Date: 12th October 2016 at 8:25am
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A reduced quota of Reds have been turning out for their nations around the globe over the past five days…

With a number of players either injured, retired or just not selected by their nations this time around, Liverpool have had far fewer players on international duty than usual this past week.

In total, just nine current first team squad members have been involved in senior World Cup qualifying action for their countries.

Here’s a round-up of how they got on…

Daniel Sturridge started and scored the opener as England comfortably overcame Malta 2-0 at Wembley on Saturday.

The Reds forward was assisted for his 29th minute header by club mate Jordan Henderson, who played the full 90 minutes and was named Man of the Match by many observers, including the BBC.

Henderson successfully completed 165 passes during the contest – five more than the 160 Malta achieved collectively.

Tottenham’s Dele Alli scrambled home the Three Lions’ second six minutes before half-time.

The duo were again in the first X1 on Tuesday night as Gareth Southgate’s men surpisingly struggled to a 0-0 draw in Slovenia.

Henderson, who again went the distance, was also made captain for the night with regular skipper Wayne Rooney dropped to the bench.

It turned out to be a rather inauspicious honour as the midfielder and his colleagues struggled to impose themselves and were second best for long periods against a team ranked 55 places below themselves in FIFA’s standings.

Sturridge was replaced for the final eight minutes by teenage sensation Marcus Rashford.

Both Simon Mignolet and Divock Origi were confined to the role of spectators as Belgium scored 10 times in two games with a 4-0 home win over Bosnia and Herzegovina on Friday and a 6-0 defeat of Gibraltar away on Monday.

Former Liverpool striker Christian Benteke made history in Faro by scoring the first goal of his hat-trick after just seven seconds – the quickest goal in World Cup qualifying history.

Premier League-based trio Eden Hazard, Toby Alderweireld and Romelu Lukaku also found the net at various stages of the Group H encounters.

Belgium’s neighbours the Netherlands also scored four times in the first of their two Group A fixtures, overcoming a recent run of poor form on home soil to beat Belarus 4-1.

Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum was a key component of the victory, completing the full 90 minutes, as Spartak Moscow’s Quincy Promes scored twice.

Monday night’s hosting of France didn’t go so well though with the Dutch losing 1-0 and Wijnaldum limping off shortly after the hour mark with a hamstring problem that leaves him a doubt for Liverpool’s match against Manchester United next week.

Back in Group H, Estonia were another to notch four times as Ragnar Klavan skippered his side to victory over Gibraltar in Tallinn on Friday.

The summer recruit again played the full 90 minutes three days later but couldn’t prevent his side from going down 2-0 to visitors Greece.

Over in South American qualifying, Brazil recorded two wins from two as Venezuela were downed 2-0 in Merida during the early hours of Wednesday morning UK time.

In-form Philippe Coutinho started the match, which featured another impressive display from Manchester City-bound starlet Gabriel Jesus, before being replaced in the 83rd minute.

Previously, on Friday, the Samba Stars recorded a 5-0 home win against Bolivia with both Coutinho and Roberto Firmino amongst the scorers.

Coutinho played the full 90 minutes on that occasion and slotted home the second of four first half goals in the 26th minute, while Firmino entered proceedings as a 67th minute substitute and added Brazil’s fifth eight minutes later.

Finally, in Africa, Sadio Mané notched an assist as Senegal beat Cape Verde Islands 2-0 in their sole World Cup qualifier in Dakar on Saturday night.

The 24-year-old, who played the whole game, provided an assist for Balde Diao Keita to put the home side ahead in the first half and their advantage was doubled through Moussa Sow on 80 minutes.


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