|By SHAM MAJID
Australian midfielders Mile Jedinak and Neil Kilkenny caught the eye this week as they registered impressive performances for Championship outfits Crystal Palace and Bristol City respectively.
Rugged midfielder Jedinak was at his combative best as he helped Crystal Palace beat Hull City 4-2 in the league last Tuesday, before his fantastic goal-line clearance from a Luke Varney effort ensured the Eagles came away with a point from their clash with Leeds United on Saturday.
Kilkenny was the focal point behind Bristol City’s 2-0 victory against Middlesbrough. The former Birmingham City midfielder delivered a raking 40-yard pass for Albert Adomah to latch onto and score his side’s first goal against the Teesiders.
Largely featuring on the fringes for City of late, he also showcased his defensive qualities when he hacked away a goal-bound effort from Curtis Main.
Millwall defender Shane Lowry also impressed in his side's 0-0 stalemate with Blackburn Rovers in the FA Cup, commanding his back four impeccably and making several vital interceptions.
Over on Merseyside, Liverpool goalkeeper Brad Jones was solid as he held off an onslaught from Tottenham Hotspur to ensure the Reds finally beat an English Premier League opponent above them in the league. Liverpool moved up to sixth in the league table.
In Germany, Robbie Kruse's Fortuna Dusseldorf suffered heartbreak as they were condemned to a 3-2 defeat by giants Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena. Kruse, who played 90 minutes, was thoroughly impressive with an energetic performance.
Mathew Leckie of 2. Bundesliga outfit FSV Frankfurt scored as his team thrashed Aalen 6-1 to consolidate themselves in mid table.
In the Middle East, Alex Brosque was the perfect foil for former Sunderland striker Asamoah Gyan as the latter grabbed a double in Al Ain's 2-1 victory over Al Wasl.
Mark Bresciano and Sasa Ognenovski, of Al Gharafa and Umm Salal respectively, also impressed over the weekend, as they helped their sides post victories.
|AUSSIES ABROAD: THE FULL ROUND-UP
Jedinak thanks the Crystal Palace fans after an eventful win over Derby County on Friday.
James Holland (Austria Vienna) – Played the full 90 minutes in Austria Vienna's 0-0 stalemate with SC Wiener Neustadt on Saturday, picking up a booking on 75 minutes.
Rostyn Griffiths (Guangzho R&F) - The midfielder started in the 4-2 loss to Liaoning Whowin, but was hauled off in the 62nd minute.
Michael Marrone (Shanghai Shenxhin) - A day to forget for the former Melbourne Heart full-back, who started but was subbed off in the 5-1 loss to Guangzhou Evergrande.
Matt McKay (Changchun Yatai) - Information not available.
Ryan McGowan (Shandong Luneng) – Played from start to finish and marshalled the defence admirably in his team’s 1-0 win over Dalian Aerbin in the Chinese Super League on Saturday.
Erik Paartalu (Tianjin Teda) - The defensive midfielder played the entire game as his side held Shanghai Shenhua to a 0-0 draw.
Jonas Salley (Guizhou Renhe) - Played 90 minutes in midfield, but could not stop his side going down 2-1 to Qingdao Jonoon.
Brent McGrath (Brondby) – Made his first appearance since December when he came off the bench to replace veteran Danish winger Dennis Rommedahl in the 69th minute, as struggling Brondby recorded a surprise 0-3 victory at AGF.
Adam Federici (Reading) – Forced to watch his side's morale-sapping 2-1 home defeat to Aston Villa from the sidelines on Saturday after failing to recover in time from a sprained ankle sustained during training last week.
Brad Jones (Liverpool FC) – Replaced first-choice custodian Pepe Reina after the Spanish international broke down with a calf injury in training and the Australian goalkeeper was solid, helping the Reds notch a memorable 3-2 win against high-flying Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield on Sunday. Had to be alert early in the match as he palmed away a swerving free-kick from Spurs dynamite Gareth Bale but was powerless to prevent Jan Vertonghen's efforts from nestling into the back of the net.
Brett Holman (Aston Villa) – Entered the fray as a substitute after 65 minutes but could not prevent his side from losing 1-0 to Manchester City at Villa Park last Monday. Was an unused substitute in Villa's crucial 2-1 victory at Reading on Saturday.
Chris Herd (Aston Villa) – Missed out in the 1-0 home loss to Manchester City last Monday due to a foot injury. Was back in training after shaking off a foot injury but was left out of the squad that faced fellow strugglers Reading at the Madejski Stadium on Saturday.
Mark Schwarzer (Fulham) – Fulham's next fixture is against London rivals Tottenham Hotspur on March 17.
Sebastian Usai (Blackburn Rovers) – Was not part of the squad that succumbed to a bitter 1-0 defeat to arch rivals Bolton Wanderers in the Lancashire derby last Tuesday. Did not feature in Blackburn's 0-0 FA Cup quarter-final tie with Millwall on Sunday.
