This week's Premier League international scorers
A look at the Premier League forwards who have kept themselves busy during the international break
While West Ham United picked up some rather dubious silverware against RCD Espanyol during the international break, the remaining 19 Premier League clubs remained fixture-less.
However, this weekend will see the nation’s elite sides pick up where they left off, and so we take a look at a few of the in-form forwards and attacking players who might have picked up some momentum during the recent World Cup qualifiers.
Mark Noble’s first half penalty heroics after Espanyol’s Abraham handled the ball in the area proved West Ham could really 'do it' on a mild night in Barcelona.
Manchester United fans also have reason to be encouraged, as Robin Van Persie managed three goals in two games; his first coming thanks to a stoppage-time penalty, which salvaged a point in what should have been a routine win for the Netherlands against Estonia.
The Dutchman added a second in the Netherlands’ next match against Andorra through a curling effort from outside the box, before going on to make it three from close range.
Welbeck, of course, found the net twice against Moldova, leaving United’s strike force in pretty good shape form wise.
Elsewhere, Shinji Kagawa, criminally overlooked for selection by David Moyes currently, in the opinions of a handful of commentators, also made it onto the scoresheet in Japan’s international friendly with Ghana.
Arsenal fans also have something to take away from the international break.
In-form Aaron Ramsey netted from the spot in Wales’ defeat at the hands of Macedonia, while similarly Tomas Rosicky also contributed the Czech’s consolation goal against an Armenian side that went on to enjoy a second away win in a row for group B.
Perhaps most exciting though, Arsenal’s newly purchased assist-machine Mesut Ozil, who seems to have sparked an influx of umlauts within the twittersphere, sent the 'keeper the wrong way from the penalty spot for Germany against the Faroe Islands.
An array of Manchester City players can also be mentioned.
Samir Nasri contributed the third goal out of four against Belarus for a French side keen to show the critics that they're a side actually comfortable with scoring.
Alvaro Negredo and Jesus Navas also provided goals for Spain, the latter finding the net in a thrilling friendly with budding neutral’s favourites, Chile. And, finally, Sergio Aguero found the back of the net during Argentina’s draw in Ecuador; yet another penalty.
More news from the South American qualifiers, as Luis Suarez did little to dispel his reputation for villainy in Uruguay’s trip to Peru.
The striker’s talent is disputed as scarcely as his lack of sportsmanship, and the fixture stands as a prime example of both sides to Liverpool’s beloved and bemoaned problem child.
Perhaps his dive to win Uruguay the penalty that would see them take the lead through Suarez’ sublime spot-kick finish best encapsulates the player’s persona. In between this incident and a spectacular goal-roof bulging finish from just inside the box, saw Suarez take yet another suspect tumble under little contact, inciting the furore in which Peruvian fullback, Victor Yotun, received a red card.
Not much to be taken away from Suarez’ international exploits in PR terms then, but Liverpool fans will be encouraged by a the Uruguayan’s dynamic performance and most will admit the Premier Leagues undisputed king of controversy never had much of a squeaky clean reputation to damage anyway.
Also worth mentioning are Everton’s Kevin Mirallas, who scored Belgium’s second against Scotland, Tottenham’s Roberto Soldado, who scored Spain’s first against Chile and Norwich’s Johan Elmander, who scored Sweden’s first against Republic of Ireland, but who might find it tricky to break into the starting line-up of a team also eagerly awaiting the debut of summer signing Gary Hooper.
Meanwhile, at the other end of the pitch, a surprising amount of Premier League defenders finagled their way onto the international score sheets, including Aleksandar Kolarov, Daniel Agger, Per Mertesacker and Gareth Mcauley, who has scored during both Northern Ireland’s qualifiers in the past week.
Ultimately, recent international performances might have no bearing at all on how players perform domestically, but with little else to do we might as well speculate before the weekend arrives and we're back in business.
Whether or not the players mentioned above have remembered to pack their shooting boots for their return flights home, we’ll have to wait and see.
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