Šime Vrsaljko came on for Kieran Trippier in the eighth minute of play on Sunday and made the most of his rare time on the pitch with ‘Man of the Match’ honors and his first career La Liga goal. Vrsaljko received an 8.1 rating (FOTMOB) as he “replaced Trippier on eight minutes. The best performance from an Atlético right-back this season. Sound defensively, and rewarded for his humility and patience by tapping in a 62nd-minute goal — his first-ever league goal for Atleti.” His back heel flick goal on the goal line originally was called off but after a VAR review was counted as good. Valencia would score two injury time goals to shock Atletico Madrid in a 3-3 draw.
Mario Pašalić scored his second Serie A goal of the season on Saturday in the 6′ as Atalanta beat Cagliari 2-1. Pašalić found himself wide open on the back post for an easy tap-in from a low Davide Zappacosta pass across the box. Pašalić is most certainly making the best of his starting minutes as he has been labelled a “super sub” the past year for both club and country. He scored at Old Trafford weeks ago in Champions League and was int he right spot at the right time this weekend. Does he deserves starts versus both Malta and Russia this week?
Former Dinamo Zagreb defender Joško Gvardiol had a monster 50-yard assist on Saturday as his RB Leipzig side defeated Borussia Dortmund 2-1 in Bundesliga action. In the 29th minute of play, Gvardiol sent a perfect through-ball from the halfway line to keep Nkunku onside for the easy dribble around the keeper. Gvardiol is only 19 years old and already doing this in the Bundesliga. He will be one of Croatia’s great defending treasures over the next decade. This kind of play is only the tip of the iceberg. Marin Pongračić played the 1st half for Borussia Dortmund in defense in the loss. He was not responsible for the Leipzig goal but did keep Nkunku just onside for the goal.
Lovro Majer had a career game on Sunday as his Rennes side defeated Lyon 4-1; and he did it all without a goal or an assist. Majer received ‘Man of the Match’ honors with a 9.0 rating (FootballNewsFrance) as he “nonchalantly ran the game. Dropped into pockets around the area and in the channels, beat men for fun, picked clever passes for forwards and instigated some slippery interplay. It was his looped pass that created the second, he initiated the counter for 3-0 and started the move for the fourth.”
Ride the hot hand and sign Majer up for Russia on Sunday!
Luka Modrić was left off Real Madrid’s squad list Saturday in their 2-1 win over Rayo Vallecano. Multiple reports across Europe have said that Modrić is suffering from a serious cold and has a temperature, but tested negative for COVID. With that news, he should be good to go for Russia on November 14th with an extra week of rest.
Ivan Perišić and Marcelo Brozović both started for Inter Milan on Sunday in a 1-1 draw versus city rivals AC Milan. Ante Rebić returned from injury off the bench in the 59th minute for AC Milan and was extremely active offensively, even though he did not reach the scoresheet.