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International round-up: Zouma misses France friendly; Pasalic at the double

Alex Livesey/Getty Images

France head coach Didier Deschamp rotated most of his squad for Monday's friendly against Serbia, which meant that Kurt Zouma was all set to win his second cap for Les Bleus ... until he didn't because he got excused from the squad, for personal reasons.  While that sounds a bit ominous and can encompass a rather wide range of reasons, some good, some bad, it would appear that 20-year-old Zouma had to leave because his wife (!) was about to give birth to a child (!!).

That all seems a bit crazy to me, but I'm old, and selfish.

Wait, "deuxieme"!?  Second child!?  Busy boy, that Kurt Zouma.  Hopefully the maturity levels are there to match it all (a la Eden Hazard).  Congrats!

Oh, as far as the friendly itself, France ran out 2-1 winners, the scoreline hardly a proper reflection of their dominance.  Blaise Matuidi settled the tie practically by himself with two early strikes, the second of which was truly something to behold.  Both Branislav Ivanovic and Nemanja Matic played the full match for the visitors.

There were no Chelsea players involved in Monday's Euro 2016 qualifiers.  Andreas Christensen came closest, but he once again only got to watch from the bench as Denmark played out a disappointing scoreless draw in Armenia.  With just a one-point lead over Albania who have the easier schedule and a match in hand, chances are that the Danes will have to contest the qualifying playoffs if they're to make the tournament in France.

Elsewhere, English young'ns Loftus-Cheek, Chalobah, Aina, Clarke-Salter, Abraham, and Solanke were all involved at various levels from U21s down to U19s, but it was in-form Croatian Mario Pasalic who was the star of the day with a brace against Estonia U21.

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