By Ronan Murphy
Wes Hoolahan put in a man of the match performance for Norwich City on Sunday, helping them to a 2-1 win over Sunderland. Anthony Pilkington got his name on the scoresheet for the hosts with a fine finish, while Irish-eligible goalkeeper Mark Bunn impressed for the Canaries, replacing the injured John Ruddy. James McClean had a quiet game for Sunderland, and was taken off with five minutes to go.
In his second game since returning from injury, Darron Gibson put in a very assured display in midfield as Everton drew 1-1 with champions Manchester City. Gibson wowed fans with a fantastic piece of skill on the edge of the area, beating three City players before passing the ball out wide.
Kevin Doyle scored twice for Wolverhampton Wanderers in their convincing away win over Bristol City, taking his tally to five goals this season. Stephen Ward provided the assist for Wolves' opener, setting up Sylvian Ebanks-Blake, ending Wolves' poor run of form.
A second-half goal from Paul McShane earned Hull City three points at Nottingham Forest, but the goal was a controversial one, with Forest players claiming McShane handled it on the way in.
Crystal Palace recorded a comfortable derby win over Brighton and Hove Albion, with Glenn Murray scoring twice in a 3-0 victory. Despite heading for a hat-trick, Murray stepped aside when Palace won a penalty on 71 minutes, allowing Dubliner Owen Garvan to slot home. Murray has already missed two penalties this season, and the hosts wanted to ensure the three points.
Ireland underage goalkeeper Jack Bonham made the bench for Watford in their 4-1 win against Barnsley, with Tommie Hoban once again doing well in the Hornets' back four. Fellow Irishman Mark Yeates got his name on the scoresheet with the game's second goal, netting from a narrow angle.
Lincoln City could have a glamour tie with Liverpool in the fourth round of the FA Cup if they win in their replay against Mansfield Town. Saturday's tie ended in a 3-3 draw with Mansfield scoring a last minute equaliser after former Ireland under-21 international Alan Power grabbed two for Lincoln.
Matt Doherty scored his first goal for Bury, netting from the spot in their 1-1 draw witrh Southend United. Southend pushed for a winner in stoppage time, with Irish duo Michael Timlin and Barry Corr both hitting the woodwork.
Crawley Town will face Premier League side Reading after a 3-0 win over Chelmsford. with in-form striker Billy Clarke scoring a fine volley just before half-time. The goal is Clarke's eighth of the season, and his sixth in his last ten games.
Bournemouth will travel to Wigan for their fourth round tie, after recording a 3-1 win at Carlisle United. Derry-born Ireland under-21 midfielder Eunan O'Kane scored from inside the area to help the Cherries progress.
Dundee United sailed into the Fifth Round of the Scottish Cup with a 5-0 win over Stranraer. Jon Daly scored his sixth and seventh goals of the season in a very one-sided game at Stair Park.
Inverness Caledonian Thistle and Ross County will have to play again after a 3-3 fourth round draw. Richie Foran forced the replay with a 95th minute goal, his second of the game, after Ross County had thought they grabbed the winner just two minutes earlier.
Cillian Sheridan opened the scoring in Kilmarnock's 2-1 win over Queen of the South, scoring from a corner in the eighth minute - the goal is Sheridan's eighth in 11 games since joining Killie from CSKA Sofia.
Robbie Keane picked up another MLS Cup trophy on Saturday night, scoring from the spot as LA Galaxy defeated Houston Dynamo 3-1. Keane won and converted a penalty in stoppage time, with Landon Donovan also on target in David Beckham's last game for the American club.
Valeri Karpin has returned as Spartak Moscow manager following the dismissal of Unai Emery. Emery was sacked following Spartak's 5-1 home defeat to bitter rivals Dinamo Moscow. Karpin's side slumped to a 4-2 defeat against Zenit St. Petersburg, but will be buoyed by the return of Aiden McGeady, who came on for the last 20 minutes. The winger has not played since picking up an injury during Ireland duty in October.
|IRISH XI OF THE WEEKEND
Goalkeeper: Mark Bunn (Norwich)
Defenders: Paul McShane (Hull), Matt Doherty (Bury), Gavin Gunning (Dundee Utd)
Midfielders: Mark Yeates (Watford), Wes Hoolahan (Norwich), Darron Gibson (Everton), Anthony Pilkington (Norwich)
Forwards: Kevin Doyle (Wolves), Alan Power (Lincoln), Richie Foran (Inverness)