After every round of weekend fixtures, find the details of how Irish players overseas performed for their respective clubs
By Ronan Murphy
Fringe squad members Andy Keogh and Liam Lawrence both made a case for inclusion in the Euro 2012 squad with a goal each at the weekend while happier times are afoot for McGeady in Moscow.
Of the four teams in FA Cup semi-final action this weekend, only one had any Irish interest on the field. Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur's sides were full of intercontinental flair, while Everton named two Irish players in their matchday squad.
Darron Gibson returned to the starting lineup against Liverpool, after being rested in midweek, and performed decently, but was not at his best as Liverpool ran out 2-1 winners.
Seamus Coleman came on as a second-half substitute, and was lucky not to be dismissed for a late challenge. The young midfielder does not look to have the confidence of last season, perhaps due to his struggles with injury during this campaign.
Keith Andrews came off the bench for West Bromwich Albion to make his 300th career league appearance. He replaced goalscorer Graham Dorrans and provided strength in midfield as the Baggies held on to a 1-0 lead against Queens Park Rangers.
Shane Long was introduced on the hour mark, and looked lively, while Simon Cox remained on the bench. Paddy Kenny was solid in the QPR goal.
Wolverhampton Wanderers ended a run of seven defeats with a hard-fought 0-0 draw against Sunderland. Kevin Foley and Stephen Ward were deployed in defence and helped Wolves to their first clean sheet in 31 games.
Manchester United recorded a one-sided 4-0 victory over Aston Villa on Sunday, with Shay Given looking dejected in the Villa goal. The Ireland number one could do little for most of United's goals, but his positioning could have been better when James Collins and Nathan Baker let Nani in to get the second goal just before half time.
Stephen Ireland played a few nice passes, but did not seem to be at full steam, while Ciaran Clark did alright on his return from injury. Clark was forced off with a head wound after conceding a soft penalty to Ashley Young. Ireland under-19 midfielder Samir Carruthers had an impressive cameo.
Millwall guaranteed themselves Championship football next season, as Andy Keogh grabbed the winner from the penalty spot against Leicester City. Keogh is relishing the centre forward role, and has hit six goals in his last 11 games for the Lions. The 2-1 loss brings Leicester's playoff hopes to an end after the Foxes left Sean St Ledger on the bench.
Liam Lawrence scored his first goal for Cardiff City since joining on loan in February to help ease Portsmouth's financial woes. The winger, who has been overlooked by Trapattoni recently, scored the only goal of the game against Barnsley, heading in on 69 minutes. The win keeps Cardiff in sixth place, the final playoff spot.
Sheffield United midfielder Michael Doyle moved a step closer to Championship football with his second goal in two games for the Blades in a 3-1 win over Leyton Orient. The 30-year-old Dubliner has been a key player in Sheffield United's promotion push, and the win moves them four points ahead of rivals Sheffield Wednesday for the second automatic promotion spot.
Shaun Williams scored Milton Keynes Dons' third as they easily defeated Scunthorpe United and kept up their promotion push, overtaking Huddersfield in the table.
A last-minute penalty from Oldham Athletic's Robbie Simpson meant Gary Waddock's Wycombe Wanderers side squandered two vital points leaving them three points adrift of safety. The former Ireland international admitted to being devastated at his side's loss but feels that he can still keep the Chairboys in League One.
On-loan forward Ben Burgess scored with his head to help Cheltenham Town to a 4-1 win over Accrington Stanley. Victory keeps the Robins firmly in playoff contention, with captain Alan Bennett looking solid at the back once again.
Dubliner Mark Byrne has become a mainstay in the Barnet side since joining last season, and worked hard in midfield against Hereford to win a point, and keep the Bees three points above relegation.
Hibernian set up an all-Edinburgh Scottish Cup final with Hearts after beating Aberdeen 2-1 on Saturday. Hearts overcame Celtic on Sunday, and will meet Pat Fenlon's side at Hampden Park on May 19.
Goalkeeper Graham Stack was forced off injured for Hibs, and could face six weeks on the sidelines - missing the chance to help Hibernian to their first Scottish Cup since 1902.
LA Galaxy recorded their second league win of the 2012 Major League Soccer season with a 3-1 victory over Portland Timbers. Robbie Keane was deployed out wide, and notched an assist for Landon Donovan's equaliser.
Aiden McGeady looked back to his best for Spartak Moscow, playing the 90 minutes in a 2-0 win over Rubin Kazan. His confidence seems to have returned, as he entertained the fans with some silky skills.
Dutch-Irish midfielder Barry Maguire opened the scoring for VVV Venlo against FC Utrecht, but saw his side slump to yet another loss, as they battle relegation in the Eredivisie.
Perth Glory will face Brisbane Roar in the 2012 A-League final after a penalty victory against Central Coast Mariners. Twenty one-time Ireland international Liam Miller will be Glory's key man in midfield, while former Ireland U21 striker Billy Mehmet will be hoping to find the net in Sunday's Grand Final.
|IRISH XI OF THE WEEKEND
Defenders: Kevin Foley (Wolves), Alan Sheehan (Notts County), Matt Doherty (Hibernian), Stephen Ward (Wolves)
Midfielders: Liam Lawrence (Cardiff City), Barry Maguire (VVV Venlo), Michael Doyle (Sheffield United), Aiden McGeady (Spartak Moscow)
Forwards: Andy Keogh (Millwall), Ben Burgess (Cheltenham)