Some people don’t like it, some people don’t understand it but we are done with the first lot of Nations League games. We at Unlikely Dan love it! It gave us good games, lesser teams winning and most of all everyone seems to take it seriously. So, here we go, we are gonna take you through the first lot of Nations League games. Strap yourself in this could take a while.
Group 1 results: Germany 0 – 0 France
France 2 – 1 Netherlands
France showed no signs of a World Cup hangover kicking things off in Group 1 unbeaten. Things didn’t come easily to the World Champions. A hard fought draw with Germany showed that, but with their potent forward line, they should have no problems winning this group if the first two games are anything to go by.
Group 2 results: Switzerland 6 – 0 Iceland
Iceland 0 – 3 Belgium
Do we all remember when England lost to Iceland? Safe to say that it would appear most of Europe have figured out the Icelandic tactics. The Swiss, who were past masters of sitting behind the ball and hitting teams on the break destroyed the Vikings defence as did the Belgians. A team who 8 years ago surprised the world look set for relegation.
Group 3 results: Italy 1 – 1 Poland
Portugal 1 – 0 Italy
Possibly the most competitive group in League A, because all teams are on an even playing field as proven by the tight results. Portugal sits atop the group so far, but expect that to change when the next round of games are played. The most surprising thing is possible that a certain Mr Ronaldo still hasn’t scored this season.
Group 4 results: England 1 – 2 Spain
Spain 6 – 0 Croatia
The results speak for themselves, Spain is back and look like they are going to romp to victory in-group 4. England could be in trouble, after the World Cup where they struggled to beat Croatia. That looks like it could be a relegation six-pointer
Game of the Round: Spain 6 – 0 Croatia
Player of the Round: Saul
Group A results: Czech Republic 1 – 2 Ukraine
Ukraine 1 – 0 Slovakia
Okay, League B and below are the ones where the teams can actually benefit from this competition. Ukraine seems to be the early favourites in Group A, winning would see them promoted. With the Czechs against Slovakia to come, there will be a local derby to decide who is relegated.
Group B results: Turkey 1 – 2 Russia
Sweden 2 – 3 Turkey
Two of the World Cups surprise packages meet in this group in what looks to be the best group on League 2. 8 goals shared in the first two matches showing that all three teams want to be promoted, this one could still go to anyone.
Group C results: Northern Ireland 1 – 2 Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina 1 – 0 Austria
Bosnia, led by Dzeko and Pjanic look like they are going to set up to the European elite with two wins from two. Both Northern Ireland and Austria will fancy their chances of avoiding relegation, though their match already looks big.
Group D results: Wales 4 – 1 Republic of Ireland
Denmark 2 – 0 Wales
Where do we start with this one? The Danish strike ending just before the Wales game? The shambles that is the Irish set up with the players seemingly refusing to play for Roy Keane? My money would be on the Irish dropping down a league
Game of the Round: Sweden 2 – 3 Turkey
Player of the Round: Christian Eriksen
Group 1 results: Albania 1 – 0 Israel
Scotland 2 – 0 Albania
Scotland won a competitive game of football! This is the reason we love the Nations League, it means that lesser teams have a chance to win things and qualify for tournaments. More of this, please. Israel would be our picks here to be relegated
Group 2 results: Finland 1 – 0 Hungary
Estonia 0 – 1 Greece
Hungary 2 – 1 Greece
Finland 1 – 0 Estonia
The first of the four-team groups. These groups see the third-place team with the lowest points also being relegated to a lot to play for. Only one team has come through this group unbeaten and that is Finland who’s team is going through a bit of a youth movement. Estonia could be in serious relegation trouble.
Group 3 results: Slovenia 1 – 2 Bulgaria
Norway 2 – 0 Cyprus
Bulgaria 1 – 0 Norway
Cyprus 2 – 1 Slovenia
This group has everything to play for, every team sits on 3 points after one game, and home advantage seems to be key. If any team can win away from home, you would fancy them to win the group. Otherwise, shut up shop because goal difference could be key in this one.
Group 4 Results: Lithuania 0 – 1 Serbia
Romania 0 – 0 Montenegro
Serbia 2 – 2 Romania
Montenegro 2 – 0 Lithuania
This could be a very interesting group, seemingly there are three teams who are very similar on paper, then Lithuania. This also throws up the tasty tie of Serbia vs Montenegro and who doesn’t want to see that? The winner of that must be favourite for promotion and Lithuania look set to go down
Game of the Round: Serbia 2 – 2 Romania
Player of the Round: Teemu Pukki
Group 1 results: Kazakhstan 0 – 2 Georgia
Latvia 0 – 0 Andorra
Georgia 1 – 0 Latvia
Andorra 1 – 1 Kazakhstan
When was the last time that Georgia won two games on the spin? Honestly, that is a serious question we have no idea. They won’t care though as they are now sitting pretty at the top of the group and must be favourites to get promotion.
Group 2 results: Belarus 5 – 0 San Marino
Luxembourg 4 – 0 Moldova
San Marino 0 – 3 Luxembourg
Moldova 0 – 0 Belarus
Some things are inevitable death, taxes and San Marino getting pumped at every possible chance. God Luxembourg look like Brazil in this group, can’t really see anyone else other than them winning this group
Group 3 results: Azerbaijan 0 – 0 Kosovo
Faroe Islands 3 – 1 Malta
Kosovo 2 – 0 Faroe Islands
Malta 1 – 1 Azerbaijan
Our guess, and at this level that is really all it is, would be that Faroes and Kosovo will contest the winners of this group, with that rematch probably deciding who will go up. Malta and Azerbaijan will be playing for the Wooden spoon.
Group 4 Results: Armenia 2 – 1 Lichtenstein
Gibraltar 0 – 2 Macedonia
Macedonia 2 – 0 Armenia
Lichtenstein 2- 0 Gibraltar
Well, it looks as though Macedonia have to be the early favourites here, doesn’t it? Armenia won’t be too far behind but it looks as through Gibraltar will have to wait a little longer to get success at this level.
Game of the round: Luxembourg 4 – 0 Malta
Player of the round: Tie Daniel Sinani and Ezgjan Alioski
So that covers everything that happened in the first round of fixtures. What have you made of it so far? We think it’s been a resounding success! The big teams clearly want to win and the smaller teams have a route to the European Championships. Let us know what you think, Comment, Email or Tweet us @unlikelydanblog