzerland against Gibraltar.

ROUND TO FORGET

No surprise to see a couple of Armenians in here as they conceded nine versus Italy. Roberto Mancini's men were good, but they were aided by the inept performances of defender Varazdat Haroyan (3.8) and goalkeeper Aram Hayrapetyan (4.2) - as well as the rest of the team quite frankly.

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