Liverpool's Internationals Recap: France Stumble, England Fail to Impress

Shaun Botterill

Picking through the entrails of Friday's uninspiring set of matches with a Liverpool connection finds England and France both failing to perform as their fans would have hoped.

With most of World Cup 2014 qualification already decided, there was little to look forward to today in international action from a Liverpool point of view. Nigeria and Ivory Coast have meaningful CAF qualification action on Saturday, but for tonight it was all about watching Mamadou Sakho sit on the bench in one of four UEFA qualification playoffs or tuning in to see how England would fare against Chile in the headliner friendly.

Ukraine 2, France 0

Ukraine Zozulya 61', Yarmolenko 82' (pen)

Things got ugly for France in Kiev as a pair of second half goals by Ukraine and straight red for Laurent Koscielny in the dying minutes have the European power on the verge of failing to qualify for Brazil. The hosts sat back early, soaking up pressure and frustrating the French before second half goals from Roman Zozulua and Andriy Yarmolenko gave Ukraine a convincing lead to take with them when they visit Paris on Tuesday. Mamadou Sakho remained on the bench tonight, while elsewhere in the UEFA qualification playoffs Greece easily bested Romania, Portugal narrowly edged Sweden, and Iceland drew with Croatia.

England 0, Chile 2

Chile Sanchez 7', 90+4'

Alexis Sanchez' finishing prowess bookmarked a night that had little of good for England to fall back on outside the part where it was a friendly that didn't actually matter and many of England's regulars were unavailable. Chile, meanwhile, will have bolstered their hopes heading into next summer's World Cup, as after an impressive qualification round built on entertaining, energetic football they look primed to take the mantle of South American darkhorse darlings that Uruguay carried at the last tournament. England, meanwhile, failed to impress, and Roy Hodgson's side faced a handful of boos at the end of the night as fans left Wembley less than impressed.

Glen Johnson started and looked capable at right back for England while Jordan Henderson came on for Frank Lampard with twenty minutes left to little effect. Elsewhere in international friendly action, Daniel Agger went the full ninety for Denmark as the beat Norway 2-1, and Martin Skrtel and Slovakia dispatched poland 2-0.

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