LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 11: Steven Gerrard of England is sent off by match referee Cuneyt Cakir after a foul on Denys Garmash of Ukraine during the FIFA 2014 World Cup Group H qualifying match between England and Ukraine at Wembley Stadium on September 11, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
The results didn't all go their ways on Tuesday, but at least all of Liverpool's participants in the latest set of World Cup 2014 qualifiers came out unscathed, allowing us to put this latest FIFA-mandated nightmare behind us and once again worry about Liverpool's poor performances in the league. At least until October, when we get to do it all over again...
Georgia 0, Spain 1
Pepe Reina watched from the bench as a Roberto Soldado goal in the 86th minute saved Spain from a draw against underdogs Georgia in their Group I opener, and so instead Spain continues on their never-ending run of largely uninspiring victories on the road to perpetual world domination.
Turkey 3, Estonia 0
After giving the Netherlands a tough game on Friday but ultimately coming up short, Turkey bounced back with a dominating performance against Estonia. The hosts had 64% possession, 23 shots (seven on goal) to one (with zero on goal), and an impressive final scoreline. Nuri Sahin made a brief cameo, replacing Belozoglu Emre on 82 minutes.
Slovakia 2, Liechtenstein 0
Slovakia bounced back from a disappointing opening match draw to take care of business against lightweights Liechtenstein, with Martin Skrtel captaining his country and going the full 90 minutes.
Serbia 6, Wales 1
Joe Allen returned to action and played 72 minutes for Wales, but it wasn't enough as the visitors were hammered and now find themselves winless at the bottom of Group A. There may be eight games left for them to try to salvage what were always faint World Cup hopes, but in a group with Belgium, Croatia, and Serbia at the top—and with two of those sides already beating Wales convincingly—at this point the best case scenario might involve finishing ahead of one of Scotland or Macedonia.
Italy 2, Malta 0
Italy cruised to victory and now sit joint top of Group B with Bulgaria, but Fabio Borini didn't make it off the bench for the second match in a row for his national side.
England 1, Ukraine 1
After an easy opener against Moldova, Ukraine posed a much tougher test for England. Ukraine took the game to the hosts in the first half and went up just before the break thanks to a strike by Evgeni Konoplienka, but England fought back in the second to earn a deserved draw when Frank Lampard converted a penalty in the 87th. A minute later, Steven Gerrard received his second yellow of the night, sending England down to ten men for the final minutes and meaning he will miss out when England take on San Marino in October.
Uruguay 1, Ecuador 1
After being hammered by Colombia on Friday, Uruguay once again stumbled in a match they were favoured in. Following on a poor result at this summer's Olympics, it hasn't been smooth sailing for the defending Copa America champions in recent months, and against Ecuador it took an Edinson Cavani goal in the second half to pull level and secure a draw. Sebastian Coates remained on the bench for the hosts while Luis Suarez returned to action and played the full 90, picking up a yellow card along the way.