IT WAS an encouraging weekend abroad for our Aussies with several of our next generation impressing. Robbie Kruse started again in Germany, Mat Ryan saved a penalty in Belgium, while Mathew Leckie found the back of the net for FSV Frankfurt.
In the English Premier League, Chris Herd returned from a facial injury, playing a full game in defence as Aston Villa lost 2-1 to Stoke City. Herd was given a torrid time throughout the contest by giant striker Peter Crouch who contributed a goal and an assist in the clash.
Mile Jedinak played a full game in midfield as Crystal Palace lost 3-0 to Newcastle United. Trailing 2-0, Jedinak did well to nod a set piece across goal to the unmarked Cameron Jerome, but the former Stoke City striker blasted his effort over the crossbar from close range, extinguishing any hope of the Eagles getting back into the contest.
Brad Jones was an unused substitute as Liverpool momentarily went to top of the table after beating Cardiff City 3-1.
In the Championship, Scott McDonald started and played 61 minutes as Millwall lost 2-0 to Middlesbrough. McDonald had little impact as Millwall failed to create many decent opportunities throughout the contest. Shane Lowry was absent from the match-day squad, while Rhys Williams was absent from the Boro side through injury.
Adam Federici was an unused substitute as Reading lost 2-1 to Wigan Athletic, while Alex Cisak was an unused substitute as Burnley beat Blackpool 2-1.
In League One, Bailey Wright played a full game in defence as Preston North End suffered a disappointing 3-0 home loss to Brentford. Neil Kilkenny was a half time substitute in the clash.
Massimo Luongo played a full game in midfield as Swindon Town beat Coventry City 2-1. Luongo had a couple of opportunities to score in the first half but was unable to beat Joe Murphy in the Coventry goal.
James Meredith played a full game at left-back as Bradford City lost 2-1 to Peterborough United.
Bradden Inman was a 71st minute substitute as Crewe Alexandra drew 1-1 with Shrewsbury Town, while James Wesolowski was absent through injury as Oldham Athletic lost 2-0 to Colchester United.
In League Two, Aaron Downes scored the winner for Torquay United in their 1-0 win over Dagenham & Redbridge. Downes struck the winner early in the second half, nodding home Jak McCourt’s cross which lifted The Gulls off the bottom of the table.
Ryan Williams started and played 76 minutes as Oxford United played out a 0-0 draw with York City. It was announced after the game that Williams will remain at promotion chasing Oxford until the end of the season after having his loan deal extended.
Shane Cansdell-Sherriff played a full game in defence as Burton Albion drew 1-1 with Hartlepool United, while Ben McNamara was an unused substitute as struggling Northampton Town lost 4-1 to Wycombe Wanderers.
In the Scottish Premier League, Dylan McGowan played a full game in defence as Hearts lost 2-0 to Celtic. With his side trailing 1-0 late in the contest, McGowan met David Smith’s corner, only to see his header cleared off the line. Tom Rogic was absent from the Celtic match-day squad but has resumed training following a calf problem.
Elsewhere, Jackson Irvine provided an assist in Kilmarnock’s 2-1 win over Partick Thistle. Irvine, playing in the centre of midfield, was involved in the winner on 69 minutes, with his long range drive taking a touch off prolific striker Kris Boyd and into the back of the net.
In the German Bundesliga, Robbie Kruse started and played 77 minutes as Bayer Leverkusen lost 1-0 to Werder Bremen. Kruse was unlucky not to have an assist in the first half, with his cross finding Simon Rolfes whose volley brought out an excellent save from Bremen ‘keeper Raphael Wolf.
Elsewhere, Mitch Langerak was an unused substitute as Borussia Dortmund continued their poor form with a shock 1-0 home loss to Hertha Berlin.
In the German Second Division, Mathew Leckie found the back of the net for FSV Frankfurt in their 2-2 draw with 1860 Munich. Leckie opened the scoring on 21 minutes, tapping home from close range after Munich ‘keeper Gabor Kiraly had initially saved Edmond Kapllani’s effort which may have crossed the line without Leckie’s intervention. Nikita Rukavytsya was a 70th minute substitute in the clash and almost found a winner late in the contest.
Ben Halloran started and played 79 minutes as Fortuna Dusseldorf lost 3-2 to FC Koln.
In the Dutch Eredivisie, Tommy Oar played a full game as FC Utrecht lost 2-1 to Go Ahead Eagles. Oar set up the opener on four minutes, beating his poorly positioned man and firing a low cross which found midfielder Cedric Babjeck who couldn’t miss from close range. Adam Sarota started and played 81 minutes in the clash.
Jason Davidson played a full game at left-back as Heracles drew 2-2 with league leaders Vitesse.
Eli Babalj was absent through injury as AZ Alkmaar copped a 5-1 hammering from SC Heerenveen.
In the Italian Serie A, Carl Valeri was an unused substitute as Sassuolo lost 1-0 to Fiorentina.
In Belgium, Mat Ryan saved a penalty in Club Brugge’s 3-1 win over KAA Gent. Ryan, who was earlier beaten by Niklas Pedersen, got revenge on the Dane when he saved his spot kick midway through the second half.
In the Turkish Second Division, Kerem Bulut was an unused substitute as Karsiyaka lost 1-0 to Bucaspor.
In Greece, Apostolos Giannou was absent from the match-day squad as Panionios lost 1-0 to AO Platanias.
In Qatar, Mark Bresciano remained out with his FIFA imposed suspension as Al Gharafa lost 2-0 to Al Jaish.