The inclusion of Seamus Coleman in the Everton starting eleven and his completion of the full ninety minutes in the two one Premier League victory over visitors Leicester City this Wednesday evening gives a filip to Irish football. Newcastle United had Ciaran Clark in their starting eleven for the visit of Burnley who included Jeff Hendrick and Kevin Long in their starting eleven as the sides played out a one all draw at St James Park. Shane Long and Shane Duffy were in direct opposition when Southampton and South Coast rivals Brighton & Hove Albion played out a one all draw at St Marys Stadium. Also back in first team action was James McClean whose West Bromwich Albion went down to a three nil defeat at Manchester City.
The Premier League resumed on Tuesday evening with London rivals West Ham United and Crystal Palace in action at the London Stadium. Declan Rice has been in the news in recent hours with positive vibes now emanating in relation to his international commitment to Ireland. He completed the full ninety minutes this evening with our U21 captain Josh Cullen unused on the substitute bench as the sides played out a one all draw.
Aiden McGeady was a late substitute for Sunderland who went down to a three one Championship defeat at Birmingham City. Will Keane was a late substitute for Hull City in their scoreless draw with visitors Leeds United who lost Conor Shaughnessy to injury after just six minutes. Middlesbrough had Darren Randolph in their starting eleven with Cyrus Christie unused on the bench for the scoreless draw with visitors Sheffield Wednesday. Richard Keogh started and Alex Pearce was unused on the bench for Derby County who were held to a scoreless draw by Millwall at the Den. Nottingham Forest welcomed Preston North End to the City Ground where Alan Browne started with Daryl Horgan a very late substitute in their three nil victory. Enda Stevens started for Sheffield United who went down to a one nil defeat by visitors Aston Villa who had Conor Hourihane and Scott Hogan in their starting eleven with Glenn Whelan unused on the bench at Bramall Lane.
The FA Cup continued on Sunday afternoon when Chelsea comfortably defeated Newcastle United by three goals to nil at Stamford Bridge. Ciaran Clark started for the ‘Magpies’ but there was no squad place for Rob Elliot. The late kick-off saw Manchester City ease past their hosts Cardiff City by two goals to nil. Anthony Pilkington was a late substitute for the ‘Bluebirds’.
Nottingham Forest striker Daryl Murphy has announced his retirement from international football. The Waterford man earned thirty three caps and scored three goals, most notably the late equaliser against Serbia during the recent World Cup qualifying campaign. With ill health having already forced the retirement of Kevin Doyle, one wonders if another Waterford man John O’Shea may also be thinking along those lines while very limited match time for Wes Hoolihan at Norwich City may also trigger retirement thoughts.
The FA Cup fourth round continued on Saturday afternoon with Championship side Hull City (Will Keane) defeating Nottingham Forest (Stephen Henderson) by two goals to one at the KCOM Stadium. Middlesbrough (Darren Randolph, Cyrus Christie) lost to the only goal for Brighton & Hove Albion while Sheffield United (Enda Stevens, Ben Heneghan, Samir Carruthers) also scored the only goal to defeat fellow Championship side Preston North End (Alan Browne, Daryl Horgan). Southampton (Shane Long) entertained fellow Premier League side Watford and yes, scored the only goal for victory. League One leaders Wigan Athletic defeated West Ham United (Josh Cullen) by two goals to nil at the DW Stadium. League Two side Newport County took a first half lead against Tottenham Hotspur through Padraig Amond but the Premier League side secured a draw with a late equaliser. The late kick-off saw West Bromwich Albion (James McClean) stun hosts Liverpool with three first half goals at Anfield where they held on for a three two victory.
Cup exitees Brentford (John Egan) and Norwich City were in Championship action at Griffin Park with the ‘Canaries’ scoring the only goal for victory while Queens Park Rangers (Ryan Manning) went down to a two nil defeat at Bristol City. Mick McCarthy’s Ipswich Town (David McGoldrick, Stephen Gleeson) lost to the only goal, scored by Matt Doherty, for leaders Wolverhampton Wanderers at Portman Road.