Riley McGree provided a major boost for the Socceroos ahead of the Asian Cup with his competitive return for Middlesbrough in the English Championship on Saturday after over two months out.
McGree hadn’t played since October 3 when he suffered a foot injury, but came on in the 79th minute in Boro’s 1-0 home win over West Bromwich Albion.
Teesside Live didn’t give him a rating but wrote: “Great to see him back from injury. Given a great reception.”
Boro’s Josh Coburn was also returning from injury and manager Michael Carrick said: “We stretched it with Riley and Josh. In all seriousness, they probably weren’t as ready as we’d have liked to be back involved. They could have done with an extra few days at least. But it shows their attitude, they were desperate to be back involved, back in the team and to be fit. So we stretched it a bit. They made an impact. It’s nice to have them back and get the bodies back.”
Tom Glover made his league starting debut for Boro, kept a clean sheet and was rated 7/10: “A solid Boro defensive display meant he only had one major save to make and he did so by reacting really well. Some good distribution too, it was a positive display ahead of likely losing Seny Dieng for over a month for international duty.”
Sam Silvera started and played 79 minutes before making way for McGree. He was rated 6/10: “Although it was a fluid attack, Silvera was the centre-forward of the pack. It’s a role he’s performed as a sub late in games from time to time but never from the start. He worked really hard and tried to drive possible whenever given the chance. It wasn’t the easiest of conditions for him to shine in, but it shouldn’t take away from his contribution.”
Harry Souttar got minutes for the second straight game, coming on as a 78th minute substitute in Leicester City’s 3-0 home win over Rotherham United on Saturday.
Souttar hadn’t played for the Foxes since early October, before making a cameo last week against Birmingham City, following that up against the Millers.
The Leicester Mercury rated him 6/10 and wrote: “There was very little for the big defender to do during his few minutes on the pitch. Played it simple.”
Cameron Burgess and Massimo Luongo both played full games for second-placed Ipswich Town but were rated only 4/10 as the team was savaged by the East Anglian Daily Times after a 4-0 loss to promotion hopefuls Leeds United.
New Socceroo Gethin Jones put in a full shift, while Jack Iredale started and played 88 minutes as Bolton won 3-2 over Leyton Orient in League One. Bolton are third on the table.
Jason Davidson scored as KAS Eupen went down 2-1 at home to Union SG in the Belgian Pro League on Saturday. Davidson played a full game and netted in the 66th minute.
Eupen réduit le score grâce à un goal de Davidson.
⚪ 1-2 🟡 #EUPUSG
— Royale Union Saint-Gilloise (@UnionStGilloise) December 23, 2023
Jordan Bos put in a full shift as Westerlo claimed a commendable 2-2 draw at champions Antwerp.
Alessandro Circati played a full game as Parma beat Ternana 3-1 to extend their lead at the top of the Italian Serie B to four points.
Kye Rowles put in a full shift, while Nathaniel Atkinson started and played 74 minutes and Calum Nieuwenhof was a 66th minute sub as Hearts defeated St Mirren 2-0. Keanu Baccus played a full game.
Rowles earned a 7/10 rating from the Edinburgh Evening Gazette, who wrote: “Made a pivotal goal line clearance at a key point in the match to prevent St Mirren clawing a goal back.”
Atkinson was rated 7/10: “Didn’t have much direct impact on the game but his usual energy was felt in both attack and defence.”
Dimi Petratos netted Mohun Bagan’s goal in their 4-1 home loss to Goa in the Indian Super League on Saturday. Petratos unleashed a long-range free-kick to pull the score back to 3-1 on half-time.
Ryan McGowan (St Johnstone), Ash Maynard-Brewer (Charlton), Nicholas Bilokapic (Peterborough)
Alex Robertson – ST 64 (Portsmouth)
Nectarios Triantis (Sunderland), Jacob Chapman (Huddersfield), Kusini Yengi (Portsmouth)
Ajdin Hrustic (Hellas Verona)