There were no competitive internationals for Chelsea players on Wednesday evening but plenty of friendly action including wins for Juan Mata and Branislav Ivanovic and a first for Islam Feruz at Under-21 level.
Gary Cahill was the one Chelsea starter in England’s 4-2 defeat in Sweden in a match to mark the opening of the new national stadium in Sweden, replacing the Rasunda Stadium, scene of our 1998 Cup Winners’ Cup triumph.
As on that night, the pitch for Wednesday’s game was questionable but having gone behind on 20 minutes, England went 2-1 ahead with goals from Danny Welbeck and debutant Steven Caulker, a lead they took into the break and held when Daniel Sturridge was introduced on 61 minutes, one of six England substitutes overall.
However Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored three times in a quarter-of-an-hour to give him all four of Sweden’s goals and his nation a victory. The fourth goal was a remarkable overhead kick from long-range. Ryan Bertrand was an unused sub.
Juan Mata played the first half of Spain’s 5-1 win away to Panama. The Chelsea man went close with a free-kick and played the through ball from which Pedro scored his side’s third goal – 3-0 the score when Mata was substituted.
Branislav Ivanovic captained Serbia to a 3-1 win over Chile in a game played in Switzerland. The South Americans pulled a late goal back after being reduced to 10 men when three goals down.
There was defeat though for Belgium who started with Kevin De Bruyne and brought Romelu Lukaku on after 56 minutes but left Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois on the bench. They lost 2-1 away to Romania.
Conor Clifford was an unused sub for Republic of Ireland in a home 1-0 defeat to Greece.
At Under-21 level it was a notable night for Islam Feruz who despite being on the losing side, scored twice in an away game in Portugal.
The 17-year-old put the Scots 2-0 up with a header and a run through the defence, his first goals at this level having scored a hat-trick for Scotland Under-19s last month. Portugal hit back with three second-half goals.
Milan Lalkovic played 73 minutes of Slovakia U21s’ 2-1 defeat to Russia in a game played in Spain; Nathan Ake 61 minutes for Netherlands U19s in a match against Dutch club side PEC Zwolle.