5 things you might have missed during the internationals
The international break produced more than its fair share of drama, but behind the headline-grabbing Jamie Vardy and Harry Kane, there were plenty of other stories doing the rounds.
It was a pretty good weekend for Northern Ireland, as it was for France’s Dimitri Payet, while it was a pretty nasty one to be a goalkeeper.
So with the dust now settled on the international action, for a couple of months at least, here are five things you might have missed…
Northern Ireland are on a stupendous run
Having qualified for a first major tournament since 1986, Northern Ireland are heading to France as a team devilishly difficult to beat.
A draw with Wales and a 1-0 success over Slovakia across the weekend means it’s now 10 games since anyone bested the Green and White Army.
It’s been a full 12 months since Michael O’Neill’s men were last beaten – 1-0 in Scotland – and they’ve lost just twice at Windsor Park in three years.
Wales need help with their team photos
A trend emerged over the weekend with people finally catching on to Wales’ lop-sided pre-match photo.
Now we know 11 doesn’t divide equally into two rows, unless you have half a player, but how many times can Chris Coleman’s men make it look so odd?
Unless it’s some private joke we just aren’t in on…
The team photo is something the Wales team have struggled with for years! pic.twitter.com/tQb1hvKcD8
— The Football Pools (@footballpools) March 29, 2016
Dimitri Payet can do no wrong
The West Ham man has enjoyed a stunning season in the Premier League, and he was duly rewarded with his international return at the weekend.
Having not featured during France’s autumn fixtures, the winger celebrated his 29th birthday by handing boss Didier Deschamps a timely reminder of why he should be in Les Blues’ squad this summer.
Watch. Enjoy. Applaud.
Incredible fan footage of West Ham star Dimitri Payet’s glorious free-kick for France v Russia! pic.twitter.com/8vnI4McVGU
— 101 Great Goals (@101greatgoals) March 30, 2016
Romania are doing their bit for the kids
Numbers are important in football. The game just wouldn’t work without them, and the latest friendlies saw Romania do their bit to help their nation’s mathematical talents.
Unfortunately there wasn’t too much adding up to do in their clash with reigning European champions Spain, which ended 0-0.
— BBC Newsbeat (@BBCNewsbeat) March 28, 2016
It was a cruel weekend for goalkeepers
Not only is Jack Butland out for the season and the Euros, so too might be Republic of Ireland man Robbie Elliott.
The stopper went down in agony during his nation’s clash with Slovakia with a serious knee injury.
Elliott’s expected lengthy absence will also a massive blow to Newcastle’s hopes of escaping relegation this season.
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