English Premier League
Last weekend marked the return of the Premier League, but more importantly the return of Shane Duffy to the Brighton backline. After a disappointing spell at Celtic last season, the Irishman put in a ‘Man of the Match’ display in Albion’s 2-1 win over Burnley.
It was also a momentous day for Ireland and Everton captain Seamus Coleman who celebrated his 300th Premier League appearance with a 3-1 win against Southampton.
At Carrow Road, Adam Idah looked bright in his late cameo against Liverpool on Saturday evening. However Norwich City suffered a 3-0 opening day defeat to Jurgen Klopp’s men.
In the English second tier, Callum Robinson continued his fine start to the campaign with his second goal in as many games as West Brom claimed their first three points of the season, beating Luton Town by three goals to two. Robinson nodded the ball home at the back post in the 36th minute to give his side a 2-0 lead before setting up Karlan Grant in the second-half to make it three. Dara O’Shea formed one third of West Brom’s back three while Peter Kioso was a late substitute for Luton who scored two late goals.
After an impressive display in the EFL Cup win over Salford City, Festy Ebosele was awarded his first league start for Derby County in their 2-1 defeat to Peterborough United.
Elsewhere there were starts, and wins, for James Collins at Cardiff City, and Gavin Kilkenny and Mark Travers at Bournemouth. Danny McNamara and Darragh Lenihan both started as their respective clubs Millwall and Blackburn Rovers played out a 1-1 draw. While Greg Cunningham, Alan Browne and Sean Maguire all featured in Preston’s defeat to Reading.
In the late kick-off, Sheffield United and Swansea City’s tie ended in stalemate as neither team could find a breakthrough. John Egan captained the Blades and at the other end of the pitch his international teammate Ryan Manning was awarded ‘Man of the Match’ for his impressive performance in the draw.
English League One
It took Anthony Scully only two games to return to the form he demonstrated throughout last season. The Irish forward’s brace ensured Lincoln City got their first win of the season as they overcame Fleetwood Town. He will continue to knock on the door of Stephen Kenny’s office with the next set of international fixtures fast approaching. His first was a super effort as he curled the ball into the top corner from an acute angle, before scoring a late winner from the penalty spot.
Troy Parrott is also off the mark for his new club MK Dons. He received the ball on the edge of the box and made no mistake with a tidy finish into the top corner. Unfortunately for the Dons, Parrott’s goal was not enough as Sunderland held on to win the tie 2-1.
Eoin Doyle also added his first goal of the campaign, scoring from the spot in Bolton’s second successive draw after their return to League One. He also assisted Wanderers’ second in the 3-3 draw with Wimbledon.
Meanwhile at Fratton Park, Gavin Bazunu made his debut for his new club and will be a happy man as they kept a clean sheet and took all three points with the help of a Marcus Harness finish in the 64th minute.
A Wes Hoolahan assist for Joe Ironside was too little too late for Cambridge United who suffered a 2-1 defeat away to Accrington Stanley.
English League Two
Former Ipswich Town striker Aaron Drinan is up and running in the league with new club Leyton Orient. The 23-year-old was on the scoresheet midweek as Orient were close to beating Championship side QPR, only to lose out on penalties in the end. Drinan made it two in two on Saturday when he opened the scoring after just seven minutes against Exeter City. The striker went on to set up the third to cap an excellent performance and cement his place in the EFL ‘Team of the Week’ alongside fellow Irishman Troy Parrott.
Former Irish international Stephen Ward assisted Brendan Kiernan for a late consolation goal as Walsall fell to a 3-1 defeat at home to Forest Green Rovers.
Scottish League Cup
St Mirren are out of the Premier Sports Cup after they lost on penalties to Livingston. Conor McCarthy equalized in the 84th minute to bring to the tie to extra-time where neither team could be separated.
