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Liverpool Players on International Duty: Tuesday Wrap

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Liverpool Players on International Duty: Tuesday Wrap
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Liverpool's supporters might have had a break from the ups and downs of the Reds' domestic season of late, but the anxieties and interests in players' form and fitness hasn't eased up in the slightest with the two-week international break.

A number of Liverpool players have been involved with their countries, with games on Friday and Tuesday for the senior members of the team, and a day previous in each case for the Under-21 contingent.

Here's a full run-down on how the Red men fared on Tuesday in World Cup qualification matches around the globe...

 

England

Steven Gerrard and Glen Johnson both played the full 90 minutes for England, who had to settle for a 1-1 draw away to Montenegro. Both players went close to scoring for their nation, the right-back hitting the crossbar from range early on and Gerrard seeing two shots, a volley and a free kick, saved by the goalkeeper before hitting the top corner of the net late in the game.

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Gerrard did claim the assist for Wayne Rooney's headed goal, which came from a corner kick.

Despite leading at half time, England were pegged back in the second half and, under heavy sustained pressure, conceded the equalising goal with around 15 minutes remaining. Gerrard admitted Montenegro were good enough to deserve a point (via LiverpoolFC.com):

We stopped playing after the break for 20 or 30 minutes and, away from home, you can't afford to do that. The problem is when you are only 1-0 up you are always vulnerable.

You've got to go on and get the second goal to get complete control and we never did that. They took control in the second half, apart from the last 10 minutes, so they deserved their draw.

Daniel Sturridge was an unused substitute in the match, though he came on and scored against San Marino last week.

For the Under-21s, Liverpool have a large contingent which make up a core of the England youngsters' squad.

Raheem Sterling, Andre Wisdom, Jordan Henderson, Jonjo Shelvey and Jack Robinson were all involved in both matches, with Shelvey in particular coming in for acclaim during the match against Austria, where he scored the opening goal.

 

Denmark

Daniel Agger captained Denmark to a 1-1 draw at home to Bulgaria in their World Cup qualifying game on Tuesday, with the centre-back scoring the equalising goal for his nation from the penalty spot.

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Denmark would have been hoping for a home win but now lie fourth place in Group B, though they can still fight for a playoff spot if they win their match in hand. Agger has now netted seven goals for his country.

 

Slovakia

There was friendly action only for Martin Skrtel, with Slovakia not playing a qualifier on Tuesday. Skrtel played for the first half of the 0-0 draw before being replaced at half time by Jan Durica.

 

Spain

Goalkeeper Pepe Reina was an unused substitute for Spain as they defeated France 1-0 in Paris, to regain top spot in World Cup qualifying Group I.

Reina would have hoped to have figured competitively for his nation with regular No. 1 Iker Casillas still out injured, but Barcelona stopper Victor Valdes was given the nod instead.

 

Uruguay

Sebastian Coates was an unused substitute again for Uruguay in their latest qualifier, while Luis Suarez played the full 90 minutes. It was another day of frustration though for Suarez and his teammates who, after losing a late lead to Paraguay last week, were defeated 2-0 by Chile on Tuesday.

Suarez scored against Paraguay but drew a blank this time around. He is just three goals short of being his nation's top all-time goalscorer. Uruguay now need a strong finish to the qualifying league table as they sit in sixth place, with only the top four qualifying automatically and fifth place going into a playoff.

 

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