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Solanke Shines in Otherwise Lowkey End to the March International Break

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Several key Reds had much-needed rests in the final games, but Dominic Solanke scored in England’s U21 European Qualifier.

England U21 v Ukraine U21 - U21 European Championship Qualifier Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images

The best that Liverpool fans can hope for from an international break is that all their players return back to Anfield unharmed and ready for more Reds action. During this break, Liverpool lost Joe Gomez, likely for the rest of the season.

Tuesday’s final matches may have helped Liverpool’s cause, though, with many key players rested on a quiet last day. The highlight from a Reds’ perspective was young Dominic Solanke scoring the winning goal for the England U21 against the Ukraine U21 in a European qualifying match. Solanke, who was named captain of the England U21s by manager Aidy Boothroyd, headed home the winning goal that put England past Ukraine and kept them five points clear at the top of their qualifying group.

Sadio Mané played 87 minutes in Senegal’s goalless draw with Bosnia and Herzegovina. Liverpool’s two other star frontmen got a much-needed break on Tuesday. Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah both sat on the bench for their team’s final games. Brazil defeated the reigning world champions Germany 1-0, while Egypt fell to Greece 1-0 without the magic boots of Salah to guide them.

Simon Mignolet made a rare national team appearance and kept a clean sheet for Belgium in their impressive 4-0 victory over Saudia Arabia.

Gareth Southgate, the England manager, thankfully rotated Klopp’s key men in the midfield. The game, which saw England concede a late penalty to allow Italy to sneak a 1-1 draw, featured captain Jordan Henderson coming on for the last twenty minutes, and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain getting replaced by Adam Lallana at the 60 minute mark.

With international fixtures done, Klopp and his players can begin to focus on this weekend’s match against Crystal Palace, as well as the huge midweek Champions League quarter-finals match against Manchester City.