Euro 2020 Qualifiers, Matchday 5, 6 roundup: England, Spain, Belgium, Italy maintain perfect starts
170 goals were scored in 50 Euro 2020 qualifying games across matchday 5 (5th to 7th September 2019) and matchday 6 (8th September to 10th September 2019).
Here are the big stories to have emerged from the twin matchdays of action:
Perfect start after 6 matchdays
England, Spain, Belgium, and Italy maintained their perfect starts to their respective qualifying campaigns. England beat Bulgaria 4-0 and Kosovo 5-3 at home. Spain won 2-1 in Romania and beat the Faroe Islands 4-0 at home while Belgium earned a pair of 4-0 away wins at San Marino and Scotland respectively.
The other unbeaten teams
Ukraine, Portugal, Ireland, Denmark, and Switzerland are the other unbeaten teams after 6 matchdays of qualifying action.
Ukraine won 3-0 at Lithuania and were not in action on matchday 6. Ireland drew 1-1 with Switzerland and were also not in action on matchday 6.
Portugal registered their first two victories of the qualifying campaign, winning 4-2 in Serbia and 5-1 in Lithuania. Denmark won 6-0 at Gibraltar and played out a goalless draw away in Georgia. Switzerland drew 1-1 in Ireland and beat Gibraltar 4-0 at home.
Victors on both matchdays
Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Slovenia, Russia, Belgium, England, Portugal, Turkey, and France won on both matchdays.
Italy won 3-1 in Armenia and 2-1 in Finland. Spain won 2-1 in Romania and overwhelmed Faroe Islands 4-0 at home. The Netherlands followed up their stunning 4-2 matchday 5 win in Germany with a 4-0 away win in Estonia. Slovenia earned a pair of home wins, 2-0 and 3-2 over Poland and Israel respectively. Russia won 2-1 away in Scotland and beat Kazakhstan by a solitary goal at home.
Belgium earned a pair of 4-0 away wins over San Marino and Scotland respectively. England beat Bulgaria 4-0 and Kosovo 5-1 at home. Portugal won 4-2 in Serbia and 5-1 in Lithuania. Turkey beat Andorra 1-0 at home and won 4-0 away in Moldova. France earned a pair of home wins, 4-1 and 3-0 over Albania and Andorra respectively.
Losers on both matchdays
Gibraltar, Malta, Faroe Islands, Estonia, Latvia, Scotland, San Marino, Lithuania, Moldova, and Andorra lost on both matchdays.
Gibraltar lost 0-6 at home to Denmark and 0-4 away in Switzerland. Malta lost 0-2 in Norway and 1-0 in Romania. The Faroe Islands lost 0-4 at home to Sweden and 0-4 away in Spain. Estonia lost 1-2 at home to Belarus and 0-4 at home to the Netherlands. Latvia lost 0-6 in Austria and 0-2 at home to North Macedonia.
Scotland lost 1-2 at home to Russia and 0-4 at home to Belgium. San Marino lost 0-4 at home to Belgium and Cyprus. Lithuania lost 0-3 to Ukraine and 1-5 to Portugal at home. Moldova lost 0-3 in Ireland and 0-4 at home to Turkey. Andorra lost 0-1 in Turkey and 0-3 in France.
Teams whose perfect start came to an end
Germany lost their perfect record in the qualifying campaign on matchday 5 when they suffered a 2-4 defeat to the Netherlands in Hamburg. However, the 1996 champions returned to winning ways with a 2-0 win in Belfast over Northern Ireland to take the lead in Group A on goal difference.
The other team which lost its perfect start was Poland, who lost 2-0 at Slovenia on matchday 5. The Poles were then held by Austria to a goalless draw at home but remained top of Group G, two points ahead of Slovenia.
New all-time top scorer
Cristiano Ronaldo's four-goal haul against Lithuania in Vilnius helped him break Robbie Keane's record (23 goals) for most goals scored in European qualification history.
In the process, Ronaldo became the 14th player (5th active) to score multiple hat-tricks in European qualification campaigns as the Portuguese captain netted the sixth hat-trick of the 2020 Euro Qualifiers (Raheem Sterling - 1, Eran Zahavi - 2, Artem Dzyuba - 1, Harry Kane - 1).
Teams without a point or a win
Estonia, Gibraltar, Faroe Islands, Latvia, Andorra, and San Marino are without a point after six matchdays.
Teams out of contention
Andorra and San Marino became the first two teams to be eliminated from the fray.
Leading scorer in Euro 2020 qualifying
Eran Zahavi of Israel leads the goalscoring charts of the Euro 2020 qualifying campaign with nine goals. The forward scored hat-tricks against Austria in a 4-2 win in Haifa and Latvia in a 3-0 away win in Riga.
In the process, Zahavi emulated Steven Fletcher of Scotland (2016) and Robert Lewandowski of Poland (2016) as the only active players to score two hat-tricks in one qualifying campaign.
Qualifying action for Euro 2020 continues from 10th to 12th October 2019 (Matchday 7) and 13th to 15th October 2019 (Matchday 8).