presented by

Alaba and Bernat close in on Euro berths

Three FCB men were in Euro 2016 qualifying action on Saturday night, with one star involved in a friendly. reviews how they fared:

Alaba on course
David Alaba and Austria are inexorably closing in on a berth at Euro 2016. The Austrians, with Alaba playing all but the last minute, posted a workmanlike 1-0 victory over Group G’s bottom team Moldova at Ernst-Happel-Stadion in Vienna. Bremen’s Zlatko Junuzovic struck the 52nd-minute winner after visiting keeper Ilie Cebanu spilled an Alaba shot. Unbeaten Austria are top of the group standings on 19 points, with Sweden seven points back in second. The countries go head-to-head in Sweden on Tuesday, where a point would be enough to guarantee the visitors a place in France next summer.

Bernat and Spain go top
Juan Bernat and Spain impressively inflicted a first defeat of the qualifying campaign on previous Group C leaders Slovakia and leapfrogged their opponents to go top of the section. Jordi Alba (5) and Andrès Ineista (30, pen) scored the goals in Oviedo to seal a 2-0 win, with Bernat an unused sub. Spain are level with the Slovaks on points, with Ukraine three off the top two.

Coman downed
New FCB signing Kingsley Coman and the France U-21s opened their European championship qualifying campaign with an away defeat. In the contest with Iceland in Kopavogur the French were reduced to ten men after just seven minutes when keeper Paul Nardi was dismissed for a foul as last man. The home side ultimately prevailed 3-2 with goals from Oliver Sigurjonsson (10, 85 (pen)) and Hjoertur Hermansson (48), with Aymeric Laporte (38) and – following a Coman cross - Grejohn Kyei (90) replying for the French.

Costa shines for Brazil
Douglas Costa and Brazil beat Costa Rica 1-0 in a friendly in Harrison, New Jersey (USA), Hulk netting the winner for the Seleção after just ten minutes. The Brazilians were easily the better team and could have won by more, Costa having a 76th-minute effort ruled out for offside. FCB’s wing wizard played the first 82 minutes of the match.