Martial makes eventful return as France beat Sweden in opening UEFA Nations League game

Anthony Martial made an eventful return from his two-and-a-half year international football exile as France beat Sweden 1-0 in the UEFA Nations League, reports
Manchester United forward Martial hadn’t played for France since March 2018 prior to being named in Didier Deschamps’ squad, with the World Cup winning boss rewarding him for his excellent form at club level.
Martial, who scored 23 goals for the Old Trafford side last season, began Saturday night’s clash in Solna on the bench before coming on for goal scorer Kylian Mbappe in the 77th minute.
Mbappe had notched what proved to be the only goal of the game four minutes before half-time, but the French could have had another strike thanks to the efforts of Martial.
In stoppage time, the forward raced onto a flick-on from fellow substitute Steven Nzonzi and hared toward goal as he was pursued by his United teammate Victor Lindelof.
The Swedish defender couldn’t get to grips with Martial though, and he hauled him down for a penalty.
However, Barcelona’s Antoine Griezmann wasted the chance from 12 yards as he skied his spot-kick high over the crossbar.
Elsewhere in the Nations League, there was a 2-0 win for Belgium away at Denmark, with defender Jason Denayer and forward Dries Mertens finding the net in the Danish capital.
Portugal didn’t miss the injured Cristiano Ronaldo too much as they swatted aside Croatia 4-1 in Porto.
Premier League pair Joao Cancelo and Diogo Jota were both on target for the hosts, with Joao Felix and Andre Silva adding further goals.
The day’s earlier match in League A saw England labour to a 1-0 win over Iceland in Reykjavik thanks to a late penalty from Raheem Sterling.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button