How did the Liverpool duo get on in the 2-0 win against Poland last night?
Its OK everyone, you can open your eyes now … England have qualified for the World Cup. They took on Poland at Wembley last night in what was an exciting, if not nerve shredding performance,
In the end it was a win made in Merseyside. Leighton Baines put in a perfect assist for Wayne Rooney to open the scoring for England with a well-guided header - before the persistence of Steven Gerrard gave England the second goal they needed to avoid a tight finish to proceedings.
Now Rooney may have been awarded the man of the match award from Andy Townsend and Vauxhall, but for me it was Gerrard, alongside Michael Carrick, who stole the show.
Before the game the captain received criticism, albeit tongue in cheek, from Terry Butcher and thank-god-he-is-leaving Adrian Chiles over his rather drab pre-match interview.
But he put in a solid display in the heart of England’s midfield. With Michael Carrick alongside him, rather than Frank Lampard, it allowed Gerrard to have more freedom and he enjoyed that role.
He occasionally got caught in possession, but that was all forgotten with his goal. Shrugging off the attention of various Poland defenders, he also fended off the urge to take a dive that would have earned him a penalty - instead delicately lifting the ball over the oncoming Wojciech Szczesny in the Poland goal.
He wasn’t the only Liverpool player who featured, with Daniel Sturridge leading the line for England.
He had a mixed game, as his old trait of trying to do too much reared its head. Instead of doing the simple things, he often tried the stepover and cocky pass like he once did, not like the way he has performed for Liverpool this season. He also had the odd occasion where a first time shot would have troubled Szczesny, but he instead overplayed.
But along with Danny Welbeck, who also had a clumsy if not effective performance, he was a constant threat for Poland with his movement, pace and first-touch - so in terms of his overall contribution he was an effective tool - although the decision to bring him off was probably wise from Hodgson.
Gerrard was excellent, while Sturridge has still not brought his Liverpool form to England … but must continue to get his opportunity.
Here are some thoughts from Twitter on the performance of the two Liverpool players…
If u can count on 1 man! Gerrard is the 1. Most consistent player I've seen!!!— Micah Richards (@MicahRichards) October 15, 2013
I just dashed off a letter to the Pope asking him to make Stevie Gerrard a saint.— Jan Harvey (@TheJanHarvey) October 16, 2013
Steven Gerrard was quality last night— Lee Cranney (@cranney8) October 16, 2013
Wellbeck and Sturridge are having a competition based on who can be worst in front of goal.— Jon C (@Jonnyarsenal) October 15, 2013
Good idea to bring off Sturridge, who was moments away from his Ginola-versus-Bulgaria-1993 moment.— Football Clichés (@FootballCliches) October 15, 2013
BUT...Daniel Sturridge is showing tonight why he will never be world class. No right foot and tries to do too much on the ball...— James Dodd (@JamesDoddTS) October 15, 2013
Sturridge having a very bad game for England, but will no doubt play class for Liverpool come the weekend!— Oliver Price-Bates (@OliPriceBates) October 15, 2013
What did you think of Gerrard and Sturridge’s performance?
image: © Sorren Lissner