The weekend saw plenty of Fantasy Premier League assets continue their summer exploits on the international scene.
As the Copa America and Gold Cup close in on the end of the group stage, the opening round of matches got underway in the African Cup of Nations.
We’ve got all the latest news on who did and didn’t play as well as any injury updates.
Ecuador 1-2 Chile
Alexis Sánchez continues to hint at a return to form with another impressive game at Copa America.
After registering a goal and assist against Japan in the first round of matches, the Manchester United man found the net as Chile also beat Ecuador.
However, he will have to be careful for the remainder of the tournament in Brazil as he aggravated an ankle injury – although he still managed to play a full 90 minutes.
“I think I have a sprain, I hope it’s not too serious. At half-time they strapped it up, I played on with a bit of pain.” – Alexis Sánchez
Peru 0-5 Brazil
Roberto Firmino finally delivered his first goal of Copa America 2019 as Brazil thrashed Peru 5-0.
After coming under criticism for their win over Bolivia and draw with Venezuela, the Selecao went up a gear for their final game of the group stage.
However, Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus, making his first start of the tournament, was denied a first-ever Copa America goal in stoppage time.
He saw his penalty saved by Peru goalkeeper Pedro Gallese.
After starting both of the first two matches, in which Brazil failed to get into their stride, Richarlison was dropped to the bench against Peru.
He was replaced in the starting line-up by Everton, who contributed a goal and an assist to proceedings.
Willian came on for the final 15 minutes and added the fifth goal – his first involvement at the Copa America.
Meanwhile, Ederson remained an unused substitute with Alisson keeping another clean sheet and Fernandinho missed out through injury – but has reportedly trained ahead of Thursday’s quarter-final.
Colombia 1-0 Paraguay
Having already secured the Group B top spot before this match, Colombia rotated for their 1-0 win over Paraguay.
That saw centre-backs Davinson Sánchez and Yerry Mina drop to the bench to be unused substitutes.
Coming in was Bournemouth’s Jefferson Lerma, who played 90 minutes in the central midfield trio of a 4-3-3 formation.
In action for Paraguay was Miguel Almirón in a number 10 role, while West Ham’s Fabian Balbuena was benched for the second match in a row after he was involved in the disappointing 2-2 draw with Qatar.
Qatar 0-2 Argentina
Sergio Aguero proved what a mistake it had been to bench him for the draw with Paraguay by scoring in Argentina’s 2-0 win over Qatar.
The much-needed result ensured his nation, who are yet to impress at the tournament, progressed to the quarter-finals.
He was deployed on the left side of a 4-3-3 formation, so not in his natural habitat, as Lautaro Martinez was deployed through the centre and Lionel Messi on the right.
Meanwhile, a first clean sheet of the competition came as Juan Foyth was handed his first start.
The Tottenham man was paired with Nicolas Otamendi at centre-back.
Roberto Pereyra was an unused substitute.
African Cup of Nations
Egypt 1-0 Zimbabwe
Egypt may have won the opening game of the African Cup of Nations 2019 but it was hardly a classic.
Trézéguet scored the only goal of the game in the 41st minute but Mohamed Salah had plenty of chances to get on the score sheet.
The Liverpool man was deployed on the right side of attacking midfield in a 4-2-3-1, sharing a flank with Aston Villa’s Ahmed El Mohamady.
He forced Zimbabwe’s goalkeeper Edmore Sibanda into a decent save in the second half after putting several efforts wide in the first.
Meanwhile, Arsenal’s Mohamed Elneny played the full 90 minutes in holding midfield.
DR Congo 0-2 Uganda
Arthur Masuaku and Yannick Bolasie were on the end of some criticism as DR Congo got off to a rotten start at AFCON 2019.
The Premier League pair manned the left flank in the defence and midfield respectively of a 4-1-4-1 formation.
However, they both played poorly as their nation suffered a surprise defeat at the hands of lowly Uganda.
It was the Cranes first AFCON win in 41 years.
Nigeria 1-0 Burundi
Alex Iwobi provided plenty of threat for Nigeria in their AFCON opener but the Super Eagles still made hard work of seeing off Burundi.
Captained by Saido Berahino, they are the lowest ranked side at the tournament but they held out until former Watford striker Odion Ighalo was introduced and scored in the 77th minute.
