Sam Silvera came off the bench to score a late winner for Middlesbrough while Tom Glover made a brief Championship debut in a 2-1 triumph over Swansea City.
Silvera entered the fray in the 72nd minute for Boro with scores locked at 1-1 and he made the decisive breakthrough with a strike with six minutes left.
The Aussie fired home a shot from a short pass after Swansea goalkeeper Carl Rushworth handled a back pass.
Silvera earned a 7/10 rating from Teesside Live who wrote: “Fired the winning goal after coming on. It was a good finish from the close-range indirect free-kick as Swansea players charged him down. He started the attack that led to the backpass too, with one of his positive runs.”
Boro manager Michael Carrick said: “I’m really pleased them, especially Sammy. It’s another goal, another one he came on against Norwich and scored. He’s one of those players that can make an impact and he’ll have a big say for our season, for sure.”
Glover, who played in the EFL Cup earlier in the season, got his chance in the first of six added injury-time minutes after an injury to Seny Dieng.
The Aussie goalkeeper was called into action during that time, coming off his line well to intercept a cross before launching a counter-attack with Isaiah Jones hitting the bar.
90 | Seny is forced off as we enter six minutes of stoppage time
— Middlesbrough FC (@Boro) December 16, 2023
In further good news from Boro, Carrick offered a positive update on Riley McGree in midweek, having been sidelined for a month with a foot injury.
Carrick said: “Riley is a little bit further on and is going to start training with us pretty soon. But we are also conscious of the fact he’s been out for a period of time. It’s finding the right balance.”
Massimo Luongo and Cameron Burgess both earned 7/10 ratings as Ipswich Town drew 2-2 with East Anglian derby rivals Norwich City in the early English Championship kick-off on Saturday.
Luongo, started and was replaced into second-half stoppage time, and Burgess put in a full shift, earning 7/10 ratings from the East Anglian Daily Times.
Alex Robertson received an 8/10 rating for his full game as League One leaders Portsmouth won 3-0 at Shrewsbury. Portsmouth News wrote: “Buzzed around, always wanting the ball, always looking to create and cleverly finding pockets of space. Such a key figure for the Blues in any position.”
Kusini Yengi started and played 72 minutes, earning a 7/10 rating: “Given the nod ahead of fit-again Bishop but found Pierre a different proposition to Bolton’s Santos. On this occasion he lost the physical battle, particularly in the first half, yet kept plugging away. Missed a great chance in the first half when blazed over from eight yards.”
Nathaniel Atkinson starred with a 9/10 display in his second game back from a three-month ankle injury as Hearts upset Celtic 2-0 in the Scottish Premiership on Saturday.
Atkinson started and played 91 minutes, earning a 9/10 rating from Edinburgh Evening News who wrote: “Reinstated following a bout of illness. Fouled for the free-kick which brought Hearts’ second goal. Showed superb aggression. Probably his best display yet in maroon.”
Kye Rowles put in a full shift in defence and was rated 7/10: “Composed on the left side of defence and read situations well.”
Denis Genreau was an unused sub as Toulouse drew 0-0 with Rennes in France’s Ligue 1 on Sunday. Genreau has made only two appearances off the bench in the past two months.
Ajdin Hrustic was absent for Hellas Verona’s 1-0 loss to Fiorentina in Italy’s Serie A, amid links with a January move to German clubs VfL Bochum and Kaiserslautern.
Cristian Volpato was a 56th minute sub for Sassuolo as they rallied back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 at Udinese.
🔚🟡 Ajdin Hrustic apunta a salir del Verona con dirección a Alemania.
El Kaiserlautern y el Bochum van tras él.
— Soy Calcio (@SoyCalcio_) December 7, 2023
Former Australia youth international John Iredale came off the bench to score and deny Jackson Irvine and Connor Metcalfe’s St Pauli all three points as Wehen Wiesbaden managed a 1-1 draw at the German 2.Bundesliga leaders on Sunday.
Iredale entered the fray in the 59th minute with Wiesbaden 1-0 down, coolly slotting the 84th minute equalizer after starting the move down the right flank and making an intelligent run into the box.
Jackson Irvine played a full game while Connor Metcalfe was an 85th minute substitute, brought on straight after Iredale’s leveller.
The result means St Pauli, who have drawn four of their past five games, slip to second behind in-form Holstein Kiel. There’s one more round of games before the German winter break.
Awer Mabil missed Grasshoppers’ 1-1 draw with Yverdon in the Swiss Super League after sustaining a muscular injury last weekend.
There’s still no firm details or timeline on Mabil’s injury which appears to have put his Asian Cup in jeopardy.
That news comes amid the concerns around AZ goalkeeper Mat Ryan’s availability after he suffered a fractured cheekbone at training last Sunday.
The Socceroos captain has undergone surgery and will be sidelined for several weeks. Ryan missed AZ’s 4-0 home loss to runaway Dutch Eredivisie leaders PSV on Sunday.
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Jordan Bos (Westerlo), Aiden O’Neill (Standard Liege), Jason Davidson (KAS Eupen), Alessandro Circati (Parma), Keanu Baccus (St Mirren), Ryan McGowan (St Johnstone), Jimmy Jeggo, Martin Boyle (both Hibernian), Ash Maynard-Brewer (Charlton), Nicholas Bilokapic (Peterborough), Trent Sainsbury (Al Wakrah)
Ryan Edwards – SB 81 (Amorebieta), Lewis Miller – ST 76 (Hibernian), Jack Iredale – ST 72 (Bolton), Craig Goodwin – ST 90 (Al Wehda)
Garang Kuol (FC Volendam), Milos Degenek (Red Star Belgrade), Nectarios Triantis (Sunderland), Cameron Peupion (Cheltenham), Callum Elder (Derby County), Deni Juric (Dinamo Zagreb)
Mohamed Toure (Paris FC)