It was a mixed weekend for Liverpool’s players representing their countries at the European Championships, with Holland and Spain supplying the interest for the red half of Merseyside.
Dirk Kuyt was subbed at half time as Holland went out to Russia, 3-1 after extra time. The Russians outplayed the much-fancied Dutch and the impressive Andrie Asharvin earned much praise as he gave the always-seemingly-fragile Holland defence many problems, scoring the third himself.
Kuyt had begun in his now customary right side of an attacking 3 behind the lone striker and worked hard but struggled, much like the rest of his teammates, to get into the game and was switched to the left flank before being subbed for Robin van Persie.
Sunday saw World Champions Italy against Spain with Fernando Torres suffering a similar fete to Kuyt in that he was subbed early. A somewhat surprising change by Spain manager Luis Aragones after Torres had often looked lively against the Italian defence. There was no action for Liverpool’s other three Spaniards, Arbeloa, Reina and Alonso.
After Spain had dominated possession they finally defeated the Italians on penalties after the match had ended 0-0 after extra time. Therefore, Spain will entertain Russia in the second semi-final on Thursday. The other semi sees Turkey face Germany.
The final takes place next Sunday in Vienna.
See also: Reds linked with Van Der Vaart