Mile Jedinak (Crystal Palace) – Registered a full 90 minutes under his belt as he helped Crystal Palace carve out a comprehensive 4-2 victory over Hull City at Selhurst Park last Tuesday. The Eagles captain clocked up another tenacious 90 minutes against Leeds United on Saturday, when he blocked a goal-bound effort on the line in a 2-2 draw.
Patrick Kisnorbo (Ipswich Town) – Warmed the bench for the entire 90 minutes as nine-man Ipswich Town were gunned down 1-0 by Nottingham Forest at the City Ground last Tuesday. Again could not force his way back into the first XI for the 0-0 stalemate against Peterborough United on Saturday, spending 90 minutes on the bench.
Neil Kilkenny (Bristol City) – Left on the bench as an unused substitute in his side's goalless stalemate with Brighton at Ashton Gate last Tuesday evening. Kilkenny was reinstated in the team for Saturday's clash with Middlesbrough and he played a barnstorming role in a 2-0 win against the Teesiders. His 10th-minute curling effort was brilliantly foiled by Boro custodian Jason Steele before his sumptuous 40-yard pass on 32 minutes found Albert Adomah to make it 1-0. Kilkenny, who played from start to finish, also contrived to block an attempt from Curtis Main in the second half.
Shane Lowry (Millwall) – Played the full ninety minutes as an-out-form Millwall outfit crashed to a disappointing 0-2 home reverse to Wolves last Tuesday. Lowry valiantly blocked a certain goal-bound effort from David Edwards in the first half before his header was smothered by Wolves custodian Carl Ikeme. Conjured up another strong performance in Sunday's ill-tempered 0-0 draw with Blackburn Rovers in the FA Cup quarter-final encounter at The Den, with Lowry receiving a caution after 53 minutes.
Scott McDonald (Middlesbrough) – Found the back of the net for the Teesiders but could not prevent his side from slipping to a shock 2-1 defeat away to Huddersfield Town last Tuesday evening. After going close several times, he was on target in the 78th minute as his left-footed strike beat Huddersfield goalie Alex Smithies. The former Celtic front man endured a disappointing 90 minutes on Saturday against Bristol City as he struggled for possession and ideas against a well-marshalled back four.
Rhys Williams (Middlesbrough) – Came on as a substitute for Richard Smallwood after 59 minutes against Huddersfield Town last Tuesday but could not help his side hold on to their lead. Played the full 90 minutes in his side's 2-0 loss to Bristol City.
Robbie Kruse (Fortuna Dusseldorf) – Played the whole 90 minutes against runaway Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena on Saturday. The visitors were heartbreakingly gunned down 3-2 thanks to an 86th-minute Jerome Boateng header. Kruse caught the eye with his hard graft and attacking interplay.
Nikita Rukavytsya (Mainz 05) – Was not in the squad as Mainz recorded a surprising 1-0 triumph over Champions League chasing Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday.
Mitchell Langerak (Borussia Dortmund) – Watched from the bench as Borussia Dortmund coasted to a convincing 3-0 triumph over Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League, signalling their progress into the last eight of the competition. Took his place on the substitutes bench and watched as his side crashed to a 2-1 defeat to fierce rivals Schalke 04 at the Veltins Arena on Saturday.
Mustafa Amini (Borussia Dortmund) – Stayed on the bench for the entire 90 minutes as Borussia Dortmund II beat SpVgg Unterhaching 2-1 on Saturday.
|GOOD WEEK/BAD WEEK|
Mathew Leckie (FSV Frankfurt) – Scored in the 35th minute as FSV Frankfurt spanked Aalen 6-1 last Friday. The attacker played the full 90 minutes as his side comfortably saw off the feeble challenge of the visitors.
Apostolis Giannou (PAOK Thessaloniki) – Did not feature in his side's goalless draw with Levadiakos in the Greek Cup last Thursday. Was again absent in PAOK's 2-1 away victory against Platanias in the Super League on Saturday.
Giannis Simosis (Kerkyra) – Replaced Brazilian Eder in the 84th minute as Kerkyra slumped to a 1-0 defeat to Greek giants Panathinaikos on Saturday.
Adam Sarota (Utrecht FC) – Sidelined for the rest of the season after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.
Tommy Oar (Utrecht FC) – Midfielder Oar played the full 90 minutes as he helped his side engineer a 1-0 victory against RKC Waalwijk on Sunday.
Michael Zullo (Utrecht FC) – While his compatriot Tommy Oar was in the first eleven, Zullo was neither a starter nor a substitute in Utrecht's 1-0 triumph against RKC Waalwijk as he continues to battle an ankle injury.
Jason Davidson (Heracles Almelo) – Did not play in his side's 1-0 home win against NEC Nijmegen on Saturday.
