An upset looked like it was on the cards in Rome on Thursday evening when Graham Carey continued his scoring run in Europe with a powerful strike from a difficult angle to give CSKA Sofia a 1-0 lead against Jose Mourinho’s Roma side. Unfortunately for Carey and Sofia the Italian side retaliated with five goals of their own and subsequently won the tie 5-1.
Europa Conference League
Matt Doherty featured for the full ninety minutes in Spurs’ 2-2 draw with Stade Rennais.
English Premier League
Ciaran Clark kept his place in Newcastle United’s team for their 1-1 draw with Leeds United on Friday evening.
English Premier League
With Seamus Coleman missing through injury (2-3 weeks) and Andre Omobamidele returning to the Norwich City bench, Adam Idah was the only Irishman to take to the field in the Premier League on Saturday, coming on for the final minutes in Norwich’s 3-1 defeat to Watford.
There is only one place to start in the Championship and that is Sheffield United’s tie with Hull City. After an early Billy Sharp goal, captain John Egan scored not one but two headers and both goals were assisted by fellow Corkman Conor Hourihane. Perfectly-placed deliveries and clever movement proved to be a winning combination for the Irish international pair and the Blades who are unbeaten in five after the win.
Darragh Lenihan celebrated his 200th league appearance for Blackburn Rovers with a clean sheet in their goalless draw with Barnsley.
Fellow Irish defender Richard Keogh set up Blackpool’s first goal of the afternoon in their 2-1 win over Middlesbrough.
Bournemouth moved to top of the league with a 1-0 win against Mick McCarthy’s Cardiff City. Mark Travers has started seven out of eight of their league fixtures, and kept his third clean sheet of the season in Saturday’s win. Travers has conceded less than a goal per game (0.9) so far this season.
Finally, we can’t move on to the League One action without showing you the Ryan Manning incident on Saturday…
It is still baffling as to how the referee didn’t show a red card to Henri Lansbury after he lashed out and kicked the Galway man. Manning and Swansea got the last laugh though, coming from three goals behind to level the game in the 92nd minute.
English League One
In the third tier, MK Dons eased to a 4-1 victory away to Gillingham and there was almost two Irish names on the scoresheet. Wing-back Peter Kioso, on loan from Luton Town, scored the second of the game after he initiated and then finished off a well-worked move. Late in the second-half it appeared Troy Parrott had netted their third of the game with his cross/shot until it was subsequently ruled as an own-goal. Parrott might try and claim it however, and MK Dons are certainly crediting him with the finish. We’ll let you be the judge of that one.
Elsewhere, Aiden McGeady converted a spot kick in Sunderland’s 2-2 draw with Fleetwood Town while Ronan Curtis scored his first goal of the season in Portsmouth’s home defeat to Cambridge United.
English League Two
Aaron Drinan made it three goals in six games when he headed in Leyton Orient’s third goal in a 3-1 win away to Bristol Rovers.
Ireland U-21 international Will Ferry claimed his second assist in as many games as Crawley Town beat Colchester United by one goal to nil. There were also assists for Walsall’s Emmanuel Osadebe and Scunthorpe United’s Mason O’Malley.
In his second start for new club St Mirren, Conor Ronan contributed with an assist for the first goal. And it was Irish defender Joe Shaughnessy who scored a late equalizer for Mirren, ensuring they came away from Hibernian with a point. Jamie McGrath also started in the 2-2 draw.
Irish youngster Ethan Varian set up the only goal of the game as Raith Rovers beat Greenock Morton 1-0.
English Premier League
Brighton moved to fourth in the league after they held on for an impressive win against Leicester City in what was Shane Duffy’s 300th career appearance. Duffy marked the occasion by winning his team a penalty in the 35th minute when his header was handled by Foxes’ centre-half Jannik Vestergaard.
James McCarthy made his first league start for Celtic in a 1-0 away defeat to Livingston on Sunday afternoon. The result means Celtic drop to sixth in the league.
Belgian Pro League
Josh Cullen’s Anderlecht claimed an important three points against rivals Standard Liege. The win takes them up to fifth in the division with a game in hand.
In the MLS, Dublin native Jon Gallagher scored his third of the campaign in Austin’s 4-3 defeat to San Jose Earthquakes.
Enda Stevens made his long-awaited comeback from injury and returned in style, giving Sheffield United the lead inside 10 minutes against Premier League side Southampton. The Saints went on to win the cup tie on penalties.
Both Sean Maguire and Joe Rafferty were on the scoresheet for Preston as they eased to a 4-1 win against League One’s Cheltenham Town. Rafferty assisted Maguire for his first of the season in the second-half. The former Cork City forward cleverly turned inside the box and found the bottom corner with a low strike. Irish full-back Greg Cunningham also got in on the action, setting up Rafferty for his goal and Preston’s second of the game.
Caoimhin Kelleher was given the nod ahead of Adrian for Liverpool’s cup clash with Norwich. And the Ireland shot stopper didn’t let Jurgen Klopp down as he saved a penalty just before half-time to keep the score at 1-0. Liverpool scored two in the second-half to seal the clean sheet and their progression to the next round. Andrew Omobamidele and Adam Idah both started for the Canaries.
Jimmy Dunne scored the winning penalty for QPR as they knocked out Everton in one of the bigger cup upsets of the night. Meanwhile Nathan Collins earned his second competitive start for Burnley who beat Rochdale 4-1 and Cyrus Christie played his first game for Fulham since his return from his loan spell with Nottingham Forest last season.
On Wednesday evening, Aaron Connolly capped off a commendable week for Ireland’s overseas representatives with a brace in Brighton’s win over Swansea City. Exactly what was needed for the 21-year-old who is now off the mark for the campaign and will be hoping this performance will be the turning point of his season. His second goal in particular stood out, as he cut inside and found the bottom corner with a terrific strike.