Eight Bayern stars involved in Germany and France wins
No fewer than eight FC Bayern players featured in the battle to progress in the UEFA Nations League, while there was a debut for one of the German record champions' youngsters the day before. A round-up of the internationals:
Germany take big step towards semi-finals
The Bayern contingent played a prominent role in Germany's deserved 3-1 win over Ukraine in Leipzig, with Leroy Sané getting on the scoresheet, Leon Goretzka providing two assists, Manuel Neuer making a landmark appearance as well as Niklas Süle and Serge Gnabry in the starting line-up. Die Mannschaft now have qualification for the Nations League semi-finals very much in their own hands. A draw in their final group match in Spain would be enough for Joachim Löw's side to make it to the final four.
After the visitors took a somewhat surprising lead through Roman Yaremchuk in the 11th minute, Sané levelled the score following good work from FCB teammate Goretzka (23'). Just ten minutes later, the 25-year-old midfielder showed an excellent touch before setting up Timo Werner to put Germany 2-1 up. The Chelsea striker made it 3-1 in the second half (64').
"We came back and kept going," summarised goalscorer Sané after the final whistle, adding: "I'm proud of the team. It was important for us to come away with a positive result and get the three points."
Neuer draws level with record-holder Sepp Maier
For Bayern and Germany captain Neuer, it was a special evening for a second reason. The 34-year-old made his 95th appearance for his country, drawing level with another club legend: Sepp Maier lined up between the posts for the four-time world champions the same number of times between 1966 and 1979, and until now was Germany's most-capped goalkeeper. Now the pair are level – and Neuer could claim the record for himself as early as Tuesday in the match against Spain.
France progress to semis
With Kingsley Coman, Lucas Hernández and Benjamin Pavard in their starting line-up, defending world champions France claimed a 1-0 win away to European champions Portugal, which secured their place in the semi-finals with a game to spare by virtue of their head-to-head record against the Iberians.
N'Golo Kanté scored the winning goal for Les Bleus, for whom Corentin Tolisso did not feature. The match took place at the Éstadio da Luz in Lisbon, a place that holds special memories for Bayern's French quartet since August, when they celebrated the Champions League final success against Paris Saint-Germain as well as the stunning 8-2 win over Barcelona in the quarter-finals.
Musiala celebrates debut for England U21
On Friday evening, Bayern talent Jamal Musiala marked another step in his fledgling career as he made his debut for the England U21 team. The 17-year-old came on in the 72nd minute of the Young Lions' 3-1 win over Andorra in European Championship qualifying. The English youngsters were already confirmed as winners of their group before kick-off and had therefore already booked their place in the European Under-21 Championship tournament.