James Troisi (Atalanta) – Did not come off the bench as Atalanta posted a 2-1 win against rock-bottom Pescara at the Stadio Atleti Azzurri d'Italia on Sunday.
Carl Valeri (Sassuolo) – Did not feature in Sassuolo's thrilling 4-3 away win at AS Varese on Saturday.
Joshua Kennedy (Nagoya Grampus) - Remains on the sidelines for Nagoya.
Robert Cornthwaite (Chunnam Dragons) - The defender was sent off in the 71st minute of Chunnam's 1-1 draw with Daegu FC.
Matt Simon (Chunnam Dragons) - Information not available.
Luke Devere (Gyeongnam) - Information not available.
Nathan Burns (Incheon United) - The forward was not in the squad for Incheon's 3-2 win at Seoul FC.
Adrian Madaschi (Jeju United) - The defender was an unused substitute in a 1-1 draw with Seongnam.
Alex Wilkinson (Jeonbuk Motors) - Also an unused substitute, in the 2-1 win over Ulsan.
Brendan Hamill (Seongnam) - The centre-back was not in squad for the 1-1 draw with Jeju United.
Eddie Bosnar (Suwon Bluebirds) - Played 90 minutes in the 1-0 win over Gangwon FC, and is likely to start in defence against the Central Coast Mariners in the AFC Champions League on Wednesday.
Caleb Patterson-Sewell (Vitoria Setubal) - Vitoria Setubal face off with Vitoria Guimaraes on Monday.
Matt Spiranovic (Al Arabi) - Australian centre back Matt Spiranovic was not in action in his side's 1-0 defeat to Umm Salal last Monday.
Mark Bresciano (Al Gharafa) – The midfielder put in a decent shift and played the full 90 minutes as he helped his team to a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Al Rayyan last Monday.
Sasa Ognenovski (Umm Salal) – Unlike his counterpart Spiranovic, Ognenovski took his place in the heart of defence against Al Arabi and foiled the home side's attacks as his team came away with a precious 0-1 victory last Monday.
Luke Wilkshere (Dinamo Moscow) – Was an unused substitute as Dinamo Moscow resumed their domestic campaign with a hard-fought 1-0 win against rivals Lokomotiv Moscow on Saturday.
Dylan McGowan (Hearts) – Did not feature in his side's much-needed 2-0 triumph against St Johnstone last Tuesday. Was also absent from Hearts' 0-0 stalemate with Hibernian at Easter Road Stadium on Sunday.
Tom Rogic (Celtic) – Not eligible for the 2-0 loss to Juventus in the Champions League, which condemned the Scottish giants to a 5-0 aggregate defeat. Did not get onto the pitch as a substitute on Saturday as an unfancied Ross County outfit fought back from two goals down to stun defending champions Celtic 3-2 at Victoria Park.
Kerem Bulut (Akhisar Belediyespor) – Did not come off the bench as Akhisar Belediyespor played out an entertaining 2-2 draw with Gaziantepspor on Saturday.
Aziz Behich (Bursaspor) – Although he made his debut against the same team in the Turkish Cup just three days before, Behich did not play in his side's 1-0 win against Bursaspor in the Super Lig last Sunday. Finally made his Super Lig bow in his side's 4-1 defeat to Fenerbahçe on Sunday, with Behich replacing former Middlesbrough forward Tuncay Sanli after 69 minutes.
Ersan Gulum (Besiktas) – Started the clash against Trabzonspor on Saturday but was replaced at the interval by former French international Julien Escude in the teams' dour goalless draw.
Alex Brosque (Al Ain) – Socceroos attacker Brosque played the full 90 minutes in his side's encounter with Al Wasl and combined well with forward Asamoah Gyan, resulting in the Ghanaian garnering a brace in their 2-1 win last Thursday.
Nick Carle (Bani Yas) – On-loan Sydney FC midfielder Carle replaced Sultan Al Ghaferi after 84 minutes as Bani Yas shared the spoils with Al Wahda in a 1-1 draw last Friday.
Dino Djulbic (Al Wahda) – Stopper Djulbic had a solid outing and registered 90 minutes on the pitch as he helped his side grind out a useful point against Carle's Bani Yas last Friday.
Richard Porta (Dubai) – Grabbed a late consolation goal for himself in the 90th minute as his side slumped to a heavy 3-6 thrashing to Al-Ahli last Friday.
Tim Cahill (New York Red Bulls) – New York Red Bulls face the San Jose Earthquakes on Monday.
Andy Rose (Seattle Sounders) – Remained on the substitutes bench for the whole game as the Seattle Sounders recorded a disappointing 1-0 first-leg defeat to Mexican outfit Tigres UANL in the CONCACAF Champions League quarter-finals last Thursday. They will host the return leg on Wednesday.