The international break did not rank as a priority to both fans and players alike following this week’s action in the UEFA Nations League.
For former Red Dejan Lovren, however, it was an opportunity to showcase his goalscoring credentials following a strike of the highest order against World champions France.
*chef's kiss* 👌
An exquisite touch and finish from Dejan Lovren gives Croatia the lead against France 😍
— Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) September 8, 2020
Lovren, 31, might have been in the wrong job this whole time after the Zenit St Petersburg striker opened the scoring for the Croatia national team with an absolute worldie.
A corner found Lovren towards the back-post, his touch to bring the ball down was sheer perfection as he bamboozled Lucas Hernandez, and then rocketed home past a helpless Hugo Lloris with his left foot.
Lovren recently departed Liverpool after ending a six-year spell at the club to join Russian outfit Zenit in a deal that saw the Reds land £10.9 million [BBC] for the Premier League and Champions League-winning defender.
Despite ultimately losing the match 4-2, Lovren played a key role for his country.
Lovren got his team off to the perfect start in what was only his fourth goal for the national side since making his debut in 2009.
It was the first time Croatia faced off against France since the 2018 World Cup final in Russia – and remarkably they lost by the exact same scoreline.
Lovren may have dominated the headlines with his left-footed thunderbolt yet he also impressed from a statistical standpoint.
According to WhoScored, Lovren boasted a commendable pass success rate of 92% which was a higher percentage than any starting player on the pitch.
He also won seven aerial duels, which again wasn’t bettered by any other France or Croatia star. Lovren’s five clearences also saw the former Liverpool defender come out on top stastically.
France once again weren’t at full-strength with big names missing such as Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe as Didier Deschamps was forced to make big chagesfor the second game in a week.
Considering Lovren was up against the likes of €80 million Bayern Munich star Hernandez alongside Barcelona’s Clement Lenglet and the highly-rated Dayot Upamecano in defence, Lovren can certainly feel good about having shone against the best in the business.
The win puts France level with Portugal at the top of the group, with both sides having won their opening two games in the past week. Croatia are still without a win and sit rock-bottom on zero points with Sweden.
Here is a look at how Liverpool fans reacted to Lovren’s performance…
Looks like a great ball playing CB. We should buy him.
— Jürgen Meister🇩🇪 (@SS_LFC) September 8, 2020
@kevpetford why did we sell him 🤔
— Mike Fitzjohn (@mikefitz1985) September 8, 2020
Who knew we where playing him in the wrong position the whole time 😉
— Philip Hunter (@HunterPhilip) September 9, 2020
Can we get him back
— RYEHSRAB🔴 (@barsheyr) September 8, 2020
Haha wheres he pulled that from?
— Daniel Dowle (@DowleBFC) September 8, 2020
his mate Mo Salah will love this
— plh51 (@plh51) September 8, 2020
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