Tom Cleverley shined in his first competitive match for England
World Cup qualifying kicked off in Europe while it resumed in other parts of the world where it had already begun months ago. Matches spanned across the globe on Friday and Manchester United players were involved in the action on three different continents, Here is your round-up for each United player called into international duty on September 7.
* Tom Cleverley (England): The United midfielder started as the most advanced player in a midfield trio-- while donning the No.10 shirt in his first competitive match for England -- alongside Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard. By all accounts, the 23-year-old was hugely impressive and it was he who earned the penalty for England's opening goal. Cleverley went the full 90 minutes in England's 5-0 away defeat of Moldova.
* Michael Carrick (England): Carrick came on as a substitute for Gerrard at half-time when England already had a 3-0 lead. He would operate in central-midfield alongside Cleverley and Lampard for the remainder of the match. Since Gerrard was supposedly rested when he was taken off and with Lampard and Cleverley both impressing, it doesn't seem likely that Carrick will start at Wembley on Tuesday versus Ukraine.
* Danny Welbeck (England): The young striker came on as a substitute for Jermaine Defoe in the 68th minute. He would finish the match as England's lone striker.
* Robin van Persie (Holland): Our newly acquired world-class striker cannot stop scoring goals. There were actually rumblings prior to Holland's match versus Turkey that new manager Louis van Gaal would drop van Persie for Klaas-Jan Huntelaar. van Gaal would be rewarded though for selecting RvP as the United striker scored the opening goal in Holland's 2-0 victory in Amsterdam. He went the full 90 minutes. That's now five goals in his past three starts for both club and country.
* Nani (Portugal): The United winger started on the right side of attack in Portugal's 4-3-3 system. He was substituted off in the 81st minute in Portugal's 2-1 away triumph versus Luxembourg. Former United talisman Cristiano Ronaldo scored the opening goal for the Iberian side.
* Jonny Evans (Northern Ireland): The United defender continued his comeback as he made his first competitive appearance -- for either United or Northern Ireland -- since his summer surgery. Evans went the full 90 minutes in Northern Ireland's 0-2 away defeat by Russia. It should be assuring for United fans that the club now has three healthy central-defender options (Evans, Nemanja Vidic, and Rio Ferdinand) when the international break concludes. That will be hugely welcoming as the fixture list becomes congested with midweek European and domestic cup ties being sandwiched in between weekend league matches.
* Patrice Evra (France): Evra was chosen at left-back over Gael Clichy in new manager Didier Deschamps' first competitive match in charge of France. The United defender went the full 90 minutes in France's 1-0 away defeat of Finland.
* Joshua King (Norway): The United U-21 player made his debut for Norway in their 0-2 away defeat by Iceland. The 20-year-old striker struck the post once and also had a goal disallowed -- quite eventful for coming on as a 67th minute substitute.
* Antonio Valencia (Ecuador): The United No.7 started as a right-winger in Ecuador's 4-4-2 system. For the majority of the first-half, Valencia hugged the right touchline -- as is typical for him -- while his side tried to break down a deep-defending Bolivia side that featured five defenders. Towards the end of the first-half, and in the early stages of the second-half, Valencia began to wander inside from the right and into a more central role between the lines. This gave Ecuador's attack a new dimension as their right-back began to bomb forward with overlapping runs into the open space vacated by the United attacker. Ecuador would go on to earn a controversial penalty in the 71st minute and it was converted for a 1-0 victory. Valencia played the full 90 minutes.
* Javier Hernandez (Mexico): Chicharito started in Mexico's 2-0 away victory over Costa Rica. The striker was not able to add onto to his impressive international goal-scoring record.