Liverpool's Internationals: An Injury-Free Recap

Michael Regan

Spoiler: Liverpool's players (at least the ones who played) escaped unscathed. So celebrate and stuff. Or just go directly to wringing your hands about Manchester City sniffing around Luis Suarez if that's more your thing.

Czech Republic 3, Slovakia 0

With Slovak captain Martin Skrtel ruled out late on account of the virus that kept him on the sidelines for Sunday's league match against Chelsea, the visitors were beaten handily by the Czech Republic. The Czechs struck early through David Lafata, who scored twice in the opening ten minutes before the hosts cruised the rest of the way, adding a third for style points in the closing minutes. Slovakia, meanwhile, rarely looked as though they would make a game of it.

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Turkey 1, Denmark 1

Despite looking second best for much of the night, Nuri Sahin and Turkey managed to hold an Agger-less Denmark to a draw in Istanbul. After passing up numerous chances to go ahead—and frequently bypassing Sahin in midfield far too easily to create said chances—Denmark finally took the lead in the second half when Michael Krohn-Dehli won a penalty that Nicklas Bendtner converted. Minutes later, though, Mevlut Erding pulled the hosts level.

Nuri Sahin played 85 minutes, putting in a decent performance with the ball but failing to effectively counter the Danish midfield when Turkey didn't have possession.

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Sweden 4, England 2

Steven Gerrard started his 100th game for England while Raheem Sterling made his debut as part of an experimental lineup, with only Gerrard and fellow Red Glen Johnson standing on more than thirty caps. Sterling was expectedly nervy to start the night, while Gerrard fired off a handful of ambitious but off target passes early, but both players quickly settled and were amongst England's better performers as the visitors controlled the game for much of the first half.

That control didn't count for much when Zlatan Ibrahimovic put Sweden up half way through the opening period, but England responded quickly with a pair of strikes to go into the half ahead. The scoreline would remain unchanged until after Gerrard and Johnson had left the pitch, at which point Sweden v. England quickly became Ibrahimovic's personal highlight reel, with the polarizing striker netting his second, third, and fourth of the night over the final fifteen minutes to give the hosts victory.

Steven Gerrard and Glen Johnson both played a solid 74 minutes while Sterling was on the pitch for 84 and didn't look out of place for much of that time. Given the match was a friendly, though, that all three ended the night unscathed may do little to dampen the annoyance of some Liverpool fans at how long it took before Hodgson began making changes to his side.

Gerrard, of course, has more than a slightly spotty injury record and was fortunate to be playing at all on Wednesday following an injury scare against Chelsea, while Johnson has only just returned from an extended layoff and Sterling has already played far more often than most would have liked given his age. With Wigan visiting Anfield on Saturday, it means three games in seven days in the midst of an already congested schedule for three players who all could have used a week off.

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Poland 1, Uruguay 3

Luis Suarez put in a man of the match performance for Uruguay, scoring their third of the night while leading the visitors to victory. After a string of poor results in what has been a disappointing year for the defending Copa America champions, Wednesday's victory will provide a touch of hope and momentum for when they return to World Cup qualification in the new year, and it all got started with a Polish own goal when Kamil Glik's attempted clearance managed to end up in the back of his own net.

Soon afterwards it was 2-0 when Suarez fed Edinson Cavani in front of goal, and though Poland fought back in the second half, Suarez answered almost immediately with an impressive solo effort to seal the victory. A few hours later, speculation kicked off that when reliable sources suggested Manchester City was interested in making a £40M bid for the Liverpool striker come January. All signs might seem to point to it being something that will never progress past the Manchester City is interested… stage, but that doesn't mean Liverpool fans aren't now set up for a month or two that's less fun than watching the club's players out on international duty and taking part in meaningless friendlies.

If it's not worrying another player or four will end up injured it's worrying that Liverpool has well and truly become a mid-table, selling club and that fans and supporters can look forward to having a player or two poached each time the transfer window opens while celebrating the odd League Cup victory and dreaming of ever fading past glories. So. Good times.

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