Wilfried Ndidi played the whole game in central midfield while Leon Balogun was an unused substitute.
Guinea 2-2 Madagascar
Naby Keita made his return from injury as Guinea were held by AFCON debutants Madagascar.
He sustained an adductor injury against Barcelona on May 1 and was initially ruled out for two months.
However, it would appear the central midfielder has come back ahead of schedule, as he featured as a 62nd-minute substitute.
There had initially been disagreement between Jurgen Klopp and the Guinea’s Football Federation president Antonio Souare over the extent of the injury.
If Keita’s comeback does cause further issues, there could be more said on the matter between the two men.
“The adductors [injury] is two to three weeks of unavailability. The Liverpool coach has to pull himself together, let the doctors do their job. Naby Keita belongs to a state before belonging to Liverpool. I remind the Liverpool coach a little bit of the rules if he does not know it. So it’s hasty and pretentious to make statements like this. What we do know is that Naby Keita will play at the African Cup of Nations 2019.” – Antonio Souare
Senegal 2-0 Tanzania
Idrissa Gueye was the only Premier League player to participate in Senegal’s 2-0 win over Tanzania.
Sadio Mané missed the encounter through suspension after picking up two yellow cards in his country’s qualifying campaign.
“[Mané’s] absence should not in any way bother us. Certainly, the presence of Sadio is beneficial but without him, we remain strong.” – Aliou Cisse, Senegal coach
Crystal Palace’s Cheikhou Kouyaté was an unused substitute.
Algeria 2-0 Kenya
There were just two Premier League representatives as Algeria saw off Kenya.
Manchester City midfielder Riyad Mahrez scored one of the goals for the Desert Eagles as they won 2-0.
On the wrong end of the result was Spurs midfielder Victor Wanyama.
Morocco 1-0 Namibia
Wolves’ Romain Saïss played in defence as Morocco beat Namibia 1-0 on Sunday.
CONCACAF Gold Cup
USA 6-0 Trinidad and Tobago
Christian Pulisic played an important role in the USA’s 6-0 win over Trinidad and Tobago.
Deployed in as a central midfielder in Gregg Berhalter’s 4-1-4-1 formation, he was involved in three of the goals.
The Chelsea man first assisted centre-back Aaron Long with a cross in the 41st minute.
In the second half, Pulisic set up centre-forward Gyasi Zardes for his second of the game, before finding the net himself in the 73rd minute.
Martinique 2-3 Mexico
Raúl Jiménez cannot help but continue his hot form at the Gold Cup.
After playing key roles in Mexico’s first two wins of the tournament, he did so again as Martinique were defeated 3-2.
The Wolves forward scored in the 60th minute before assisting Fernando Navarro in the 72nd.
Mexico are now the confirmed winners of Group A and will play in the quarter-finals on Saturday.
UEFA U21 Championships
England U21 2-4 Romania U21
England’s Under 21 side have already been knocked out of the European Championship after losing to Romania on Friday night.
There were goals from Fantasy assets Demarai Gray and Tammy Abraham but Aidy Boothroyd’s side continued to lack sufficient organisation at the back.
Having played poorly against France, much-hyped right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka was replaced by Jonjoe Kenny but the Everton man did not fare too much better.
However, the real surprise was Manchester City youngster Phil Foden, one of the better performers in the opening match, left on the bench – coming on only in the 57th minute.
Despite the onslaught, goalkeeper Dean Henderson still produced some impressive saves.
However, he was at fault for the crucial third Romanian goal, allowing Florinel Coman’s shot through his hands.
James Maddison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin were also among the FPL players who played the full 90 minutes, while Harvey Barnes was replaced by Ryan Sessegnon at half time.
Meanwhile, Chelsea’s Abraham featured only in the last 15 minutes, grabbing England’s second goal.
It seems that he is edging closer towards staying at Stamford Bridge this season and could prove a budget route into the Chelsea attack.
“I have been there, done that and now I have full confidence in my ability to score for Chelsea. I do feel ready. I really do. There is no better time for a young player to be at Chelsea. I am going to give it my all.” – Tammy Abraham
England U21 XI (4-3-3): Henderson; Dasilva (Abraham 76′), Clarke-Salter, Tomori, Kenny; Maddison, Dowell, Mount; H Barnes (R Sessegnon 45′ | Foden 57′), Calvert-Lewin, D Gray.
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