It was great – Donny van de Beek returns from injury to score winner for Man Utd

By Sports Desk July 19, 2023

Donny van de Beek celebrated a “big moment” after the Manchester United midfielder returned from a long-term knee injury to score the winner in a 1-0 pre-season victory over Lyon at Murrayfield.

The Netherlands international had not played since suffering a knee problem in United’s win at Bournemouth on January 3.

He has struggled to establish himself since arriving at Old Trafford from Ajax, where he played under United boss Erik ten Hag, in the summer of 2020 and has been linked with a move away from the Red Devils this summer.

“It was great. My first game after six months. I don’t have to tell you after such an injury, such a mentally difficult period for me and my family, to be back on the pitch was great and it is nice if you score a goal,” Van de Beek told MUTV.

“It is amazing because I have been looking forward to this moment for months. I know it is just a friendly game but for me it is a big moment.”

United started brightly with three big chances inside five minutes, with Antony denied by Anthony Lopes before Amad Diallo dragged a shot wide and had another parried away by the Lyon goalkeeper.

Van de Beek was one of 11 changes made at half-time and his goal came just four minutes later as he latched on to youngster Dan Gore’s chipped cross from the right to volley first time into the top corner.

Jonny Evans played the second half for United having returned to the club on a short-term deal.

The 35-year-old academy graduate, who won three Premier League titles and the Champions League at Old Trafford before leaving in 2015, will join the squad on their pre-season tour of the USA.

“He came to train with us, to work on his fitness and not all the players are in – internationals are out, still having their break – so I thought it was a good idea to help each other out,” Ten Hag said. “Jonny can work on his fitness and he can help us out.

“The level, we know he is a really experienced player but also a very good person, a big personality and I think he has big authority as well. He will help the young players especially. It is a benefit for both sides.”

After the match, Ten Hag added: “You can see he is a fine character, he is a leader. He understands football. He really contributed to the good performance of the team in the second half.”

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