Player Analysis: International Duty

Player Analysis Liverpool

With the focus now turning back to the Premier League, here is how some of the Liverpool players fared during the international break.

England/England U21

Joe Gomez was one of the standout performers during the international break; having come on – and impressed – as an early substitute for the injured Phil Jones in England’s match against Germany he was rewarded with his first start for his country on Tuesday against Brazil. Gomez made an assured start to his senior England career with an encouraging 90 minute outing which even resulted in him being named the Vauxhall England Man of the Match. Fellow red Dominic Solanke scored for England U21s in their 2-0 victory against Ukraine in U21 European Championships qualifying before being called up to the senior England squad to face Brazil. Solanke came on in the 74th minute in the game at Wembley and came close to scoring a late winner with a good chance at the back post.

Home Nations

Ben Woodburn played thirty minutes of Wales’ 2-0 friendly defeat to France in Paris as a second-half substitute but made his first start for his country on Tuesday evening in a 1-1 draw against Panama. Goalkeeper Danny Ward also played in the match in Cardiff.

Andy Robertson was part of the Scotland side that lost 1-0 to the Netherlands on Thursday evening.

Europe

Dejan Lovren played his part in ensuring Croatia are at next year’s World Cup – a 4-1 win at home to Greece in the first-leg more or less sent Croatia to Russia but the goalless second-leg confirmed that. An achievement that will surely lift Lovren and hopefully increase his confidence when he’s back on Merseyside.

Emre Can figured in both of Germany’s friendly matches – he came on as a substitute in the match against England but played the opening 83 minutes at right-back against France in an exciting 2-2 draw. A new position for Can – who is now building quite a repertoire of roles for both club and country.

Simon Mignolet played the full game as Belgium earned a 1-0 home win over Japan in their second friendly of the week.

Alberto Moreno became the first Liverpool player to adorn the jersey of the Spanish national side since Pepe Reina – Moreno came on for the second-half of the dramatic 3-3 draw against Russia in which Spain let a 2-0 and 3-2 lead slip.

Rest of the World

Sadio Mane helped secure World Cup qualification for the first time in 16 years for Senegal as they beat South Africa 2-0. Mane was instrumental in his nation’s success – laying on an assist for Diafro Sakho for the opening goal, before seeing his shot saved only for it to rebound into the net of a South African defender.

Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino both remained on the bench in Brazil’s 3-1 defeat of Japan in Lille but both featured in the friendly at Wembley. Coutinho played the opening 67 minutes and was denied a goal by a fine save from Joe Hart, before being replaced by Chelsea winger Willian. Firmino came on with 25 minutes to play but did little of note during his short run out.

About the Author

Oliver Miller
FoL's Matchday Correspondent @oliver_miller