Phil Jones has returned to Manchester for treatment on the groin injury he sustained in England 2-0 friendly loss to Chile. Jones was forced off at the hour-mark of that match, and a scan Saturday revealed the versatile defender would be unavailable for England's showdown with Germany on Tuesday. While the severity of the injury is not yet clear Jones is unlikely to be fully-fit for United's trip to Cardiff on Sunday.
This injury represents a heavy blow to a player looking to establish himself as a fixture in United's midfield during Michael Carrick's six week absence, and it is not the first time injury has interrupted Jones's rise at a critical time. David Moyes will appreciate Jones's bravery and strength in the tackle but must hope these little knocks do not become a feature of the youngster's career. That said--look for more news in the next few days. Jones may be back in action sooner than we think
- Chris Smalling replaced Jones (who had been deployed at center-back) in that Chile match, and Tom Cleverley managed a 20 minute cameo as well. Starter Wayne Rooney put in a decent performance, notably with a pass to set up a chance for new-boy Adam Lallana, but this match was defined by the brilliance of Alexis Sanchez.
- Nani played 90 minutes for Portugal in their 1-0 playoff win over Sweden. Cristiano nabbed the winner for the home side with a diving header. Patrice Evra's France were frustrated by Ukraine and now face a real struggle to qualify after a 2-0 defeat.
- Shinji Kagawa came on at half-time to good effect for Japan in their 2-2 draw with the Netherlands. The Dutch were missing a lot of their stars, but the Japanese played some truly beautiful stuff in the second half and probably deserved to win. Shinji looked lively and creative in a free role on the left-hand side.
- Jonny Evans and Antonio Valencia played 90 minutes for Northern Ireland and Ecuador respectively. Most of these players have a few days off before another round of matches on Tuesday.
- Steve Bartram wrote a nice Adnan Januzaj profile for the official website. We can't get enough of the kid.
- Daniel Taylor has a brilliant piece on the Guardian about FC United of Manchester, the club formed in 2005 by supporters opposed to the controversial Glazer takeover. Whatever your opinion on the "rebels", this one is worth reading.