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Goals, records and clean sheets – Liverpool’s last day of internationals

The March international break has now come to a close and domestic action is set to retake centre stage, but it was a busy final night for Liverpool’s players around the world.

It is time to rejoice as Jurgen Klopp‘s Reds get ready to get stuck into a relentless run to close out the season, but before then there was one final round of international action.

While Sadio Mane and Diogo Jota were off securing their place at the World Cup later in the year, it was heartbreak for Mohamed Salah and Luis Diaz as their Qatar dreams ended.

Andy Robertson blew off the cobwebs with less than an hour for Scotland, while Takumi Minamino and Divock Origi both came off the bench for Japan and Belgium respectively.

Meanwhile, Jordan Henderson was given the chance to rest his legs having not been turned to by Gareth Southgate – which will no doubt have pleased Klopp.

As for the rest, here is a quick lowdown on what unfolded for the Reds’ senior and youth internationals.

 

Jones and Elliott

England's Curtis Jones during the UEFA Euro 2021 Under-21 Qualifying Group 3 match at Molineux, Wolverhampton. ( Mike Egerton/PA Wire/PA Images)

It was role reversal time for Curtis Jones and Harvey Elliott for England’s under-21s, with the former starting against Albania while Elliott was an unused substitute.

It ended in a 3-0 victory in the U21 Euro Qualifier, which currently has the Young Lions second in their group behind the Czech Republic – with the crucial period laying ahead in June.

And on Tuesday, Jones etched his name on the scoresheet in a manner that will have greatly pleased Klopp thanks to winning the ball back in the final third and outfoxing the onrushing ‘keeper:

 

Alisson and Fabinho

Brazil had long confirmed their place at the World Cup but their penultimate qualifier saw Tite’s side take on Bolivia and run out convincing 4-0 victors.

Both Alisson and Fabinho started the game and saw out the full 90 minutes, with Lucas Paqueta, Bruno Guimaraes and a brace from Richarlison responsible for the goals.

The win helped set a new South American record for the most points accumulated in group stage qualifying, with Brazil now laying claim to 45 points from 17 games.

The clash took place in the early hours of Wednesday morning in the UK and the duo will not be expected back at Kirkby until Thursday, at the earliest.

 

The Dutch and the Irish

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, January 2, 2022: Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk (L) and goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher after the FA Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC at Stamford Bridge. The game ended in a 2-2 draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It was another 90 minutes apiece for Virgil van Dijk and Caoimhin Kelleher for the Netherlands and Ireland respectively, both in friendly encounters.

It was the second successive game as Ireland’s No. 1 for Kelleher and his third clean sheet from four international caps, this time against Lithuania.

Liverpool’s No. 2 had very little to do on the night but was able to watch on as Troy Parrott scored a dramatic late goal for a welcome victory.

For Van Dijk, a 1-1 draw with Germany extended the Netherlands’ unbeaten run to nine games as their place in pot two for the World Cup group stage was confirmed ahead of Friday’s draw.

Thankfully, he escaped unharmed and ready to return to Liverpool and get straight back into domestic action – although he did have a message for both Salah and Mane.

 

Liverpool’s Youth

CARDIFF, WALES - Monday, March 29, 2021: England's James Balagizi during an Under-18 international friendly match between Wales and England at Leckwith Stadium. England won 2-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

There was also action aplenty for the Reds’ youth representatives, including under-23s captain Tom Clayton who scored off the bench for Scotland’s under-21s in their Euro qualifier against Kazakhstan.

Jarell Quansah, James Norris and James Balagizi all featured for England’s under-19s against Portugal, with a 2-0 win confirming their place in the U19s European Championships.

For the latter, it was deemed an “unbelievable” break having featured in two of his side’s three wins in addition to being called up to train with Gareth Southgate’s senior squad.

Leighton Clarkson and Tyler Morton both featured for England’s U20s in an emphatic 3-1 win over Germany, while Sepp van den Berg helped Netherland’s U21s leapfrog Switzerland at the top of their Euro qualifying group thanks to a 2-0 win.

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