The Stagcom 10th October Round Up
I know many of you will have felt lost without the Premier League this weekend, as it was replaced by the mundane international break - but don't let that fool you that it was a dull weekend!
There was still plenty of gripping action over the weekend, with tensions high; allow us to run through everything and anything you may have missed.
New Manager, Same England
Gareth Southgate began his reign as interim England manager with a 2-0 win over Malta. First-half goals from Daniel Sturridge and Dele Alli gave Southgate a comfortable, yet unconvincing win in his first match.
Much of the talk surrounding England at the moment is Wayne Rooney's position in the team and Southgate decided to employ the skipper in a central midfield role. Rooney failed to impress yet again, with many of his passes going astray; a section of the 81,000 crowd at Wembley even booed Rooney.
As attention turns to England's next qualifier against Slovenia tomorrow night, much focus will be on Rooney's position in the team. It goes without saying, but he can't continue to demand a place in the England side while his form is so out of sorts.
Mixed Bag For Home Nations
England's qualifying group opponents Scotland suffered a disappointing 1-1 draw against Lithuania at Hampden Park on Saturday evening. It looked like it was going to be even worse, but James McArthur managed to rescue a point with a late header.
A large section of the Tartan Army are now becoming frustrated with Gordon Strachan's tactics and team selections and a poor result in Slovakia tomorrow night could make the pressure too much.
Northern Ireland enjoyed a far more straight forward night on Saturday with a 4-0 win over San Marino. Steven Davis scored a first-half penalty, before substitute Kyle Lafferty bagged a brace and Jamie Ward sealed the victory with a late goal. It's the mighty Germany up next for Michael O'Neill's side, tomorrow.
Republic of Ireland eventually overcame Moldova 3-1 last night. Shane Long opened the scoring early on, but Moldova managed to force an equaliser just before half-time. It was then up to Martin O'Neill's side to stay patient and eventually that paid off with James Mclean adding two late goals to seal victory.
Little has gone wrong for Wales over the last couple of years, but they endured a setback yesterday evening as they could only draw 1-1 at home to Georgia. Chris Coleman called it a 'slap around the back of the head' for his side after they could not hold onto the lead given to them by Gareth Bale's early header.
Rosberg Extends Lead
Nico Rosberg extended his lead at the top of the drivers' standings with a victory at the Japanese Grand Prix yesterday. Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton could only manage a third place finish, to leave his title hopes hanging by a thread with a 33-point deficit and only four races remaining.
Hamilton made a terrible start to the race and dropped down to eighth, so a third place finish might not be all bad! However, it is probably going to take four finishes above Rosberg for Hamilton to win the championship.
England Slump to Defeat
England fell to a 34-run defeat in the second one-day international against Bangladesh in Dhaka yesterday to level the three-match series at 1-1.
England's bowlers looked to have done their job as they restricted the hosts to a modest score of 238-8. With the pitch looking slow, England were expected to rattle the 239 target off fairly easily, but that didn't transpire as England were bowled out for 204. Jos Buttler was the pick of the England innings with 57, but even he was rattled after he was dismissed; causing an on-field argument with the Bangladeshi players.
The third and final match of the series takes place in Chittagong on Wednesday.
Image credits: Squawka, Ian Cairns, Sky Sports F1, News Tweets 24, Goal