LFC International Break Round-Up: Can, Coutinho, Allen and Lovren in Action

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Aside from England’s win over Switzerland on Monday night, several other Liverpool players have been in international break action this week, Jack Lusby analyses their performances.

Whilst it is a typically dull affair, particularly given it’s unwelcome intrusion on the Premier League season, there has been a measure of impressive football on show in this latest international break.

Since England’s 2-1 victory over Switzerland on Monday night, four Liverpool players have been involved in international action: Emre Can, Philippe Coutinho, Joe Allen and Dejan Lovren.

These include appearances in international friendlies, U-21s ties and in European Championships 2016 qualification games.

With this in mind, how did the four Reds get on in their respective international games?

 

Emre Can

Following on from his eye-opening appearance at centre-back in Germany U-21s’ 2-0 victory over their Republic of Ireland counterparts, 20-year-old midfielder Can was the star turn as Horst Hrubesch’s side demolished Romania U-21s in an 8-0 win.

As part of the side’s 2015 European U-21 Championships qualification, this fixture represented a dead rubber, with the Germans having already collected 17 points in an undefeated group stage run.

Can was central as Hrubesch’s young charges overran their opposition, this time deployed in his more familiar central midfield position.

Packed with bursting runs, destructive pressing play and tough tackling, Can left the tie with an impressive three assists.

Backheel vs Romania

The pick of these was an inspired backheel into the path of substitute Nico Schulz, who converted with aplomb on 63 minutes.

Unfortunately, Can’s involvement in this tie may impact his immediate contribution for the Reds, having reportedly suffered an ankle injury, having caught his studs in the turf.

Another casualty of the international break, it seems.

The German youth side are now set for the play-offs of the qualification process, with the draw held on Friday.

 

Philippe Coutinho

Another young star in action was Liverpool No. 10 Coutinho, who was introduced as a substitute for Dunga’s new-look Brazil side in their 1-0 friendly victory over Ecuador on Tuesday night.

Replacing Diego Tardelli on 67 minutes, Coutinho made his latest in only a handful of appearances for the Brazilian senior side.

Deployed on the left-hand side of the midfield, the 22-year-old impressed in a cameo display.

Displaying his now customary tenacity, the Liverpool man won the ball in the middle of the park with a boisterous energy, and showed his creative side with some dynamic play on the edge of the Ecuadorian penalty area.

Following a disastrous end to Luiz Felipe Scolari’s tenure as Selecao boss, things are looking brighter as Dunga has shuffled his pack.

 

Joe Allen

Prior to Wales’ 2016 European Championships qualifier against Andorra at the country’s National Stadium on Tuesday night, Liverpool midfielder Allen played down his and his teammates’ burgeoning reputation.

“We obviously know that there’s quality in the squad, I think a lot of the players have been together for quite a long time as a group which makes us feel like we’ve got a great chance.

“I think the ‘golden generation’ is a matter of opinion for some people and for other people to discuss. We try not to focus too much on that.”

Against the European minnows—who have not won a competitive fixture since 2004—Wales had to rely on their most polished of golden boys, with Gareth Bale scoring two goals to gift Chris Coleman’s side a 2-1 victory.

Deployed as the midfield anchor, with Aaron Ramsey and Andy King operating in more advanced positions, Allen gave a good account of himself.

It is the former Swansea man’s industry that sets the pace for Coleman’s Wales side.

This win puts Wales in a great early position in a group that also includes Bosnia-Hercegovina, Cyprus, Belgium and Israel.

 

Dejan Lovren

Finally, deployed at centre-back alongside Vedran Corluka, Reds summer signing Lovren helped keep a clean sheet against a lowly Malta side.

Despite going down to ten men in the first half hour, the Maltese managed to hold on until the break with the scores even; eventually, strikes from Luka Modric and Andrej Kramaric gave the Croats a 2-0 victory.

An early front on the Croatia goal aside, Malta rarely troubled Lovren’s defence, and thus the Liverpool man contributed a routine display to proceedings.

Croatia currently sit second in qualification Group H, level on points with Bulgaria and Italy.

Which Liverpool player has impressed you most this international break? Let us know in the comments below.

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