Davide Zappacosta and Italy miss the mark while Andreas Christensen plays a key role in Denmark’s World Cup qualification.
Sweden shocked the world on Monday night as they completed their win over Italy in the 2018 World Cup Qualification play-offs. The Swedes managed a 1-0 aggregate victory over two legs, with Jakob Johansson the man to score the all important goal, and the Azzurri will miss the World Cup as a result of the goalless second leg in Milan for the first time in over half a century. The last time Italy failed to qualify (1958), Brazil had yet to win a single World Cup.
Our own Davide Zappacosta was an unused sub in both legs and because of that was unable to make an impact in Italy’s final chance at qualification. He will likely return to Chelsea with a big chip on his shoulder and something to prove, though will no doubt be as disappointed as Antonio Conte and the rest of his country following this shocking result.
Gianluigi Buffon, Daniele De Rossi, Georgio Chiellini, and Andrea Barzagli all announced their retirement from international football after the defeat.
The first time Italy have failed to qualify for the World Cup since 1958 💔😱 pic.twitter.com/vDbZjVCPUT
— Soccer AM (@SoccerAM) November 14, 2017
In stark contrast, Andreas Chrsitensen’s Denmark will be overjoyed to have qualified for next summer’s tournament in Russia following a 5-1 win over Ireland in Dublin last night.
The first leg was killed by a strong Irish defensive display as it ended in a 0-0 draw, however Tuesday’s game was full of excitement. Ireland struck early on through Shane Duffy but Denmark later responded by forcing a goal which has since been judged as an own goal after Christensen’s shot was deflected in by a defender on the line. It was Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen who stole the show though, as the attacking midfielder grabbed an incredible hat-trick to erase any hope Ireland had of reaching the World Cup.
Andreas Christensen played the full 90 minutes in that second leg for Denmark and played a key role having sat out the first leg as a substitute. As a result of the win, Christensen joins a long list of Chelsea players who are likely to participate in next summer’s World Cup. Barring injuries or unforeseen circumstances with regard to squad selection, these are the players you can keep an eye out for in Russia:
– Germany: Antonio Rudiger
– Spain: Alvaro Morata, Cesar Azpilicueta, Cesc Fabregas, Pedro and possibly Marcos Alonso.
– France: N’Golo Kante and Tiemoue Bakayoko.
– Belgium: Eden Hazard, Michy Batshuayi, Thibaut Courtois, and possibly Charly Musonda.
– Nigeria: Victor Moses, Kenneth Omeruo and Ola Aina.
– Brazil: Willian and possibly David Luiz.
– England: Gary Cahill, possibly Danny Drinkwater, possibly Ruben Loftus-Cheek and possibly Tammy Abraham.
– Denmark: Andreas Christensen
– Croatia: Mario Pasalic