Chelsea had six players in action in two international friendlies today. Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole and Gary Cahill went up against the Republic of Ireland at Wembley Stadium in a dull 1-1 draw, while across the Atlantic Belgium did battle against the United States in Cleveland and came away with a 4-2 victory.
England vs. Ireland
The Three Lions celebrated Ashley Cole's 100th cap by being... really, really boring. So there's not much to report here. Gary Cahill could have done better on Shane Long's opener but was generally solid, Cole could quite easily have slept through the 54 minutes he played before getting subbed for a
bedraggled, smelly dog Leighton Baines, and Lampard scores because he's Frank [funning] Lampard and that's what Frank Lampards do:
I may or may not have fallen asleep trying to watch this one. The game, not the goal.
USA vs. Belgium
Even without Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois, Belgium proved far too hot for the USA to handle. Romelu Lukaku and Kevin de Bruyne both started for the visitors, and both impressed. Lukaku helped spark two goals and had a strike ruled out (incorrectly) for offside after some absolutely magnificent play, while de Bruyne had a pair of assists and forced the error for Kevin Mirallas' opener.
De Bruyne came off for Dries Mertens -- you may remember Mertens as being the guy who broke Cahill's jaw in a friendly and ruled him out of Euro 2012 -- in the 64th minute, while Lukaku lasted 82 minutes before being replaced by Thorgan Hazard, who was described by commentator Ian Darke as being 'Eden's twin brother who didn't make the cut at Chelsea'. Sadly, Eden's two-years-younger twin didn't have much time to make an impact, but it's good to see him getting his first senior appearance with the national team.
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All in all, not a bad day.