Another week of club action with significant Irish involvement kicked off on Saturday afternoon last.
The Europa League continued on Thursday evening with Glasgow Celtic travelling to face Romanian side CFR Cluj. Later, Wolverhampton Wanderers played host to Besiktas of Turkey at Molineaux. Celtic who had already won Group E and qualified for the next phase went down to a two nil defeat while Wolves, already assured of progressing, secured a four nil victory and finish as runners-up to Braga by a single point in Group K.
There was more Championship action on Wednesday evening with Ryan Manning in the QPR side which secured a two nil away victory at Birmingham City. Teenage midfielder Jason Knight started for Derby County in their one all draw with visitors Sheffield Wednesday. Daragh Lenihan was in central defence for Blackburn Rovers who earned an away point with a one all draw against Swansea City.
The Championship continued on Tuesday evening with Bristol City going down to a two one defeat by visitors Millwall who included Jayson Molumby, Alex Pearce and Shaun Williams in their starting eleven at Ashton Gate while Aiden O’Brien was an unused substitute. Callum O’Dowda was introduced from the City bench on 76 minutes and scored eight minutes later but it was too little too late. Preston North End included Alan Browne and Sean Maguire, who scored the opening goal, in their starting eleven as they secured a two one victory over Deepdale visitors Fulham who had Cyrus Christie in their side. James McClean started and scored the opening goal for Stoke City who defeated visitors Luton Town by three goals to nil. Stephen Ward also started for the victors while Scott Hogan and Nathan Collins were unused substitutes. The visitors included James Collins in their starting eleven.
Aston Villa went down to a four one defeat by high flying visitors Leicester City in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon. Midfielder Conor Hourihane was an unused substitute for the hosts. Newcastle United came from behind the defeat visitors Southampton by two goals to one at St James Park. Ciaran Clark started for the ‘Magpies’ but was withdrawn at half-time through injury. Shane Long completed the full match for the ‘Saints’ but Michael Obafemi remained unused on the substitute bench. The Sheffield United trio of John Egan, Enda Stevens and David McGoldrick started while Callum Robinson was a 65th minute substitute as the ‘Blades’ came from behind to secure a two one victory over fellow promoted side Norwich City at Carrow Road with Stevens scoring their first goal early in the second half. Brighton & Hove Albion and Wolverhampton Wanderers played out a two all draw at the Amex Stadium where Shane Duffy remained on the bench for the hosts while Matt Doherty started for the visitors. An injury picked up in their midweek victory over Arsenal ruled Aaron Connolly out of contention.
Glasgow Celtic won the Scottish League Cup for the fourth successive year with a one nil victory over Glasgow Rangers at Hampden Park. Jonny Hayes, having recovered from injury, was restored to the Celtic starting eleven.
Burnley duo Robbie Brady and Jeff Hendrick both started in this Saturday afternoon’s crushing five nil defeat at Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League where Troy Parrott was introduced from the host bench for his Premier League debut on 85 minutes. Kevin Long has been excluded from recent ‘Clarets’ matchday squads and missed out again. James McCarthy played all of the second half for Crystal Palace in their one nil victory over AFC Bournemouth on Tuesday night but only got the final seven minutes of this afternoon’s scoreless draw at beleaguered Watford.
Daragh Lenihan was in the Blackburn Rovers side which defeated visitors Derby County by one goal to nil in the Championship on Saturday afternoon. Cyrus Christie was a very late substitute for Fulham who went down to a two one defeat by visitors Bristol City for whom Callum O’Dowda was introduced from the bench on 78 minutes following his return from injury. James McClean and Stephen Ward were in the Stoke City which went down to a two one defeat at in-form Hull City while James Collins and Luton Town secured a two one victory over visitors Wigan Athletic at Kenilworth Road. QPR and Ryan Manning defeated visitors Preston North End and their duo of Alan Browne and Sean Maguire by two goals to nil at Loftus Road.
Burton Albion included goalkeeper Kieran O’Hara in their starting eleven for their two nil defeat by League One visitors Lincoln City. Alan Judge started for Ipswich Town who played out a one all draw at Coventry City while U21 defender Thomas O’Connor started for Gillingham who defeated visitors Sunderland with the only goal at Priestfield. Ronan Curtis was in the Portsmouth side held to a two all draw by visitors Peterborough United at Fratton Park while Trevor Clarke was an unused substitute while Chiedoze Ogbene started for Rotherham United who lost to the only goal from visitors Rochdale.