England midfield pair Owen Hargreaves and Steven Gerrard both enjoyed successful returns to action during Wednesday night’s League Cup third round games.
Hargreaves, who is 9/2 with bookmaker to make England’s squad for Euro 2012, marked his Manchester City debut with a goal in the 2-0 win over holders Birmingham City, and lasted almost an hour before being replaced by James Milner.
Hargreaves told City’s official website: “It feels good to get the first game out of the way. We had a training game last week and I played for an hour, but this was the first official one.
“I don’t think people would believe me if I said everything that went on, but I am just happy to be back as I never anticipated in my life I would be out for three years.”
Meanwhile, Gerrard was delighted to be back after coming on for the final 15 minutes of Liverpool’s 2-1 win at Brighton, after recovering from a groin problem which required surgery.
He told his club’s official website: “It’s been tough and the last six months have been a rollercoaster, but it’s behind me now and I’m looking forward to getting match fit and getting back in the starting line-up.”