FOOTBALL NEWS

29/05/2013 21:52, Report by Adam Bostock

Tough night for Reds quartet

Four Manchester United players had a difficult day on international duty as England were held at home and Ecuador lost on neutral ground in friendly matches.

Wayne Rooney and Michael Carrick both started for the Three Lions in their 1-1 draw with the Republic of Ireland at Wembley, then Phil Jones joined them in the fray as a half-time substitute for Liverpool right-back Glen Johnson.

Giovanni Trapattoni's Irish side, featuring former United defender John O'Shea in their back four, took a surprise first-half lead when West Bromwich Albion striker Shane Long converted Seamus Coleman's right-wing cross with a stunning header. The away team's advantage only lasted for 10 minutes, however, until Frank Lampard netted a scruffy equaliser from close range. There was one more United connection on the pitch when the club's ex-goalkeeper Ben Foster, now of West Brom of course, ended his international retirement by coming on for Manchester City's Joe Hart.

Meanwhile, Antonio Valencia scored for Ecuador in Florida, USA, but was still on the receiving end as the positivity surrounding German club football rubbed off on the national team to devastating effect.

Even without the players who featured in Saturday's Champions League final for Bayern Munich or Borussia Dortmund, Germany went 4-0 up inside 24 minutes. Arsenal striker Lukas Podolski and Bayer Leverkusen midfelder Lars Bender scored a double apiece before Valencia pulled a goal back on the brink of half-time. A further consolation, from Walter Ayovi, was added in the 84th minute to make the final score 4-2 to the Germans.    

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