By Ronan Murphy
Damien Duff's international retirement seems to have had a positive impact on his club form, as the Fulham winger helped his side to a 3-0 win over West Bromwich Albion. Duff was unlucky not to get on the scoresheet, as he was twice denied by Ben Foster in the Baggies goal. Shane Long had a quiet afternoon for WBA, and was withdrawn at half-time.
Ciaran Clark continued to impress for Aston Villa, helping Paul Lambert's men record their first win of the season. Clark played in central defence and did well to spurn Swansea attacks in a 2-0 victory, while also making a nuisance of himself at the other end from set-pieces. Shay Given was left on the bench for Villa as Lambert decided to stick with Brad Guzan between the sticks.
Simon Cox came off the bench for Nottingham Forest to help them stage a comeback against Birmingham City. Cox shook off the injury he picked up for Ireland against Oman in midweek to find the net with a magnificent goal as Forest drew 2-2 with the Blues. Keith Fahey also made his return, coming off the bench to play his first game of the season.
Burnley smashed Peterborough United 5-2 on Saturday, with Dublin-born midfielder Chris McCann opening the scoring after just seven minutes. Kane Ferdinand was sent on by Posh with five minutes to go, but by then the game had been put beyond doubt.
On-loan striker Adam Rooney scored his first goal for the Robins as Swindon Town twice came from behind to grab a point at Carlisle United. The former Inverness Caledonian Thistle hotshot scored from outside the area, while captain Alan McCormack was at fault for Carlisle's opener.
Niall Canavan stood out for Scunthorpe United as they grabbed their first win of the season with a 1-0 victory over Shrewsbury Town. The Ireland under-21 international was impressive in defence as the Iron kept their first clean sheet of the 2012-13 campaign.
Exeter City kept themselves in the playoff spots with a late equaliser against York City. Cobh-born striker John O'Flynn scored in the 83rd minute to register his third league goal of the season and give the Grecians a point. Ireland U21 defender Lanre Oyebanjo started his fifth league game of the season for the visitors.
Barnet remained at the bottom of the League Two table with a 3-0 loss to Bradford City. Goalkeeper Graham Stack failed to hold a weak shot for Bradford's second, and must be wishing he stayed in Scotland instead of joining the Bees.
Richie Foran scored from the spot for Inverness Caledonian Thistle, helping ICT to a point against Aberdeen during a heated game at Tulloch Caledonian Stadium in which both teams had a man sent off. The goal was Foran's second in a row since returning from a red card picked up on the SPL's opening day.
St Mirren moved up to third place in the table with a 2-0 win over Hearts. Captain Jim Goodwin scored a long-range effort to open the scoring for Buddies, while David Van Zanten had a good game in defence.
Robbie Keane notched up his 10th goal in the last 14 games for LA Galaxy as Bruce Arena's side recorded a 2-0 win over Colorado Rapids to move to third in the MLS Eastern Conference. Darren O'Dea's Toronto FC drew 1-1 with Philadelphia Union, but still sit bottom of the table.
In Russia, Aiden McGeady helped Spartak Moscow to a 2-2 draw with Kuban Krasnodar. McGeady netted in the 13th minute for his second goal of the season, taking the ball off Ari to send an unstoppable shot past Aleksandr Belenov.
Liam Lawrence scored his first Greek Super League goal for PAOK as they came from behind to beat Asteras Tripolis 2-1 on Sunday.
|IRISH XI OF THE WEEKEND
Goalkeeper: Darren Randolph (Motherwell)
Defenders: Lanre Oyebanjo (York), Ciaran Clark (Aston Villa), Niall Canavan (Scunthorpe), David Van Zanten (St Mirren)
Midfielders: Liam Lawrence (PAOK), Chris McCann (Burnley), Richie Foran (Inverness), Aiden McGeady (Spartak Moscow)
Forwards: Simon Cox (Nottingham Forest), Adam Rooney (Swindon)