Riley McGree continued his excellent run form with a double in Middlesbrough’s 3-2 win away to Watford in the English Championship, while Jackson Irvine returned from an ankle injury in Germany.
McGree was the top story of Saturday’s action, earning an 8/10 rating from the Evening Gazette after firing Boro into an early 2-0 lead. McGree’s brace means he has scored three goals and provided one assist in his past three games.
The Socceroo opened the scoring in the fifth minute, receiving a Jonny Howson pass as he entered the box and powered home a near-post left-foot shot past goalkeeper Daniel Bachmann.
McGree was central to the second goal, classily flicking on goalkeeper Timothy Dieng’s long ball to Matty Crooks, who broke down the right side before cutting it back for the Australian to produce a fine first-time left-foot finish.
The Evening Gazette wrote about McGree: “Couldn’t have wished for a better start with two excellent finishes inside 12 minutes. Continued to have a positive influence throughout as he linked play well and worked so hard for the team.”
Tom Glover and Sam Silvera were unused subs for Boro, who have won their past two games to rise off the bottom of the table. Boro boss Michael Carrick had praised McGree in the lead-up to the game, stating: “I think he’s found a good rhythm Riley. I don’t like the word comfortable in terms of performance, but I think he looks comfortable in terms of his timing and rhythm and seeing the pictures.
“He’s then had his success with goals and assists. It’s great to see Riley scoring and it’s something we know he’s definitely got in him. We’re not relying solely on Riley to do that, we want to see them spread across the group. But if someone does go and score a lot of goals for themselves then fantastic. Big goals in big moments are important, and Riley produced one for us just before half-time last week.
“He is a big part of the group, and I said the same a couple of weeks ago when he hadn’t started a game or two. There was never a case of anything else other than finding a way to get him back, and he’s certainly been good this week.”
Elsewhere in the Championship, Cameron Burgess and Massimo Luongo both played full games as Ipswich Town went top of the table, albeit temporarily, with a 1-1 draw at Huddersfield Town.
On Sunday, Harry Souttar was back in the Leicester City matchday squad after 90 minutes in the League Cup in midweek against Liverpool but remained an unused sub as the Foxes won 4-1 at Blackburn Rovers to climb back into top spot.
Man City loanee Alex Robertson got an assist for Portsmouth in their 2-1 win away to Wigan in League One.
Robertson played a full game, dishing off the pass inside the box for Patrick Lane’s 37th minute winner.
Denis Genreau was an unused substitute on Sunday as Toulouse won 3-0 at home over Metz in the French Ligue 1.
Garang Kuol started for FC Volendam against Dutch giants PSV Eindhoven but was replaced at half-time in a 3-1 loss in the Dutch Eredivisie.
Mat Ryan kept another clean sheet as AZ won 4-0over Fortuna Sittard on Sunday to remain second in the Eredivisie.
Jackson Irvine returned to action less than a month after sustaining an ankle injury on international duty, playing 20 minutes off the bench as St Pauli won 2-1 away to Hertha Berlin in Germany’s 2.Bundesliga on Saturday.
Irvine came on in the 71st minute, replacing fellow Aussie Connor Metcalfe who had started the contest. The result means St Pauli are top of Germany’s second tier.
Nathaniel Atkinson missed Hearts’ 1-0 win at Ross County in the Scottish Premiership after scans revealed he’ll miss two months due to ligament damage in his ankle. Kye Rowles and Calum Nieuwenhof both put in full shifts in the victory.
Craig Goodwin made it three goals in three league games for his new club Saudi Pro League club Al Wehda, opening the scoring before they lost 5-1 at Al Fateh.
Mitch Duke netted his eighth goal of the Japanese J2 League campaign and third in his past five games as leaders Machida Zelvia went down 3-2 at home to lowly Iwaki.
Duke scored in the 85th minute to give his side hope at 3-2 down, poking home at the near post from a bouncing right-wing cross from Junyo Suzuki.
— FC町田ゼルビア (@FcMachidaZelvia) October 1, 2023
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