Each evening, PST will update you on how the Barclays Premier League’s stars are performing at the 2014 World Cup. Here are the returns after the day two in Brazil.
BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE:
Robin van Persie, ST, Netherlands/Manchester United – Van Persie gave Red Devil fans hope for the future as he scored an iconic diving header as well as another, making his new Manchester United manager and current Netherlands boss Louis van Gaal incredibly happy. He even sprinted directly for van Gaal after scoring his first, and is poised to become Manchester United captain after another dazzling performance for his country.
Mile Jedinak, MF, Australia/Crystal Palace – Jedinak played the same role he does for Crystal Palace in Cuiaba – the dirty work. The Palace midfielder cleaned up a number of messes in the midfield for Australia, and got forward a few times as Chile took its foot off the gas pedal.
Javier Hernandez, FW, Mexico/Manchester United – Chicharito struggled again for Mexico, coming on as a substitute after El Tri had already scored and completely bungling a beautiful opportunity to put them 2-0 up in stoppage time. The goal was gaping from close range, but he pulled a Fernando Torres and rocketed it way over the bar. Hernandez is going to continue to find playing time hard to come by.
Ron Vlaar, D, Aston Villa/Netherlands – Vlaar was one of the best players on the field for the Netherlands, saving the day plenty of times early as the Dutch defense started shaky, setting the stage for their flurry of goals later on.
Cesar Azpilicueta, D, Chelsea/Spain – The defender/winger went the full 90 minutes, starting strong along with his squad and finishing poorly. He was in the attack – somewhat – as Spain pushed early, but failed miserably to mark the rotation of Wesley Sneijder and Arjen Robben on the wings as the Dutch made their second-half push.
David Silva, FW, Spain/Manchester City – Silva was one of the few Spaniards to prove consistently dangerous up front. He just missed with a header, and fed Diego Costa a number of times, although the striker failed to turn any of those chances into anything in front of goal. On a day where Spain seriously struggled, Silva was a bright spot. Changes are sure to come for Vicente del Bosque, but look for Silva to remain in the lineup.
Fernando Torres, ST, Spain/Chelsea – Torres came on for the ineffective Diego Costa in the 62nd minute, but by then the game was all Dutch, and he saw little to cheer about.
Jonathan de Guzman, MF, Netherlands/Swansea City – On a day of success for just about everyone surrounding the Dutch team, de Guzman was actually one of the few negatives. The midfielder gave away possession many times in dangerous areas, and was rightly subbed out in the 62nd minute. He left with a yellow card for his efforts.
Benoit Assou-Ekotto, D, Cameroon/Tottenham – The Cameroonian ‘fro struggled to keep up with Mexico’s attack, and faced relentless pressure as the Mexicans held much of the possession and earned a deserved win.
Stephane M’bia, MF, Cameroon/QPR – M’bia passed the ball well and got forward, completing 35 of his 36 passes including 11/12 in the attacking third. He also completed 3/3 take-ons, proving one of the only threats for Cameroon going forward.
Gary Medel, D/MF, Chile/Cardiff City – Cardiff were relegated from the Premier League, but they’ll no question appreciate Medel’s performance for Chile. He was a force in the middle of a defensive partnership comprised of two defensive midfielders, and Medel proved versatile in the role. However, he was out-jumped on Cahill’s goal.