Manchester City: World Cup Qualifying Round Up
Finland 0-2 Spain
City had four players who travelled with the Spain squad for their qualifier with Finland in Helsinki. David Silva and Javi Garcia were unused substitutes, but Jesus Navas and Alvaro Negredo came off the bench and combined to score Spain’s second.
Jordi Alba had given La Roja the lead after 19 minutes before Navas’ 86th-minute cross found the in-form Negredo who finished brilliantly. It’s a combination City will be hoping to see plenty of this season.
Spain are now three points clear at the top of Group I with just two games remaining.
Serbia 1-1 Croatia
Serbia’s chances of World Cup qualification dissipated after a 1-1 draw with Croatia in Belgrade. Matija Nastasic and Aleksandar Kolarov both played 90 minutes in what was a must win game for the Serbs.
With City’s deepening injury crisis in defence, it was paramount that Nastasic came through this game unscathed. He and Joleon Lescott are City’s only fit centre-backs as they go into a period of five matches in two weeks starting away at Stoke next Saturday. Serbia travel to Wales in midweek and City fans will be hoping Nastasic isn't risked in what is now a meaningless game.
Bosnia-Herzegovina remain top of Group G despite a home defeat at the hands of Slovakia. Edin Dzeko played the full 90 minutes, but he could do nothing to prevent his side’s loss. Having led Group G by three points, they are now top only on goal difference, with Greece in second place.
France drew 0-0 with Georgia, with Samir Nasri playing the final 12 minutes and Gael Clichy confined to the sidelines throughout.
Karim Rekik, City’s young left-footed centre-back currently on loan at PSV, was selected for the Dutch squad but pulled out through injury. An ankle knock curtailed his chances of a first international cap.
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