It was a mixed evening for those Chelsea players involved in internationals.
Ashley Cole played just under an hour as England were beaten for the second time in a week at Wembley. Roy Hodgson’s side, who lost 2-0 against Chile on Friday, suffered a 1-0 reverse against Germany, with Per Metersacker scoring the only goal of the game shortly before half-time.
Cole was one of a handful of players replaced during the second half, with the Chelsea left-back making way for Kieron Gibbs in the 53rd minute, while both Frank Lampard and Gary Cahill were unused substitutes.
Andre Schurrle featured for the final eight minutes after replacing Marco Reus for Joachim Low’s side, with the Chelsea attacker seeing a deflected strike comfortably gathered by Joe Hart soon after coming on.
Elsewhere, there were shock defeats for both Spain and Belgium, with Chelsea representatives on show in both games.
Juan Mata was a second-half substitute for the world champions, who went down 1-0 away in South Africa, Bernard Parker scoring the decisive goal 11 minutes into the second half.
Mata replaced Xabi Alonso just after the hour and almost teed up an equaliser with his first touch, but Andres Iniesta could only steer his strike wide.
Both Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku started for Belgium as they were beaten 3-2 by Japan. Kevin Mirallas had given Marc Wilmots’s side an early lead, but after equalising before the break, Japan scored twice in 10 second-half minutes to turn the game on its head. Toby Alderweireld scored a late consolation for Belgium.
Hazard came off at half-time, with Lukaku completing 76 minutes. Kevin De Bruyne was introduced at the expense of Dries Martens in the 62nd minute while Thibaut Courtois remained on the bench.
Patrick van Aanholt, meanwhile, was handed his full Netherlands debut as a substitute in their goalless draw against Colombia.
Bertrand Traore, who, back in October, agreed a deal to sign for Chelsea, played just over an hour as his Burkina Faso side suffered World Cup heartache at the hands of Algeria.
Burkina Faso went into the second leg of the play-off with a slender 3-2 advantage, but when Madjid Bougherra gave the hosts the lead, it was Algeria in the ascendancy courtesy of the away goals rule.
The visitors pressed for a decisive goal late on but it was Algeria who held on to book their place in Brazil.
Patrick Bamford, meanwhile, was handed his debut for England Under-21s as Gareth Southgate’s side cruised to a record 9-0 win against San Marino, strengthening their grip on Group 1 in Euro’ 2015 qualifying.
The Chelsea striker, currently on loan at MK Dons, was rewarded for his impressive start to the campaign with a late call-up, and Bamford was introduced to the action in the 65th minute, replacing Tom Ince.
Nathaniel Chalobah was an unused substitute.