IT WAS A quiet weekend abroad with standout performances few and far between. Our German-based Socceroos earned rare starts, Adam Sarota continued his recovery from a serious injury, while forgotten midfielder Carl Valeri also returned to his side following a long layoff through injury.
In the English Premier League, Mile Jedinak played a full game in midfield as Crystal Palace lost 2-1 to Chelsea. Jedinak was perhaps at fault for the opener on 16 minutes, allowing Willian too much time and space to fire a shot from range which came back off the post, only for Fernando Torres to react quickest and tap home from close range. Despite that early setback, Jedinak and Palace settled well and put in a gutsy performance. Mark Schwarzer returned to the bench after keeping a clean-sheet in Chelsea’s 1-0 win over Steaua Bucharest in the Champions League on Wednesday.
Chris Herd was absent from the match-day squad as Aston Villa lost 3-0 to Manchester United. After starting last week against Fulham, Herd’s injury curse struck again after picking up a facial injury in training.
Elsewhere, Brad Jones was an unused substitute as Liverpool thumped Tottenham Hotspur 5-0.
In the Championship, Rhys Williams started and played 88 minutes at right-back as Middlesbrough slipped closer to the relegation zone following a 1-0 loss to Brighton & Hove Albion.
Scott McDonald was an unused substitute as Millwall lost 3-2 to Blackburn Rovers. Shane Lowry was absent from the match-day squad.
Elsewhere, Adam Federici was an unused substitute as Reading beat Huddersfield Town 1-0, while Alex Cisak was an unused substitute as Burnley drew 1-1 with Leicester City.
In League One, Bailey Wright returned from suspension, playing a full game in defence as Preston North End drew 2-2 with Crawley Town. Neil Kilkenny was an unused substitute in the clash.
James Meredith played a full game at left-back as Bradford City drew 1-1 with league leaders Leyton Orient.
Massimo Luongo played a full game in midfield as Swindon Town lost 1-0 to Sheffield United.
James Wesolowski played a full game in midfield as Oldham Athletic lost 1-0 to Brentford.
Bradden Inman returned to the Crewe Alexandra side, coming on in the 78th minute in their 2-2 draw with Coventry City. Inman, making his first appearance in almost a month after being banished from the senior team due to a poor attitude, looked dangerous in his short cameo and almost scored a fairytale winner in the dying moments, only to be denied by a superb block from Cyrus Christie.
In League Two, Ryan Williams started and played 83 minutes as Oxford United beat Dagenham & Redbridge 2-1. Williams was a constant threat down the flanks throughout the contest and went close to scoring in the opening half but he blasted his effort over the bar.
Shane Cansdell-Sherriff played a full game in defence as Burton Albion drew 1-1 with York City.
Aaron Downes played a full game in defence as Torquay United beat Southend United 1-0, while Ben McNamara was an unused substitute as Northampton Town drew 1-1 with Bury.
In Scotland, Jackson Irvine played a full game as Kilmarnock lost 4-1 to Dundee United.
Dylan McGowan played a full game in defence as Hearts lost 2-0 to Inverness, while Tom Rogic remained out with a calf problem as Celtic beat Hibernian 1-0.
In the German Bundesliga, Mitch Langerak started in goal for Borussia Dortmund in their 2-2 draw with Hoffenheim, ending Langerak’s remarkable record of winning in each of his first seven starts. Langerak made a decent save early in the contest before conceding two first half goals with the former Melbourne Victory gloveman powerless to stop either effort.
Robbie Kruse started and played 66 minutes as Bayer Leverkusen suffered a disappointing 1-0 home loss to Eintracht Frankfurt. Kruse had a chance to score just after half time with his effort from outside of the box drawing a decent save from Kevin Trapp.
In the German Second Division, Mathew Leckie played a full game in attack as FSV Frankfurt came from 3-0 down to draw 3-3 with Karlsruher. Nikita Rukavytsya returned from injury, coming on as a half time substitute and provided a spark in attack.
Ben Halloran started and played 66 minutes as Fortuna Dusseldorf beat Energie Cottbus 3-1.
In the German Third Division, Mustafa Amini remained out with illness as Borussia Dortmund II lost 2-1 to VfL Osnabruck.
In the Dutch Eredivisie, Adam Sarota started for FC Utrecht, playing 64 minutes in their heavy 5-1 loss to PSV Eindhoven. Tommy Oar was a half time substitute in the clash and had a couple of decent shots on goal in a disappointing afternoon for Utrecht.
Jason Davidson played a full game at left-back as Heracles beat AZ Alkmaar 2-0. Eli Babalj was absent from the AZ match-day squad.
In the Dutch Second Division, Andrew Marveggio started and played 59 minutes as SC Telstar lost 3-1 to Almere City.
Elsewhere, Travis Cooper started but was replaced at half time as VVV Venlo beat MVV Maastricht 2-0.
In the Italian Serie A, Carl Valeri was an unused substitute as Sassuolo lost 4-0 to Juventus. It was Valeri’s first appearance in the match-day squad since August last season.
In Switzerland, Dario Vidosic played a full game as FC Sion lost 3-1 to Lausanne-Sport. Oliver Bozanic remained out with an ankle injury as FC Luzern drew 1-1 with FC Basel.
In Belgium, Mat Ryan played a full game in goal as Club Brugge threw away a 2-0 lead to draw 2-2 with Sporting Charleroi.
In Croatia, Steven Ugarkovic played a full game as NK Osijek drew 1-1 with Lokomotiva Zagreb.
In Austria, James Holland played a full game in midfield as Austria Wien suffered a 4-0 thumping from Red Bull Salzburg.
In the Greece, Apostolos Giannou played a full game in attack as Panionios lost 1-0 to Asteras Tripoli. Dean Bouzanis was an unused substitute as Aris lost 2-0 to Olympiakos.
In the UAE, Alex Brosque found the back of the net for Al Ain in their 5-2 win over Al Shaab. Brosque made it 4-1 on the hour mark, nodding home Asamoah Gyan’s well weighted cross. Billy Celeski played a full game in midfield for Al Shaab.
Milan Susak played a full game in defence as Al Wasl beat Al Ahli 2-1, while Brett Holman played a full game as Al Nasr lost 2-0 to Al Shabab.
In Qatar, Mark Bresciano remained out with his FIFA imposed suspension as Al Gharafa beat Al Wakra 2-1.
In Iran, Iain Fyfe was absent from the match-day squad as Mes Kerman copped a 6-0 hiding from Persepolis.