4 – Demarai Gray has scored four goals in the 2018-19 Premier League, his best tally in a single season in the competition and his highest in a league campaign since he netted six in the 2014-15 Championship season with Birmingham. Rising. pic.twitter.com/wpZAZlNM5B
After the match on Saturday was called off just 22 minutes in thanks to an unplayable pitch following torrential rain, the game was resumed on Sunday. Real Madrid star Luka Modric fed a free-kick into the box in the 74th minute, and Dynamo Kiev defender Domagoj Vida was there to head it home and give Croatia a narrow victory under dubious circumstances.
Netherlands 3-1 Bulgaria
The Netherlands bounced back from their brutal defeat to France as Davy Propper poached a pair of goals against Bulgaria, with Arjen Robben adding one more. Propper touched home Daley Blind‘s low rifled cross just seven minutes in, and while that was it for a while, Blind fed Robben in the 67th minute from almost exactly the same spot at the left edge of the box. Bulgaria responded just two minutes later through Georgi Kostadinov, but Propper bagged his second to put the game away with 10 minutes to go, heading to the far post off a cross by Spartak Moscow winger Quincy Promes.
The three points is critical for the Netherlands, especially considering the other results around Group A that keep them alive. Robben’s goal was his 34th for country, moving him ahead of Johan Cruyff on the Netherlands scoring charts.
France 0-0 Luxembourg
Easily the most stunning result of the day, a full-strength France squad was held at home by Group A basement-dwellers Luxembourg in a result that not only keeps the Netherlands alive, but also releases France’s chokehold on Group A, leaving them just one point in front of Sweden and four ahead of the Netherlands.
France held 74% possession and mustered 34 shots, nine of them on target, but they couldn’t find a way through goalkeeper Jonathan Joubert. Olivier Giroud, Kylian Mbappe, and Antoine Griezmann all started the game for France, and Alexandre Lacazette played a half-hour off the bench, but none of them had any answers.
Greece 1-2 Belgium
A wild finish at Karaiskaki Stadium in Athens saw three total goals pour in across a four-minute span, the decider scored by Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku as Belgium became the first European country to confirm qualification to the 2018 World Cup. Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen scored a fabulous strike from distance in the 70th minute, but the Spurs man lost Portuguese-born midfielder Zeca who flicked home a cross just two minutes after the opener, just the third goal Belgium has conceded all qualifying. With it all kicking off, Lukaku took a cross from Thomas Meunier and deposited a glancing header inside the far post.
Belarus 0-4 Sweden
Sweden took care of business as they went on the road and torched Belarus 4-0. Emil Forsberg scored the opener in the 18th minute and assisted the second, to Christoffer Nyman. Marcus Berg added a third just before halftime and Andreas Granqvist finished off the scoresheet with a late penalty.
Gibraltar 0-4 Bosnia and Herzegovina
With Belgium clinching Group H, that leaves four other countries to fight for the playoff spot, and Bosnia & Herzegovina took control with a comprehensive victory over point-less Gibraltar. Edin Dzeko scored a pair while Kenan Kodro and Senad Lulic each added one of their own. Bosnia & Herzegovina jumped Greece with the win into the playoff spot, with 14 points to Greece’s 13 and Cyprus’s 10. Estonia remains mathematically alive with eight points.
Hungary 0-1 Portugal
A red card to Hungary’s Tamas Priskin for elbowing Pepe in the face a half-hour in saw Portugal grab a man advantage, and Andre Silva provided the breakthrough heading in Cristiano Ronaldo’s cross minutes after the halftime break. The win allows Portugal to keep pace with perfect Switzerland, just three points back with the two teams set to meet in the final match of the group stage.
Latvia 0-3 Switzerland
Switzerland remained perfect in the group stage, picking up their eighth win in as many tries with a comprehensive victory over Latvia. An own-goal put Switzerland ahead nine minutes in, and while Blerim Dzemaili missed a penalty past the half-hour mark, he made amends just after halftime for a 2-0 lead, and Ricardo Rodriguez wrapped things up from the spot before an hour had gone by.
Faroe Islands 1-0 Andorra
These two sides have already been eliminated, but the Faroe Islands picked up their second win of qualification thanks to a goal by Norwegian top-flight winger Gilli Sorensen in the 31st minute.
Estonia 1-0 Cyprus
Estonia kept its hopes barely alive and dented those of Cyprus in dramatic fashion, with a stoppage-time half-volley from Fulham youth product Mattias Kait two minutes past the 90.
He says he’s big on the example of Zinedine Zidane (Us, too):
“We won the league two years ago and played very well in the Champions League. Last year we tried again, but there was a big gap and we couldn’t win the title again. Zidane was my big idol when I was younger. I like to get into the box and score goals. I think that’s one of my strengths and I hope I can continue to do that for Brighton.”
Propper and Gross have a chance to play a huge role in Brighton’s fight for Premier League survival, and Hughton will only look to his Premier League past for the importance of steady midfield in both staying up and moving up.