After some strong performances last week, we had high hopes for England's Irish continent heading into this week's games. Some players continued their excellent form, while a number of others struggled.
Shane Duffy and Conor Hourihane put in stellar displays, while Michael Obafemi made his full Premier League debut against Manchester United. On the other hand, Darren Randolph had a week to forget.
Here is the English media reaction to Irish players at the weekend.
Irish Player Ratings
Matt Doherty scored the opening goal in Wolves' Friday evening game against Cardiff city, but the team faltered and ultimately fell to a 2-1 defeat. It was Wolves' sixth game in a row without a win, but Doherty put in a solid performance, being rated at 6/10 by the Express & Star.
Harry Arter started that game for Cardiff in an unfamiliar wide role, but he performed very well. Wales Online said he provided a 'physical and energetic presence', and was harshly substituted. 7/10.
Shane Duffy netted is third goal of the season in Brighton's 2-1 win over Huddersfield, with the Brighton & Hove Independent having this to say about his performance:
Threw himself in the way of Pritchard's shot on 20 minutes after he had given the ball to the midfielder. Powerful header drew Brighton level. Dominant at the back in the second half (7/10).
Southampton grabbed a surprising 2-2 draw against Manchester United, with Michael Obafemi making his first league start for the club. He registered an assist for his side's opening goal, and readsouthampton.com gave him a 7/10 for his performance, which ended when he was withdrawn due to injury.
Jeff Hendrick started for Burnley in their 2-0 loss to Crystal Palace, failing to make an impact on the game. 90mins.com rated him at 5/10, but he did stay on the field for the whole 90 minutes. Robbie Brady made a substitute appearance in that game also.
Fulham fell to a 2-0 in the West London derby at Stamford Bridge, with Cyrus Christie playing the full 90 minutes. Football.London rated his performance as a 7/10, complementing his attacking display.
Conor Hourihane put in a man-of-the-match display in Aston Villa's 3-0 victory over Middlesbrough, putting on a wonderful passing display in a holding midfield role. The Birmingham Mail rated him at 8/10, and he provided an assist for a late Glenn Whelan goal (who was introduced as a substitute).
🍾🍾 @SkyBetChamp Man of the Match:@AVFCOfficial’s Conor Hourihane
Assist for 3rd goal
6 for the season - no player has more
22 since Aug 2016 - most of any @SkyBetChamp player
2nd most passes completed
Highest passing accuracy
— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) December 1, 2018
At a time when Ireland are struggling to keep hold of the ball, surely someone like Hourihane deserves a sustained run in the side?
Darren Randolph had a howler for that Whelan goal, an uncharacteristic mistake for the Championship's top goalkeeper this season. The Teeside Gazette gave him a 4/10, and he certainly won't want to see this one again.
With Callum Robinson and Sean Maguire ruled out due to injury, Alan Browne was the only one of Ireland's Preston contingent to feature at the weekend. He had a day to forget in the 3-0 loss to Birmingham City, being rated at 5/10 by the Lancashire Evening Post.
Richard Keogh captained Derby County in their 2-1 win over Swansea City, registering an assist for the opening goal. The Derbyshire Telegraph rated him at 6.5/10, as he did have a bit of trouble containing the opposition attackers.
Sheffield United fell to a 1-0 defeat against Leeds on Saturday, and two Irish men were very lucky not to have seen red in the game. David McGoldrick should have received a straight red card for a horror tackle in the opening period, while Enda Stevens was lucky to avoid a second yellow card a few minutes later.
Despite this, McGoldrick put in an excellent overall display. The Star had this to say about his efforts:
Even during quiet periods, McGoldrick always makes defenders work with his movement off the ball and worked hard to support his defence too. But his finishing still leaves a little to be desired (7/10).
The striker has been in excellent form as of late, and will be looking to add to his six international caps now that former club boss Mick McCarthy has gotten the Ireland job. Stevens and John Egan also performed well despite the loss, being rated at 7/10 and 6/10 respectively.
James McClean started Stoke's 2-2 draw with Reading, putting in a typically hard-working performance before being substituted in the second half. The Stoke Sentinel gave him a 6/10 for his efforts.
Richie Towell scored the opener in Rotherham's game against Norwich City, but his side ultimately fell to a 4-1 defeat against the division leaders.
Shaun Williams scored in Millwall's 1-1 draw at Bristol City, a game which Aiden O'Brien all started. Callum O'Dowda came off the bench for the hosts.
Ronan Curtis played the full 90 minutes in Portsmouth's 1-0 FA Cup victory at Rochdale, with the Portsmouth News giving him an 8/10 for his efforts.
Finally, Aiden McGeady continued his excellent recent form, scoring in Sunderland's 1-1 draw at Walsall. He has been amongst the goals lately, with some even calling for his reintroduction into the Ireland set-up.
1-0 MCGEADY! pic.twitter.com/JFMkjYZOzo
— Roker Report (@RokerReport) December 1, 2018
— Stephen Elliott (@SleevesElliott) December 1, 2018
The Chronicle gave him a 7/10 for his well-rounded attacking performance.