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McArthur Suffers Wembley Defeat

14 November 2016

In the Battle of Britain, it was Andros Townsend who came away with the bragging rights as England beat James McArthur’s Scotland 3-0 at Wembley on Friday night.

The winger didn’t feature during the game for the Three Lions as goals from Daniel Sturridge, Adam Lallana and Gary Cahill gave the hosts a convincing lead before McArthur entered the fray in the 66th minute, for what was his 27th cap.

The result means Scotland’s hopes of qualifying for a first major championship since 1998 are now very thin, while England are top of their group on 10 points, with a friendly against Spain to come on Tuesday - the final game of Gareth Southgate’s caretaker reign.

Meanwhile a host of Palace players remained on the bench for their countries’ matches over the weekend. Christian Benteke failed to add to his cap collection as he wasn’t selected by Roberto Martinez for either of Belgium’s 1-1 friendly draw with Holland last Wednesday, or their thumping 8-1 demolition of Estonia on Sunday evening as the Red Devils remain top of their group with a 100% record.

Also sitting pretty in their group are France, who beat Sweden 2-1 in Paris thanks to goals from Paul Pogba and Dimitri Payet, but Steve Mandanda didn’t dirty his gloves as he remained on the bench for the 90 minutes in Paris. He may get a chance to impress on Tuesday night when Les Bleus host the Ivory Coast in a friendly in Lens.

Another Palace player hoping to see more action than last week is Chung-yong Lee, who sat out South Korea’s 2-0 friendly win against Canada on Friday. Lee will have hoped to be have been merely rested ahead of their World Cup qualifier with Uzbekistan on Tuesday.

Bakary Sako also missed Mali’s 0-0 draw with Gabon, which was their first point of the qualifying campaign but leaves them bottom of the group.

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