We’ve spent the past months after the World Cup trying to figure out what on earth The Nations League is and how exactly it all works.
UEFA’s attempt at mustering up some enthusiasm for the International break has seen a new format put into place. Thursday September 6 saw the first games kick-off in the tournament which brought up a heavyweight clash and plenty to talk about.
Germany V France
What better way to start a week without club football than with a clash of the last two World Cup Winners? What was set to be a brawl between two giants saw nothing more than a brawl between Benjamin Pavard and Antonio Rudiger – the former leaving the pitch with stud marks on his throat.
The match improved from a poor first half with Marco Reus and Matthias Ginter both being denied by France debutant Alphonse Areola.
It means both teams walk away with a point a piece going into the next games before the June finals.
Wales V Republic of Ireland
Giggs’ reign at Wales got off to the perfect start as the boys in red produced some scintillating attacking football to finish Ireland off 4-1.
All eyes were on how Wales would perform under Ryan Giggs’ first competitive match in charge, and fans weren’t disappointed. Tom Lawrence got proceedings underway with a sixth-minute finish from Joe Allen’s through ball. The second was finished by star man Gareth Bale from the edge of the area after a bullet cross-field pass from Spurs defender Ben Davies.
Wales were 3-0 up by half time as 17-year-old Ethan Ampadu set up Aaron Ramsey to finish low and leave the Irish stumped at Cardiff City Stadium.
The game was finished with a clean left-footed strike from Connor Roberts, before a consolation goal for Ireland through substitute Shaun Williams from a Ramsey error.