International football. What a concept. While multiple Liverpool players (including Andy Robertson and Jordan Henderson) are apparently sustaining injuries while they play for their countries, we also have the occasional bright spot in the form of goals and assists from (as of now) uninjured players. This weekend, those bright spots came in the form of Naby Keïta, Sadio Mané, and Georginio Wijnaldum.
Keïta and Mané both made crucial appearances as Guinea and Senegal took on Chad and Guinea-Bissau in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers. Keïta’s strike—an incredible goal from the edge of the penalty box—came in the middle of the first half, but Chad managed to get one back before the first half whistle blew.
While Guinea ended the game with a draw, Mané’s single goal was enough for Senegal to qualify for the Cup of Nations in January 2022.
Elsewhere (this time in the Nations’ League), Gini Wijnaldum (while wearing the captain’s band) netted two goals in the Netherlands’ 3-1 win over Bosnia and Herzegovina. Both goals came early in the first half and Wijnaldum went on to celebrate one of them with Virgil van Dijk’s under chin celebration, because he wants us to have nice things.
Both Kostas Tsimikas and Neco Williams made appearances for Greece and Wales, and—as far as we are aware—avoided getting injured during their matches, which is particularly important given Andy Robertson did manage to injure his hamstring sometime between leaving Melwood and heading to Scotland for international duty.
If Tsimikas and Williams could just keep up that streak of being uninjured, especially with Liverpool’s upcoming game against Leicester City in mind, that would be perfect.