Amidst all of the controversy surrounding the Armistice Day poppy in recent days, three teams featuring United players took to the pitch on Friday evening to continue their bids for a place in the 2018 World Cup in Russia. England were led out by captain Wayne Rooney in a heated home nation derby against Scotland at Wembley, the France team excited the Stade De France crowd with a comeback against Sweden inspired by Paul Pogba, and captain Henrikh Mkhitaryan helped Armenia perform a shock upset at home to Montenegro.
Derby delight for England
England stormed past Scotland at Wembley after a first half header from Daniel Sturridge and then two more courtesy of Adam Lallana and Gary Cahill in the second half completed a comfortable 3-0 victory for the Three Lions. Wayne Rooney returned to his role as captain in the starting lineup and had a reasonably quiet night before providing the assist for Cahill's goal on the hour mark from a corner. Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford were once again called up by Gareth Southgate for the games against Scotland and Spain however both men had to watch the full 90 minutes from the sidelines as unused substitutes, minutes in the Friendly versus Spain are likely, though. Unbeaten England now sit top of Group F just two points ahead of Slovenia who are also unbeaten so far in the qualifying process.
Big win for France
Paul Pogba and France marked the anniversary of the fatal Paris attacks with a hard-fought 2-1 win against second-placed Sweden at the Stade De France, a minute's silence took place before kick-off to remember the 130 victims of that tragic night in the capital. Despite the French outfit controlling the majority of the game, it was the away side who took the lead on 54 minutes through Emil Forsberg before Pogba came up with a quick response just three minutes later after meeting a delightful ball in from West Ham United's Dimitri Payet with his head. Payet himself completed the comeback only nine minutes after seeing his team go behind and France held on to secure the victory which leaves them three points ahead of their opponents for the night at the top of Group A. Manchester United's midfielder did get himself needlessly booked late on in the game which means he'll now be suspended for his country's next qualifying fixture.
A true underdog story in Armenia
Current United outcast Mkhitaryan probably enjoyed last night more than anyone else as Armenia produced an incredible comeback at home against a strong Montenegro side. The European minnows were 2-0 down at half-time and it was looking like it was going to be a long evening for them until Artak Grigoryan started the fightback early on in the second half. Varazdat Haroyan scored the equaliser midway through the half leading to huge scenes of jubilation amongst the home faithful, but that was nothing compared to when Gervorg Ghazaryan came up with the winning goal in the 93rd minute of play. This was their first win under manager Artur Petrosyan and captain Mkhitaryan expressed his joy on social media after the game, stating that he was "so happy and proud".