Aussies abroad: Leckie returns, Ryan benched

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Socceroos forward Mathew Leckie helped Ingolstadt bounce back from last week's Bundesliga loss, while it was a frustrating night for Mat Ryan in La Liga.

EUROPE

In just his second start since returning from a few weeks on the sidelines, Leckie played a full match in Ingolstadt's 1-1 draw against Hoffenheim on Saturday (Sunday morning AEDT).

Having lost 4-0 at Hannover last time out, Ingolstadt bounced back to claim their sixth point in five league games and they sit comfortably in mid-table in their inaugural Bundesliga campaign.

Leckie looks to be back to full fitness - having managed over 70 minutes against Hannover - after an ear infection and suspension saw him miss three matches last month.

In Spain, Leckie's Socceroos team-mate Ryan was back on the bench in Valencia's 1-1 draw against Barcelona.

Having started the past two games for Valencia, it had seemed Ryan would get the chance to test himself against the likes of Lionel Messi and Neymar.

But instead, with new coach Gary Neville watching from the stands, Ryan sat on the pine as his team claimed a decent result against the Catalan giants.

Elsewhere in Europe, Mustafa Amini came on in the 72nd minute of Randers' scoreless draw at Hobro in the final round of the Danish Superliga before the winter break.

Goalkeeper Jack Duncan was again on the bench for Randers, while Olyroo Awer Mabil was a late substitute in FC Midtjylland's 2-1 loss.

It was a mixed outing for former Wanderers striker Kerem Bulut, who scored the winner for Iraklis FC against Asteras Tripolis before before sent-off in his side's 2-1 win in the Greek Superleague.

Aziz Behich was deployed in defence for Bursaspor as they went down 3-0 on their travels to Turkish powerhouse Galatasaray.

UK

Veteran gloveman Mark Schwarzer watched from the bench as Leicester City triumphed 3-0 at Swansea City to reclaim top spot in the Premier League.

In the Championship, Shane Lowry was on the bench for Birmingham City as they lost 2-0 to Huddersfield Town, who did not include Jason Davidson in their squad.

Meanwhile, Neil Kilkenny was kept in reserve and Bailey Wright left off the teamsheet as Preston North End won 2-0 at Burnley.

Dundee United claimed their first point in four matches in the Scottish Premiership with a 1-1 draw at Kilmarnock.

Ryan McGowan put in a full shift for Dundee United, while Adam Taggart was not in the squad.

Elsewhere, Jackson Irvine completed 90 minutes in Ross County's 3-2 loss to St Johnstone. Not the result he wanted, but it was a milestone for the Olyroo who brought up his 50th appearance for the SPL outfit. Irvine fired in a cracking ball from the right which caused panic in the Saints defence enabling Liam Boyce to drill home County's first on 68 minutes.

ASIA

James Troisi played 73 minutes as Al Ittihad notched their first win in four matches in Saudi Arabia, accounting for Al Shabab 2-1.