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Atsu out, Schurrle a group winner with Germany

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Christopher Lee

Two Chelsea players were in action in the early games on Thursday, and they had mixed results. Christian Atsu got the start for Ghana and went all 90 minutes in their 2-1 loss against Portugal (which knocked them out of the tournament), while Andre Schurrle managed to get a whole two minutes during Germany's win over the United States, which saw them top Group G.

In Schurrle's two minutes, he did approximately nothing, so it's Atsu who's going to be the focus here. He didn't do much down the flank, which comes as a surprise considering his immediate opponent was definitely-not-a-left-back Miguel Veloso, whom I was expecting him to utterly torch. He did, however, see plenty of the ball, and was part of the reason that the Black Stars were intermittently threatening. He had three shots, none were on target, but he did come close with a far-post curler with Ghana 1-0 down.

Ultimately, it wasn't a dominating performance against Portugal, but that's not what we were expecting from Atsu. He played well against tough opposition and was one of the main attacking fulcrums of a very decent Ghana team. Considering his age and experience, that's definitely impressive, and something to build on in the future. For now, though, it's time for a well-deserved holiday.