So far so good. The first batch of international fixtures featuring Liverpool players have been pointlessly played, the highlight of which was a comfortable 3-0 victory for England over Wales as a gentle reminder of the British pecking order. Elsewhere, Andy Robertson’s Scotland labored to a 0-0 draw in normal time before beating Israel 5-3 in a penalty shootout while Divock Origi made an appearance in Belgium’s 1-1 draw with Ivory Coast.
For Liverpool supporters, the primary concern, of course, for squad members to survive the encounter injury- and virus-free. On that front, the first round of fixtures was a resounding success with Joe Gomez playing 60 minutes, Trent Alexander-Arnold warming the bench as an unused substitute, academy youngster Neco Williams earning a runout for the Welsh and Robertson emerging from captaining his side through the full match unscathed.
Of note were star performances from ex-Reds, Danny Ings and Conor Coady in the England win. Current Wolves captain and Liverpool academy graduate, Coady made his second England call up a memorable one, following up on Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s opener with his first senior international goal. Ings then ended the proceedings in style, with the Southampton striker celebrating the end of a long five-year journey back into the England squad after years of injury with a remarkable strike to make it 3-0.
Love seeing Danny Ings scoring— Watch LFC (@Watch_LFC) October 8, 2020
Man’s on fire pic.twitter.com/RtbeQIhpxC
Conversely, it was a decidedly drab affair between Scotland and Israel in comparison, despite the prize of advancement to the Euro 2020 (or whenever it ends up being played) playoff final on the line make the match much more consequential. Looming in the background was a positive COVID-19 test for Southampton midfielder Stuart Armstrong that had caused late panic within the Scotland camp leading up to the match.
In the end, Robertson along with the rest of the squad ultimately tested negative, preventing the defender from becoming the third Red to come down with the virus following positive tests for the likes of Sadio Mane and Thiago Alcantara in recent weeks.
The international break slogs into a second week as UEFA continues to insist that it is a good idea to proceed with the rebranded friendlies that they’re calling the Nations League despite a global pandemic.