Liverpool's Internationals Recap: Sturridge Wins it for England

Laurence Griffiths

Keeping an eye on Liverpool's internationals saw the club's five England representatives playing some pretty football in a victorious outing while Uruguay continue to look a pale imitation of their former selves.

Israel 1 - Slovakia 3
Austria 1 - Uruguay 1
Belgium 2 - Ivory Coast 2
England 1 - Denmark 0

In the match most Liverpool fans were watching, all five of the club's players called up to the England side started as Roy Hodgson surprised by setting up to imitate Liverpool. It led to some of the best movement and possession play seen by an England side in a long time, as well as frequent position swapping amidst the midfield and attacking trios. Meanwhile, Daniel Agger started and captained Denmark against many of his club teammates.

Raheem Sterling, England's best in the first half, had the first good chance to put the hosts ahead when he deflected an Ashley Cole cross off the post just before the break. Minutes later, Kasper Schmeichel managed to get in the way of a point blank drive from Sturridge off a corner. The second half saw more of the same, with England playing some of their nicest football in recent memory but lacking incisiveness in the final third—the kind of incisiveness Luis Suarez often brings to Liverpool.

Bringing Adam Lallana and Danny Welbeck on for Jack Wilshere and Wayne Rooney made for a more dangerous looking side late on, and in the end Daniel Sturridge made the breakthrough for England with an 82nd minute header set up by a Lallana cross.

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Moving to the continent, it was no surprise Luis Suarez got the start, going the full 90 minutes for Uruguay as they drew against underdogs Austria. Uruguay went down early to a goal by Austria's Marc Janko, with the Austrians good value for their lead, but a late marker by Alvaro Pereira earned Uruguay a draw that avoids too much embarrassment. Still, on the whole it was a worrying outing for a Uruguay side that had to go to an intercontinental playoff to qualify for the World Cup and continue to look a pale imitation of the side that so impressed in South Africa.

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Elsewhere, Slovakia easily bested Israel 3-1, with Martin Skrtel surviving the match and coming off after 66 minutes, while despite not being fit to start yet for Liverpool, Mamadou Sakho made the France bench as they cruised to a 2-0 victory over the Netherlands. In a sign of what might be ahead for Ivory Coast at the World Cup, Kolo Toure was handed the start in defence and his country earned draw in stoppage time while Simon Mignolet watched from Belgium's bench. Most importantly, all of Liverpool's players appear to have ended the day unscathed.

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