The International Break: How Did The Reds Get On?

The International Break is never the best fun, but lots of Liverpool’s players have been out playing for their countries within this 2-week break from any club football, here’s a look at how they’ve all been getting on:

Trent Alexander-Arnold, Xherdan Shaqiri and Mohamed Salah have all either returned from international duty due to injury or rested by their respective National team managers.

Holland v Belarus -EURO Qualifier : News Photo

Wales 1-0 Trinidad & Tobago- 20th March

Players Involved: Ben Woodburn

In this international friendly between Wales and Trinidad & T0bago, the only Liverpool player involved was Ben Woodburn as Ryan Giggs fielded a rotated 11 for this friendly. Harry Wilson featured on the bench but never took to the field for Wales.

Woodburn looked sharp to say he has been lacking for first team minutes after his disappointing loan spell with Sheffield United. After playing brightly but missing a few chances, Woodburn finally opened the scoring in injury time.

In stoppage time, Vaulks got to the byline before cutting a cross to Woodburn at the far post, who could the nod the ball home into a gaping net to give Wales the win against Trinidad and Tobago.

Netherlands 4-0 Belarus- 21st March

Players Involved: Virgil Van Dijk and Gini Wijnaldum

In the Netherlands’ first Euro 2020 qualifier they got off to a flier when they defeated a resolute Belarus side 4-0.

Van Dijk and Wijnaldum both started the game and made an impact, getting in amongst the goals.

After Depay capitalised on a mistake to score early on, the Lyon man played a big part in assisting Wijnaldum for the Dutch side’s second goal. Depay put the ball on a plate with a fancy flick and Wijnaldum was there to crash the ball home into the roof of the net.

Depay made it 3-0 from the spot and then assisted another Red in Van Dijk later on. After his shot was saved, he fired a ball across the six yard box and Liverpool’s colossus centre back was there to nod the ball in at the back post.  

A good performance from the Reds in this one, as Holland got off to a dream start.  

England 5-0 Czech Republic- 22nd March

Players Involved: Jordan Henderson 

Southgate’s good run in charge of the Three Lions continued with an emphatic 5-0 win over the Czech Republic on Friday evening. The only Liverpool player involved in this game was, skipper, Jordan Henderson after Trent Alexander-Arnold dropped out of the squad due to injury.  

Henderson played well in the game and dictated the tempo well after being dropped into the deeper defensive role due to an injury to Spurs midfielder, Eric Dier. Henderson was deployed in a more advanced role to start the game and he looked lively running into the right channel before being dropped into his more familiar deeper role. 

An impressive England performance included a hat trick from former Liverpool forward Raheem Sterling, a penalty from Harry Kane and an own goal from Tomas Kalas. 

Brazil 1-1 Panama- 23rd March

Players Involved: Roberto Firmino 

In this international friendly, the only Liverpool player involved was Roberto Firmino as Tite’s men played out a rather disappointing 1-1 draw against Panama. Alisson and Fabinho are also in the Brazil squad but both were on the bench. 

Firmino didn’t have the best of games but neither did anyone for Brazil as they laboured to a draw against Panama despite having 78% of the possession. The positive for Liverpool from this game is Firmino was replaced after 60 minutes without injury. 

Senegal 2-0 Madagascar

Players Involved: Sadio Mane

Mane featured for his homeland as they completed an unbeaten African Cup of Nations qualifying campaign thanks to a brace from Stade Rennes forward Mbaye Niang.

After the match, Mane expressed his happiness at the result saying “We are happy with the result, even if it is not our best match but the main thing was to win, to take the three points“. 

Mane, however, also expressed some concern after the match. He regarded some concern surrounding the state of the pitch saying, “The state of the field wasn’t very good, a country like Senegal, we must try and improve football fields so that we can flourish”.

Overall though a good performance from Mane as they reach the Africa Cup of Nations finals unbeaten.

San Marino 0-2 Scotland- 24th March

Players Involved: Andy Robertson

Robertson missed Scotland’s shock 3-0 defeat against Kazakhstan due to a dental operation, but he returned to Scotland action as he captained his side to get back to winning ways against a very poor San Marino side.

Hungary 2-1 Croatia

Players Involved: Dejan Lovren

Lovren made his comeback to first team football within the International break after a 2 month period on the sidelines with an injury he picked up in an FA Cup defeat against Wolves.

Lovren started and played 90 minutes in what was a disappointing dent to the World Cup Finalists’ hopes of qualifying for Euro 2020. Croatia were left shocked, despite Lovren’s best defensive efforts, after they were beaten by a Hungary comeback to win 2-1.

Netherlands 2-3 Germany

Players Involved: Virgil Van Dijk and Gini Wijnaldum

The Netherlands were brought back down to earth in this game after their emphatic 4-0 win against Belarus when they were beaten by Germany. Both Van Dijk and Wijnaldum started for consecutive matches.

Virgil Van Dijk was captain when the Netherlands suffered heartbreak after, Hoffenheim left back, Nico Schulz scored late on to give the Germans the victory. The Netherlands found themselves 2-0 down after goals from Sane and Gnabry. However, an inspired comeback looked to be on the cards with goals from De Ligt and Depay, with Gini Wijnaldum assisting the equaliser before they conceded late on.

Montenegro 1-5 England- 25th March

Players Involved: Jordan Henderson

Henderson featured for England against Montenegro replacing Dele Alli in the 64th minute. When Henderson came on the game was all but won with the scores 3-1 after goals from Michael Keane and a brace from Ross Barkley.

Captain, Harry Kane, got in amongst the goals to make it 4-1 before Henderson grabbed an assist to finish the game off.  Liverpool’s skipper played a lovely weighted through ball for Raheem Sterling who calmly slotted the ball past the Montenegran goalkeeper.

Senegal 2-1 Mali- 26th March

Players Involved: Sadio Mane

Mane was started from the bench in this friendly after he played 90 minutes against Madagascar in the final African Cup of Nations qualifier. Mane took to the pitch in the 76th minute for Senegal, as they were looking to their talisman to spark a comeback.

Mane did just that.  10 minutes after entering the pitch, he arrowed a right-footed attempt into the right top corner to put Senegal back on level terms with 4 minutes of regulation time to go. In stoppage time, Liverpool’s No. 1o turned provider as he played in Moussa Konate to finish the game off and give Senegal a 2-1 win.

Czech Republic 1-3 Brazil

Players Involved: Roberto Firmino, Alisson and Fabinho

Both Firmino and Alisson started this friendly against the Czech Republic as Fabinho featured for Brazil from the bench. Fabinho was a late substitute in the 87th minute as he replaced teammate Bobby Firmino.

Alisson was unable to keep a clean sheet in this friendly as David Pavelka but the Czech Republic in front on the 37th-minute mark. After the break, Firmino levelled proceedings. He chased down a misplaced pass before slotting the ball past Jiri Pavlenka in the Czech goal. Brazil went onto win the game after a brace from Gabriel Jesus.

 

 

 

 

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