The Premier League was put on hold this week to make way for the international break. Yet it seems the same players made the headlines, with some of the division’s finest strikers on show. Maryam Naz highlights the trio who impressed the most.
The 24-year-old was rightfully named the man of the match against Montenegro on Monday, with two goals and an assist to his name.
It was Barkley’s free-kick that led to Michael Keane’s equalising goal, after Marko Vesovic’s curling shot evaded Jordan Pickford’s reach to make it 1-0 to Montenegro.
But he wasn’t finished there. Moments later Chelsea midfielder put his side ahead, responding quickly to Callum Hudson-Odoi’s misplaced shot before scoring from close range. This was followed by a powerful finish in the 59th minute, effectively wrapping up the three points for England.
Barkley was at his best against the Montenegrins, constantly making himself available and causing havoc in the opposition half.
For Gareth Southgate to see more of the same he will need to continue playing Barkley with Chelsea teammate Hudson-Odoi.
The Manchester City striker came off the bench to lead his side to victory with two second-half goals against the Czech Republic.
The home side deservedly led through David Pavelka before Roberto Firmino was able to equalise. Tite’s decision to bring on Gabriel Jesus paid off.
Jesus’s first was a close-range effort. His second was a right-footed volley that took the game away from the Czech team.
As usual, the 21-year-old was a handful for the likes of Filip Novak, his darting runs and spatial awareness in the attacking third proved to be too much for the Czech’s.
A Lionel Messi-less Argentina were taken apart by a Venezuelan attack led by Newcastle’s Salomon Rondon.
The 29-year-old scored six minutes into the game to shock Jorge Sampaoli’s men.
It was a stunning finish from Rondon, who latched onto Roberto Rosales’s pass, brought the ball down with one touch, and fired it past Franco Armani’s reach.
The Argentinian defence continued to struggle to deal with Rondon’s physicality and skill in the final third.
He used his strength in the box well and played a part in all of Venezuela’s goals.
Follow Maryam on Twitter @mnaz98