Danny Welbeck suffers yet more injury heartache

Photo credit: @Arsenal on Twitter

Poor Danny Welbeck will once again disappear under the radar for a substantial amount of time, after the striker was ruled out for around nine months following a knee injury suffered during Sunday’s 2-2 draw with Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.

Arsenal today announced that tests following the injury showed “significant cartilage damage”, and the 25-year-old has now had surgery too.

However, the injury is not the same that the unlucky former-Manchester United star suffered earlier in the season, which saw him miss a total of seven months of this campaign.

Gunners manager Arsene Wenger had admitted after Sunday’s game that he was “worried” by the injury, and his fears have become a reality sadly.

There had been calls for Welbeck to be chosen by Roy Hodgson for the 23-man England squad in France this summer, after he came back from his previous injury to score five times in the second half of the season.

Due to the length of his previous knee injury, many had forgotten just how lethal he can be, but he showed his worth to the Arsenal side as his goal saw his side on their way to a 2-1 defeat of eventual champions Leicester City back in February on his return.

The good news though, is that Welbeck seems to be in good spirits and confident that he can bounce back from this huge set as he posted this update to his 20,000 Twitter followers:

Arsenal’s Alex Oxelade-Chamberlain was also ruled out last week with a knee injury, and like Welbeck, will miss England’s Euro 2016 campaign.

All the best for your recovery Danny.

Euro 2016 Championship Qualifier: Lithuania vs England as it happened

England completed their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign with a 100% win record tonight, after a 3-0 victory in Lithuania, courtesy of goals from Ross Barkley, Harry Kane, Alex Oxelade-Chamberlain.

It was a slow start to the game, as England looked to get in their stride – whilst trying to adjust to the artificial pitch the Lithuanian national stadium has.

Kane forged England’s first chance, as he took a few touches before unleashing a venomous low drive, forcing Vytautas Andriuskevicius into a smart save. The three lions failed to capitalise on the corner, with Andriuskevicius catching comfortably.

Andriuskevicius denied Kane once more just a few moments later, as he fired in a shot from the opposite edge of the box to his last effort, but the Lithuanian keeper continued his impressive start to the game.

England huffed and puffed for the first 28 minutes, but couldn’t find a way to break the deadlock. That was the case, until half way through the 28th minute, when Ross Barkley picked the ball up following a pass from Kane, and let rip from 25-yards out. The shot took a fairly large deflection, but that takes nothing away from the sweet strike from Barkley. 1-0 England.

Lithuania weren’t too disheartened from going behind, as Spalvis raced away before unleashing a wonderful long range effort, that Jack Butland had to be equal to.

Soon after their chance to draw level, the home side find themselves 2-0 behind. Kane did a smart one-two with Adam Lallana, before smashing a low shot at the keeper – who did his best to stop it, but the power meant his save still went in. 2-0 England.

That’s how the scores would remain going into half time, with England looking dominant and in complete control – and more importantly, 100% on track to finish the qualifiers with a 100% win record.

Kane had the first chance of the second half, but Andriuskevicius showed his worth the the Lithuanian team once more as he pushed the ball away for a corner.

On 51 minutes Kane had yet another time, this time Oxelade-Chamberlain pulled the ball back to Kane who hit it first time, but the man between the sticks denied him again. From the corner Barkley headed goal wards, but Andriuskevicius saved again.

England made their first sub of the match just short of the 60th minute, as Danny Ings came on in place of goalscorer Kane – who will be disappointed he couldn’t score his second nine minutes prior.

Oxelade-Chamberlain made it three on 62 minutes. The Arsenal midfielder received the ball just inside the Lithuanian box, before he let rip leaving poor Andriuskevicius with no chance. 3-0 England.

Lallana was replaced by Dele Alli five minutes after the goal, coming on to make only his second appearance for the three lions, whilst Andros Townsend came on for Barkley.

The match went pretty flat after the 70th minute mark, as England held on to the ball for large parts without ever really threatening to find a fourth, and so 3-0 was the final score.