On the road to Qatar 2022: Mixed fortunes for the Euro 2020 finalists Italy barely drew at home while England won away.
Although today, September 2, the fifth day of the European qualifiers, did not produce any resounding results, we can say that the main candidates, with the exception of England, have been left in debt.
Just as yesterday France had barely managed a draw against Bosnia & Herzegovina, today the last winner of Euro 2020, whose final was played a few months ago, could not overcome a - theoretically - weaker Bulgaria playing at home at the Artemio Franchi stadium in Florence.
England has so far been the only team that has been able to defend the merits of having reached the final of the European Championship. Today they beat the always dangerous Hungarian team at home by 4-0.
Italy 1 - Bulgaria 1
Although the Azzurri team coached by Roberto Mancini took an early lead thanks to Federico Chesa's goal at 16 minutes of the first half, which foreshadowed a heavy result, before the end of the first half Bulgaria managed to equalize through Atanas Iliev at 39 minutes and from then on the score remained unchanged.
With an absolute supremacy in ball possession (71%) against the 21% of the Bulgarians, Italy could not confirm in the net that dominance and ended up giving away a valuable point to their opponents and transforming the visiting goalkeeper Georgiev in the figure of the match.
Liechtenstein 0 - Germany 2
Germany also struggled to defeat Liechtenstein, who in theory should not be a difficult opponent.
However, they managed to close out the match midway through the second half when Leroy Sané scored the 2-0 goal in the 77th minute. Earlier, at the end of the first half, Timo Werner had opened the scoring in the 41st minute.
Here, too, the (almost) absolute dominance in possession did not give Germany the same peace of mind to convert this dominance into a goal. 85% possession for Germany and only 15% for Liechtenstein.
It seems to be no coincidence that the top team in their zone is a surprising Armenia relegating the Germans to second place.
Hungary 0 - England 4
With efficiency, order and precision England had no problems in beating Hungary 4-0 as visitors.
It was a key night for the England national team, who had lost the final against Italy playing at home. However, the team led by Southgate managed to win, to score and to convince by far.
A goalless first half was followed by a second half full of English attacking power. Ten minutes into the second half, Sterling opened the scoring and the scoring began.
A few minutes later Harry Kane and Harry Maguire completed the 3-0.
In fourteen minutes England had scored three goals. Declan Rice, three minutes from the end, closed the scoring and gave final figures to the match by 4-0.
Sweden 2 - Spain 0
Spain continues in free fall. The bad performance at the European Championship does not seem to have been a coincidence. Today they lost 2-0 to Sweden as visitors.
Despite having started winning the match with an early goal by Luis Soler after 4 minutes of play, the team led by Luis Enrique failed to keep the game and were immediately tied by Sweden through Alexander Isak a few minutes later.
In the second half, after 12 minutes of play, Viktor Claesson gave the final score to the match.
Estonia 2 - Belgium 5
Confirming their good moment and their semi-finalist status at Euro 2020, Belgium defeated Estonia 5-2 as visitors.
The goals of Poland and Northern Ireland.
Poland's 4-1 home win over Albania and Northern Ireland's 4-1 away win over Lithuania are worth mentioning.
The rest of the matches.
In the rest of the matches, Czech Republic defeated Belarus by 1 to 0 while Andorra did the same with San Marino by 2 to 0. Romania defeated Iceland by 2 to 0.
At the end of the fifth matchday, Portugal leads Group A with 10 points, Sweden leads Group B with 9 points, Italy leads Group C with 10 points, France leads Group D with 8 points, and Belgium leads Group E with 10 points, in Group F the only team that has won all its matches -together with England- Denmark with 12 and a perfect score, in Group G Turkey, the surprise, leads with 8 points, in Group H Croatia with 7, in Group I England, all wins, with 12 points and closes the classification table with the absolute surprise, in Group J the leader is Armenia with 9 points.