Manchester United international round-up: Lukaku scores double, Jones injured

by Harry Robinson

It was a busy Friday for Manchester United’s international stars.

The most notable action came from Belgium where Romelu Lukaku got back into goalscoring ways with a viral double for the Red Devils in a highly-entertaining friendly with Mexico, finishing 3-3.

Eden Hazard had opened the scoring, before a Mexico penalty drew things level. Lukaku was responsible for pulling Belgium back in front but a double from Hirving Lozano meant he needed another to get Belgium a draw.

It’s the 24-year-old’s first goal for club or country since the October international break. Hopefully, he’ll carry this return to form back to Manchester.

That will be when Man United host Newcastle United next Saturday. Phil Jones could be unavailable after injury forced him to be substituted off in the first half of England’s 0-0 draw against world champions Germany.

Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate revealed Jones had already been carrying a knock. Quite why he was risked in a friendly, despite that, was not explained.

“He seems fine, we’ve checked him out. It’s something he’s been carrying but he doesn’t seem to be any worse so that’s fine,” Southgate said.

“We’ll see whether Phil stays with us.”

Jones suffered an injury on international duty last time. That meant he missed a couple of games, though his record of starting every Premier League this season is yet to crack.

Meanwhile, Marcus Rashford replaces debutant Tammy Abraham for the final half-hour or so at Wembley, and Jesse Lingard was a very late substitute.

In the only competitive game of the evening for United’s players, Victor Lindelof played the full game for Sweden as they triumphed 1-0 against Italy in a World-Cup 2018 playoff match.

Mattel Darmian was also in action, impressing despite his team’s failure to grab a goal or hold out for the cleansheet. He has often played better for Italy than for United.

In good news, Nemanja Matic didn’t even travel with Serbia for their Far-East trip as they beat China PR 2-0 in a friendly. Fortunately for United, his national team afforded him such much-needed rest after a jam-packed start to the season for the summer signing.

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