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Joe Gomez ends 1,322-day wait, Kelleher Man of the Match and 1 Red rested


Jurgen Klopp will have been buoyed by what he saw from his internationals on Saturday, with one Man of the Match, one Red rested entirely, and Joe Gomez marking his England return.

The international break is a time to cross your fingers and hope every player returns fit and healthy, and so far so good for Liverpool.

On Saturday, only two of Klopp’s players featured for their respective nations, Caoimhin Kelleher started for Ireland and Gomez came off the bench for England at Wembley.

The latter came off the bench for the final 23 minutes in a 1-0 defeat against Brazil, ending a 1,322-day wait for a Three Lions appearance having last played in August 2020.

Gomez came on at left-back in place of Ben Chilwell – with Trent Alexander-Arnold and Alisson watching on from the stands – and had 18 touches and won both the tackle and duel he contested.

England meet Belgium in their final friendly on Tuesday, and Gomez could be in contention for his first international start in nearly four years.

Over in Ireland, Kelleher ended his night with a clean sheet as his side kept Belgium to a 0-0 draw, the 25-year-old continued his club form with two important saves and was crowned FotMob‘s Man of the Match.

Kelleher’s place behind Alisson at Liverpool had compromised his chances at international level, but his No. 1 role at Anfield of late has thrust him into the starting role, which he wants to continue.

“I don’t know about the next game or in the future. My full focus was on this game,” Kelleher said, via the Irish Mirror.

“I don’t know what the plan is going forward but I want to play as many games as I can and cement my place.”

Finally, there was good news concerning Ibrahima Konate, as the centre-back watched the entirety of France’s 2-0 defeat to Germany from the bench.

There were doubts over his ability to feature during the break due to a muscle injury, but he has been training with his national side and Klopp will have been relieved to see him go unused.

Konate missed the three games preceding the international break and with a hectic schedule on return to domestic action, Liverpool can ill afford the Frenchman to have any setbacks.

Let’s just hope the careful approach continues in their final game against Chile on Tuesday!