English Premier League
The impressive Japhet Tanganga was preferred over Matt Doherty at right-back for Spurs as they beat the reigning champions Manchester City by one goal to nil. Doherty, who was a late substitute, will be hoping to recapture the form he had at Wolves under Nuno Espirito Santo and regain his spot in the Spurs side.
Ciaran Clark started at the back for Newcastle United in what was a very entertaining but ultimately disappointing 4-2 defeat for the Magpies at home to West Ham.
Scottish League Cup
James McCarthy’s Celtic debut was one to remember, although it was almost spoiled by a late Aaron McEneff goal. McCarthy was a second-half substitute for the Bhoys who progress to the next round of the cup after overcoming the challenge of Hearts.
Stoke City forward Ethon Varian netted on his first start for new club Raith Rovers who also progress to the next round — to face Celtic — after a superb win over Premiership side Aberdeen. The 19-year-old directed an in-swinging cross into the bottom corner to kick-start the comeback against the Dons.
After impressing whilst out on loan at Northampton Town last season, Peter Kioso finally earned his first league start for Luton Town on Tuesday evening. Kioso repaid Nathan Jones for showing faith in him by winning the ‘Man of the Match’ award in Luton’s 1-0 away win at Barnsley.
Alan Browne’s Preston side have now lost three league games on the bounce after losing 1-0 to Huddersfield Town. Meanwhile in Peterborough, James Collins featured for 77 minutes up top for Cardiff City in a 2-2 draw. There was also a start for Ryan Manning in Swansea’s defeat to Stoke City.
English League One
Three games into the new campaign and Troy Parrott has already matched his tally for Ipswich Town last season. The 19-year-old made it two goals in two games when he demonstrated his striker’s instinct by running in behind and tucking the ball home to equalize against Charlton Athletic in the 18th minute. The winner — and first three points of MK Don’s season — came in the second-half when Parrott calmly took the ball down in a crowded penalty area and directed it towards his strike partner Mohamed Eisa who found the back of the net. Not a bad evening for the Ireland international.
Irish trio Sean Raggett, Ronan Curtis and Marcus Harness all started in Portsmouth’s 1-0 victory over Shrewsbury Town. And it was Harness who followed up his goal at the weekend with an assist in the third minute of this game, setting up Ryan Tunnicliffe.
English League Two
In League Two, Bradford City captain and Irishman Niall Canavan added a fourth goal to Andy Cook’s hattrick with a late header to seal a 4-1 victory against Stevenage. Canavan also joined Paudie O’Connor and Pierce Sweeney in an all-Ireland back three in the League Two ‘Team of the Week’.
Mansfield Town midfielder and former Ireland international Stephen Quinn got his first assist of the season in a 1-1 draw with Colchester United while Corey O’Keefe also set up Rochdale’s only goal in a 2-1 defeat to Forest Green Rovers.
Europa League Qualifiers
James McCarthy got his first taste of European football with a 15 minute cameo in Celtic’s 2-0 firs-leg win over Dutch side AZ Alkmaar.
Three games into the new Championship season and Callum Robinson leads the away in the top scorer chart after he bagged yet another goal, his third in as many games. Fellow Irishman Dara O’Shea also joined Robinson on the scoresheet with another poacher’s finish in the 4-0 thrashing of Sheffield United. John Egan and David McGoldrick both started for the Blades.
Another Irish centre-back was amongst the goals on Wednesday evening. Blackburn Rovers captain Darragh Lenihan headed home a rebound in the 85th minute to win the tie for his side against Nottingham Forest.
Bournemouth and Ireland U-21 midfielder Gavin Kilkenny continued his fine start to the season, starting his third consecutive game in a 2-0 win away to Birmingham City while Mark Travers also picked up his first clean sheet of the season. There’s no doubt that both men’s performances so far this season will have generated a level of excitement amongst the Irish international camp.
In the MLS, Derrick Williams assisted LA Galaxy’s only goal of the game in a 2-1 defeat to Colorado Rapids.