Reds at the Euros
Recent fixtures at the Euros 2016 tournament saw several Liverpool players show what they can do for their country.
Tournament hosts France opened with a game against Romania on 10th June but unfortunately Mamadou Sakho had not been chosen to play for his country.
In the Wales V Slovakia match, Joe Allen would go up against his teammate Martin Skrtel and Wales ended up winning 2-1 to claim a victory in their very first fixture.
Allen was consistent and showed the Welsh fans in France what he has been doing in the Europa League, Premier League, FA Cup and League cup also for his club. If Wales had the ball, he run it around the midfield to their key player such as Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey. If the opposition had the ball in midfield, Allen was making tackles and trying to win it back for his country. Hardworking, as always.
Regular first choice goalkeeper Hennessey had suffered an injury just hours before the game and Liverpool’s 22 year old goalkeeper Danny Ward was asked to make his first international appearance and did not disappoint. He didn’t keep a clean sheet, but he was on the winning side at least and had conceded less than the Slovakian goalkeeper by the end of the game.
The goals that were scored were not scored by Liverpool players (Bale and Robson-Kanu scored for Wales and Duda scored for Slovakia, though Ward is a goalkeeper and Skrtel is a defender and players in those positions are not really expected to score, it needs to be said). However Man of the Match would certainly be Joe Allen, he played like a captain. Wales are in the same group as England and Russia also so they’ll have more exciting and challenging fixtures to come in France, with Allen and Ward surely facing more of their Liverpool teammates in the tournament yet.
England did play on the same night as Wales for their first fixture, too. They of course had to face Russia. Unfortunately, England could not quite manage to do as Wales did and had to make do with a single point by the end of their game, drawing 1-1 with Russia. England squad players in this tournament include Nathaniel Clyne, Jordan Henderson, Daniel Sturridge, Adam Lallana and James Milner.
Clyne, Sturridge, Henderson and Milner would all make the substitute bench while Adam Lallana was the only Liverpool player to be a part of the starting 11 lineup for England.
Russia are the only team in Group B not to have a Liverpool player representing them at Euro 2016.
England rose to challenge their opponents from the very first whistle and within 10 minutes of play, Adam Lallana had already taken a shot and forced the Russian goalkeeper to make a save. Lallana would push further up the pitch for most of the game than even Wayne Rooney would, as England manager Roy Hodgson had chosen to place (team captain) Rooney in a rather defensive midfield role, while Lallana was placed in a very offensive role that’s usually reserved for strikers or attacking midfielders.
Lallana wasn’t alone in trying his luck early on, either.
Tottenham’s Harry Kane came very close to scoring when a ball came into him and the goalkeeper had already committed himself in an effort to save the cross going across the penalty area to an England player. Kane couldn’t quite reach it to poke it in however and the empty net stayed empty as nothing forced the ball towards goal. Close to scoring, though.
By the end of the first half, we’d seen more attacks from Lallana and Kane and they’d played the ball around, providing assists for Raheem Sterling and there was even a disallowed goal where Lallana had assisted Kane who scored, in an offside position. The first half would end England 0-0 Russia though.
So, the second half started with a bit of urgency. Only 45 minutes left and both teams needed a goal if they were going to try and get more than a single point from a goalless draw.
Just past the 70th minute, England had their best chance of the second half. A ball from Rose struck a Russian defender and deflected it on the way to Rooney in a dangerous position. He’d strike it towards goal but it would be saved and the ball found it’s way from their goalkeepers hand to Adam Lallana, who would hit the post. Another very close chance at scoring, closest of the game perhaps.
We haven’t even gotten to the real goals yet, though there was some great chances to watch that came close the score was 1-1 eventually and a goal for both sides.
Two minutes after Lallana had hit the post, England had their goal.
Schennikov had brought down Dele Alli right on the edge of the penalty area and the referee had to award a free-kick to England. It was not obvious who was going to take it. A couple of fake steps over the ball from Kane and Rooney saw Dier left with the chance to strike the ball over the confused defenders and the goalkeeper who couldn’t stop the ball from finding it’s way into the top corner of the net from the free kick.
England 1-0 Russia.
This would be England’s only goal (not including the disallowed ones) and it was almost the final whistle before Russia had replied with a goal of their own. England were very unlucky not to go away from Marseille with all three points and a victory.
Dier claimed it was one of the happiest and proud moments in his entire career, but that he was disappointed it did not bring a victory for his country.
Russia’s goal came around the 92nd minute when a corner came in fast and the ball was headed past Rose and even Joe Hart as Berezutski climbed into the air to claim Russia a goal and a point from their first fixture. Not long before Russia’s goal, James Milner had replaced Sterling. At least he got to play but hopefully we can see more of him next time. Man of the Match for me was Adam Lallana. I know, I know. he didn’t even score a goal. But despite Dier scoring England’s only goal, he really hadn’t put as much effort into the game as Lallana who had been working tirelessly to create goals for himself and others. He might not have succeeded in putting the ball in the net, but he had come very close to doing it and plenty more times than Dier had shot on goal. If he gets as many chances in our next fixture, I’d expect him to score by the end of the game. I was definitely most happy with Lallana.
This game’s result meant both England and Russia are just a couple of points behind Wales, while Slovakia sit at the bottom of the group with nothing. Still, we’re only just getting started.
Well, enjoy the games to come. We’ll be looking at more Liverpool players in this tournament and not just group B either. Hopefully we may see some in the Final, but it’s too early to tell yet. The group stages can be just as exciting as the knockout stage though.
You’ll Never Walk Alone, Anfield Family.
[written by] Stuart Drewery.
I’m an Englishman (born and raised in Liverpool in the 80s). My whole family including my parents and grandparents were Liverpool fans so I was born into being a red.
I’ve seen Liverpool win the league (more than 25 years ago) and I’ve been 100% loyal and committed while supporting the Reds through all the good times AND the bad times since the 80s.