Roberto Firmino scores brilliant chip as Liverpool’s internationals enjoy productive week

10 June 2019

Roberto Firmino got his name on the scoresheet in impressive fashion as Brazil thrashed Honduras 7-0 on Sunday, in a strong start to the summer for Liverpool.


Of the 19 first-team players on international duty after the end of the club campaign, 11 were in action over the past week, along with young defender Anderson Arroyo.

Both Alisson and Firmino sat out Brazil’s 2-0 friendly win over Qatar on Thursday following the Champions League final, but were back in Tite’s squad in Porto Alegre.

Liverpool’s No. 1 started and played the full 90 minutes in the final Copa America warmup, with Firmino taking Gabriel Jesus’ place with 35 minutes to play, the score already at 4-0 and with Honduras down to 10 men.

David Neres made it five before Firmino was sent through in the box soon after, chipping the ball brilliantly over goalkeeper Luis Lopez for his 10th international goal.

Elsewhere on Sunday, Virgil van Dijk and Gini Wijnaldum played 90 minutes in the Netherlands’ 1-0 loss to Portugal in the UEFA Nations League final.

Virgil van Dijk of Holland during the UEFA Nations League A group 1 qualifying match between The Netherlands and Germany at the Johan Cruijff Arena on October 13, 2018 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands (Tom Bode/VI Images/PA Images)

Both had already played the entire 3-1 win over England in the semi-finals on Thursday, and despite defeat Ryan Babel backed Van Dijk to win the Ballon d’Or after the game.

“Last time [a defender won] the Ballon d’Or was Cannavaro in 2006, so it’s not impossible,” Babel told Sky Sports.

“I think it’s fair that he would be at least on the list. We will see at the end if he wins it, and I would be very happy for him.”

England's Joe Gomez during the UEFA Nations League, League A Group Four match at Wembley Stadium, London (Adam Davy/PA Wire/PA Images)

Joe Gomez and Trent Alexander-Arnold played out a gruelling 120 minutes as England ultimately beat Switzerland 6-5 on penalties in the third-place playoff.

Unfortunately, Xherdan Shaqiri limped off with an injury after the hour mark.

Alexander-Arnold was the standout for the Three Lions as he created seven chances with his exceptional crosses, while Jordan Henderson missed his second game in a row due to a knock.

Simon Mignolet and Divock Origi were both unused substitutes as Belgium earned a 3-0 win over Kazakhstan in their Euro 2020 qualifier on Saturday.

The latter will be hopeful of featuring ahead of Michy Batshuayi against Scotland on Tuesday night, though.

Andy Robertson of Scotland during the International Friendly match at Hampden Park, Glasgow. Picture date 7th September 2018. Picture credit should read: Richard Lee/Sportimage via PA Images

He could come up against Andy Robertson, who scored a cracker from long range in Scotland’s 2-1 victory against Cyprus, playing the full 90 minutes as captain.

Two other Liverpool players came head-to-head on Saturday as Dejan Lovren‘s Croatia edged Wales to a 2-1 win of their own, with both he and Harry Wilson playing the full 90 minutes.

Ben Woodburn didn’t make the bench, though, as his difficult season continues.

Caoimhin Kelleher has played the full 90 minutes in each of the Republic of Ireland U21s’ clashes with China (4-1 win), Mexico (0-0 draw) and Bahrain (1-0 win) at the Toulon Tournament so far.

They next take on Brazil in the semi-finals on June 12, as the goalkeeper eyes his second trophy of the season.

Arroyo saw his and Colombia’s hopes of glory in the U20 World Cup end on Friday as they suffered a 1-0 loss to Ukraine in the quarter-finals in Lodz.

SAINT PETERSBURG, RUSSIA - Sunday, June 17, 2018: Egypt's Mohamed Salah celebrates after scoring the first goal from a penalty kick during the FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 Group A match between Russia and Egypt at the Saint Petersburg Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Mohamed Salah, Naby Keita, Sadio Mane, Liam Millar and Kamil Grabara could all be in action this week ahead of this summer’s major tournaments.

Egypt play pre-Africa Cup of Nations friendlies Tanzania (June 13) and Guinea (June 16), with Keita aiming to be fit for the latter.

Mane’s Senegal warm up against Nigeria on June 16.

Canada play Trinidad & Tobago in a friendly on Monday night, ahead of their Gold Cup opener against Martinique on June 16, with Millar hopeful of featuring.

Poland kick off the U21 Euros against Belgium on the same day, and Grabara is likely to start as No. 1.

Alisson and Firmino are next in action as the Copa America begins for Brazil on Saturday against Bolivia (1.30am kickoff BST).

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