thumbnail Hello,

The Manchester United man was back among the goals for the Netherlands, while a host of players from England's top flight were part of a Spain squad to crash out of the tournament

There was plenty of reason for Manchester United fans to be cheerful on day seven of the World Cup on Wednesday.

New manager Louis van Gaal navigated his Netherlands side to another victory - this time against Australia - and a certain Old Trafford striker was in the thick of the action again.

But there was disappointment for a number of Premier League stars, as Spain suffered elimination from the World Cup following a second defeat in as many games.

ROBIN VAN PERSIE

WORLD CUP SOCIAL HUB
Keep up with all the latest news from Brazil and get involved in the debate on Twitter with our new World Cup Social Hub
After his fantastic diving header in the 5-1 victory over Spain, Robin van Persie went from hero to villain and back to hero again on Wednesday.

After failing to score in the first half, the Manchester United striker was booked after the interval for an elbow on Mark Spiranovic, ruling him out of the final Group B game against Chile.

Australia went ahead shortly after, but Van Persie was quick to make amends.

The striker latched on to a pass inside the box before letting an unstoppable shot fly to equalise.

And the Netherlands would go on to win thanks to Memphis Depay's strike, leaving Louis van Gaal's side on six points and through to the knockout stages after Spain suffered defeat - and elimination from the World Cup - to Chile.

Van Persie's absence through suspension, therefore, will not prove to be a huge miss.

Swansea City loanee Jonathan De Guzman also saw 78 minutes of action before being replaced by Georginio Wijnaldum, while Aston Villa's Ron Vlaar was part of a back four which could do nothing about Tim Cahill's wonder goal

MILE JEDINAK

Mile Jedinak looked set to be the man of the moment for Australia against the Netherlands.

After Arjen Robben had given the Dutch the lead, Australia responded through Tim Cahill, who scored a contender for goal of the tournament with a volley which crashed in off the crossbar.

And after the break, team captain Jedinak gave his side the lead, sending Jasper Cillessen the wrong way from the penalty spot following a soft handball by Daryl Janmaat.

It was a magic moment for the Crystal Palace man but the lead was short-lived as Van Persie equalised before Depay completed the comeback.

CESAR AZPILICUETA


It was a night to forget for Spain as Vicente del Bosque’s side crashed out of the World Cup following a 2-0 defeat to Chile.

Cesar Azpilicueta had 93 touches during the match, only Jordi Alba had higher, but while the Chelsea defender was mostly accurate with his distribution, he offered little attacking threat down the right flank.


DAVID SILVA


Despite failing to influence in Spain’s 5-1 defeat to Netherlands, David Silva retained his place in midfield for the clash with Chile.

But the Manchester City midfielder had another quiet evening, and his 79 per cent pass-completion rate tells the story in terms of his disjointed link-up play with Diego Costa.

Silva struggled to find space up against Chile’s five-man midfield and was anonymous for the majority of the second half.

FERNANDO TORRES

Fernando Torres was forced to start Spain’s second World Cup game on the bench but the Chelsea striker replaced the ineffective Diego Costa in the 64th minute.

By then, however, Chile looked in control of the match and were able to limit the number of chances Spain could create. As a result, Torres was starved of service and although his link-up play showed promise, Del Bosque’s side needed more tempo to cause Chile problems.

SANTI CAZORLA

Santi Cazorla was Spain’s last roll of the dice as the Arsenal midfielder was brought on for Pedro with 14 minutes remaining.

Cazorla tested Claudio Bravo with two shots from range but the Chile goalkeeper was equal to both efforts.

BENOIT ASSOU-EKOTTO

This was also a night to forget for Cameroon left-back Benoit Assou-Ekotto.

The Tottenham left-back, who spent last season loan with newly promoted QPR, was part of a back four which was run ragged by the likes of Ivan Perisic, Mario Mandzukic, Ivan Rakitic and Ivica Olic for Croatia.

After Olic had opened the scoring - when Assou-Ekotto could have done more to block a cross leading to the goal - Alex Song was sent off for lashing out foolishly at Mandzukic and Cameroon capitulated.

Cameroon ended up losing 4-0 and it was all too much for Assou-Ekotto, who aimed a headbutt at team-mate Benjamin Moukandjo and had to be calmed down in the tunnel by Samuel Eto'o.

DEJAN LOVREN

By contrast, Dejan Lovren had a much quieter night than his defensive counterpart.

The Southampton centre-back went largely untroubled by Cameroon, who fell behind and never looked like finding a way back into the game after Alex Song's red card.

It was one way traffic from then on, with Lovren and Croatia still alive in the World Cup having picked up a much needed three points.

Related

From the web