The October international break has been defined by two things, penalty kicks and injuries. On Saturday, we got more of both.
First the good news. Jorginho scored a penalty for Italy in their 2-0 win over Greece, proving his own credentials as a master from the spot, and helping the team seal qualification for Euro 2020. After the Azzurri’s shocking failure to make it to the last World Cup, it’s nice to see normal service resumed.
It was a penalty given just past the hour mark for a handball, though this time it wasn’t one of those new-school nonsense ones. So up stepped Jorginho, made one of his classic intense faces, then finished in the usual ice cold hop skip and a jump fashion. Ain’t no hop like the bunny hop!
If you’re keeping track, that’s Olivier Giroud, Christian Pulisic, and now Jorginho scoring penalties during the international break. Nice.
Italy would add another goal to seal the deal, and become the second team after Belgium to book their tickets to the finals.
Earlier in the day, there was a big win for Denmark as well, who beat Switzerland 1-0 to assure themselves of at least the qualifying playoffs. Chelsea defender Andreas Christensen, playing alongside Simon Kjaer, was instrumental in keeping the clean sheet, but unfortunately had to be withdrawn three minutes from time with an apparent knock. Former Huddersfield Town center back Mathias “Zanka” Jørgensen replaced him.
Christensen has had a fair few of these minor in-game injuries — including twice already this season, both times against Liverpool, incidentally — so hopefully this isn’t anything too serious either.
Andreas Christensen came off in the last three minutes with a injury. They won 1-0— CarefreeYouth (@CarefreeYouth) October 12, 2019
If you’re keeping track, that’s Reece James, N’Golo Kanté, and now Andreas Christensen all picking up (minor?) injuries during the international break. Not so nice.
Additionally, Kepa Arrizabalaga was back in goal for Spain, who were held to a 1-1 draw in Norway thanks to a late-late Josh King penalty for the hosts. Unfortunately for the Chelsea goalkeeper, it was his own mistimed punch that gave Norway the penalty.
Good right jab. Bad goalkeeping.