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Everton midfielder Darron Gibson plays 70 minutes for Republic of Ireland against Oman in a 2-0 win

No such thing as international blues as there were wins for both England and ROI

Paul Thomas

Darron Gibson has returned for the Republic of Ireland by completing 70 minutes in their friendly win against Oman in Dublin.

Gibson had been out of action since last October after suffering a cruciate knee ligament injury for Ireland against Kazakhstan in a 3-1 World Cup qualifier win.

The midfielder made his Everton return against Tranmere Rovers in the opening game of pre-season in July and is now fully fit enough to challenge the likes of Gareth Barry and his fellow countryman James McCarthy for a first team spot in the Toffees’ centre of midfield.

Speaking of McCarthy, he was rested in Ireland’s win on Wednesday evening and Seamus Coleman was an unused substitute. Aiden McGeady did play however and had a productive 30+ minute cameo by helping to create opportunities and hitting the crossbar in the 89th minute.

Elsewhere at Wembley, John Stones made his full England debut by starting at right-back in their friendly against Norway. Stones came off with cramp but only as a precaution which handed a first cap to his replacement Calum Chambers.

Leighton Baines did complete the full 90 minutes in the 1-0 victory with a solid performance and in the 84th minute, Everton captain Phil Jagielka came on to replace his usual centre-back partner Gary Cahill; who suffered an ankle injury but is expected to be fit for the Three Lions’ trip to Switzerland on Monday.