OS AUSSIES: It was a weekend for the forgotten Socceroos with both Adam Sarota and Chris Herd returning to the pitch for the first time since January. Sarota, returning from a serious knee injury, received a standing ovation from the FC Utrecht fans while Herd received a shock call up following months of injuries and lack of opportunities.
In the English Premier League, Mile Jedinak starred as Crystal Palace’s great escape gained momentum. Jedinak played a full game in midfield as the Eagles made it two wins on the trot, beating Cardiff City 2-0. The Aussie was at his tenacious best, with new Crystal Palace boss Tony Pulis labelling the midfielder's performance as “fantastic”.
Chris Herd made his first start for Aston Villa since January in Villa’s disappointing 2-0 loss to Fulham. Herd, playing in the centre of defence in a revamped back four, put in a decent shift but the lack of cohesion in their defensive half was telling, with Fulham at times bombarding the Villa goal.
Elsewhere, Mark Schwarzer was an unused substitute as Chelsea suffered a shock 3-2 loss to Stoke City, while Brad Jones was an unused substitute as Liverpool beat West Ham 4-1.
In the Championship, Rhys Williams played a full game in defence as Middlesbrough conceded a late goal to draw 2-2 with Birmingham City. Williams was involved in Boro’s second goal, clipping in a cross to Lukas Jutkiewicz who nodded the ball down for Daniel Ayala to smack home from close range.
Scott McDonald was an unused substitute as Millwall beat Wigan Athletic 2-1. Shane Lowry was absent from the Millwall match-day squad.
Elsewhere, Adam Federici was an unused substitute as Reading lost 2-1 to Bournemouth, while Alex Cisak was an unused substitute as Burnley beat Barnsley 1-0.
In the FA Cup, Shane Cansdell-Sherriff played a full game in defence as Burton Albion drew 1-1 with Fleetwood Town.
James Wesolowski was absent through injury as Oldham Athletic drew 1-1 with Mansfield Town.
Bailey Wright was absent from the match-day squad through suspension as Preston North End beat Wycombe Wanderers 1-0. Neil Kilkenny was also absent from the match-day squad.
Elsewhere, Ben McNamara was an unused substitute as Northampton Town lost 2-0 to non-league Grimsby Town.
In the Scottish Premier League, Dylan McGowan played a full game in the centre of defence as Hearts lost 4-1 to Dundee United.
Elsewhere, Jackson Irvine played a full game in midfield as Kilmarnock beat Ross County 2-1, while Tom Rogic was absent with a calf strain as Celtic hammered Motherwell 5-0.
In the German Bundesliga, Robbie Kruse was a 78th minute substitute as Bayer Leverkusen cemented their second position on the table, producing a stirring 1-0 win over Borussia Dortmund. Mitch Langerak was an unused substitute for Dortmund in the clash.
In the German Second Division, Mathew Leckie played a full game in attack but had little impact as FSV Frankfurt’s poor form continued, losing 2-0 to league leaders FC Koln. Nikita Rukavytsya was absent from the Frankfurt match-day squad due to an ankle injury.
In the German Third Division, Mustafa Amini was absent from the match-day squad through illness as Borussia Dortmund II beat Elversberg 5-0.
In the Dutch Eredivisie, Adam Sarota made his long awaited return from a serious knee injury, coming on in the 65th minute as FC Utrecht beat NEC Nijmegen 2-0. Sarota, making his first appearance since January, replaced Tommy Oar, who started in the clash. Oar was involved in the game’s opener on 48 minutes, with his precise free-kick finding Edouard Duplan who nodded the ball against the post, only for Gevero Markiet to convert the rebound.
Elsewhere, Jason Davidson was missing through suspension as Heracles beat Roda Kerkrade 3-1, while Eli Babalj remained out with a groin problem as AZ Alkmaar lost 2-1 to FC Twente.
In the Dutch Second Division, Andrew Marveggio was a 73rd minute substitute as SC Telstar lost 2-0 to MVV Maasstricht.
Elsewhere, Travis Cooper was an unused substitute as VVV Venlo lost 1-0 to FC Den Bosch.
In the Italian Serie A, Carl Valeri was absent from the match-day squad as Sassuolo lost 1-0 to Chievo.
In Austria, James Holland returned from suspension, playing a full game in midfield as Austria Wien drew 2-2 with Admira. Holland almost found the back of the net in the second half but his strike was denied by the post.
In Belgium, Mat Ryan continued his good form with a clean sheet as Club Brugge beat KV Mechelen 3-0.
In Switzerland, Dario Vidosic started and played 72 minutes but had little impact on the contest as FC Sion lost 2-0 to St Gallen.
Elsewhere, Oliver Bozanic was absent with an ankle problem as FC Luzern beat FC Aarau 1-0.
In Russia, Luke Wilkshire started and played 79 minutes at right-back as Dinamo Moscow beat Amkar Perm 2-0.
In the Greek Super League, Dean Bouzanis was an unused substitute as Aris FC drew 3-3 with Ergotelis Creta.
In the Greek Third Division, Billy Konstantinidis continued his excellent form with a goal and an assist in Panserraikos’ 2-0 win over Byzantio.
In the Turkish Second Division, Kerem Bulut was an unused substitute as Karsiyaka lost 4-1 to Balikesirspor.
In South Korea, Brendan Hamill was absent from the match-day squad as Gangwon FC were relegated despite a 1-0 win over Sangju Sangmu in the second leg relegation playoff. Gangwon lost the tie 4-2 on aggregate after losing 4-1 in the first leg on Wednesday.
In Japan, Josh Kennedy was absent from the match-day squad as Nagoya Grampus finished their campaign with a 2-0 loss to Albirex Niigata.
In Iran, Iain Fyfe was absent from the match-day squad as Mes Kerman drew 1-1 with Esteghlal.
In the Qatar Stars League, Sasa Ognenovski played a full game in defence as Umm Salal lost 1-0 to Lekhwiya.
Elsewhere, Mark Bresciano was absent due to his FIFA imposed suspension as Al Gharafa drew 2-2 with Kharaitiyat.
In India, former Newcastle Jets striker Sean Rooney found the back of the net for Bengaluru in their 3-1 win over Churchill Brothers.