Liverpool had 13 players involved on Thursday across varying international levels and games, and it was very much a mixed outcome in terms of results.
With the international break interrupting Liverpool’s excellent domestic progress this season, the best that can be said for it is that at least fans can watch Reds in action across multiple days.
On Thursday, more than a dozen saw their respective national sides play in friendlies, qualifiers and youth games—starting with Brazil facing Senegal in the early afternoon, with Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane both making an impact and Fabinho an unused sub.
Later in the evening, attentions turned to Europe and a clutch of Euro 2020 qualifiers, which ended in celebration for some and dismay for others.
Virgil van Dijk captained Netherlands against Northern Ireland, with Reds team-mate Gini Wijnaldum also operating in his usual international attacking midfield role.
The Dutch were stunned by a 75th-minute opener for the away team, but bounced back to win 3-1, with two injury-time strikes. Gini has been prolific for his national team of late, but wasn’t on the scoresheet on this occasion.
It means Netherlands, Germany and Northern Ireland are all level on 12 points in Group C, with the two former nations having a game in hand. Netherlands play Belarus on Sunday.
There was also a routine victory for Dejan Lovren, who followed up his rare Liverpool outing last weekend with another 90 minutes at centre-back for Croatia.
His side triumphed 3-0 over Hungary to move three points clear at the top of the group. It’s Wales away next for Lovren and Co, on Sunday.
Wales themselves were also in action—but on-loan winger Harry Wilson was left on the bench by head coach Ryan Giggs for a must-win clash. In the end, Wilson played the final 25 minutes of a 1-1 draw, which left the Welsh side fourth, and will be hoping for more involvement against Croatia.
While some of those mentioned above would have been celebrating, it was a different mood entirely for Scotland captain Andy Robertson.
The left-back saw his team hammered 4-0 by Russia, ending their hopes of automatic qualification for Euro 2020—and Scotland must now navigate a play-off.
Finally, with regards to the seniors, Divock Origi was an unused sub for Belgium as they hammered San Marino 9-0.
Perhaps an irritation for Origi would have been watching Christian Benteke get the call off the bench and duly score, despite the ex-Red having scored no goals this season, one goal last season and three the campaign before, compared to Origi’s 2019 heroics thus far.
Belgium are away to Kazakhstan on Sunday and Divock will hope to feature there.
One more positive came in the shape of a clean sheet for Caoimhin Kelleher, who helped keep a dominant Italy side at bay and earn a 0-0 draw for Ireland U21s.
The result keeps Kelleher’s team top of the standings and unbeaten in the U21 Euros qualifiers, though the group is a mismatch at present in terms of games played, with Ireland through four games, a smattering of others playing twice and Sweden just once so far.
At U17 level, one of Liverpool’s three players in the England squad featured from kick-off against Germany in the first of a three-game trip to Murcia, Spain.
James Norris started in the 3-3 draw and England will face Germany again and then Spain over the coming days. Harvey Elliott and James Balagizi did not feature in the first game.
On Friday evening, the England contingent are in action against Czech Republic and we’ll have a full update here on This Is Anfield on the Liverpool players’ involvement following full time.
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