Aussies Abroad | Jedinak eyes EPL promotion

Mile Jedinak's Crystal Palace continues to set the pace on top of the nPower Championship, while Brad Jones returned to warming the bench for Liverpool.

Mile Jedinak's Crystal Palace continues to set the pace on top of the nPower Championship after an impressive 3-0 win over Derby County.

With the hard-nosed Qantas Socceroos midfielder leading from the front, Palace have been a revelation so far this season, and are currently well on pace for a return to the Barclays Premier League for the first time since the 2004-2005 season.

They are currently on a 14-match unbeaten run, including five wins in their last six games, and lead second-placed Cardiff City by two points. Big games loom in the next two weeks though in Yorkshire away to Leeds United and Hull City.

Meanwhile, striker Scott McDonald couldn't lift third-placed Middlesbrough to victory over Cardiff, with a solitary Matthew Connolly goal proving the difference.

McDonald, who has proven to be a goal-machine in recent rounds, played a full match but his shots repeatedly went wide and high, with the only couple of net-bound efforts easily saved by Cardiff goalkeeper David Marshall.

An Antipodean combination inspired Millwall's 1-0 win over Leeds United. Aussie defender Shane Lowry crossed from the left wing to finding the head of New Zealand international Chris Wood for the winner.

The 20-year-old striker from Auckland, on loan from West Bromwich Albion, found the net and with five minutes to go scored his seventh goal of the season.

In the Barclays Premier League, the slick hands of Socceroos goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer could not save a 10-man Fulham from a 3-1 loss to Sunderland.

Schwarzer managed three saves but conceded the same number.

Meanwhile, Brad Jones was back on the bench for Liverpool as regular goalkeeper Pepe Reina returned from injury to prove his worth against Wigan Athletic.

Jones has worn the gloves for the club for the past six weeks while his Spanish teammate recovered from a hamstring injury sustained on international duty.

"He's played 10 games this season and done well, which is a credit to him,'' said Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers.

But Rodgers reverted to his long-term keeper and Reina's quick return to form suggests Jones is back to warming the bench.

Not even Brett Holman's best efforts off the bench could help Aston Villa as they bowed 5-0 to new leaders Manchester City.

The midfielder came on in the 62nd minute for Andreas Weimann, who had earlier been controversially penalised for a handball.

In the Bundesliga, Nikita Rukavytsya didn't get a chance to follow up his Socceroos exploits from midweek after being left to warm the bench for FC Mainz in their 1-0 loss to Hamburg SV.

Robbie Kruse played the full 90 minutes but couldn't prevent Fortuna Dusseldorf falling to a 2-1 loss to Werder Bremen while Mitch Langerak was again on the bench for Borussia Dortmund.

In the Eredivisie, Jason Davidson was on the bench as Heracles went on a goalscoring spree to beat Roda 5-1.

Fresh from his starring role for the Socceroos midweek, Tommy Oar played a full 90 minutes for FC Utrecht in their 1-1 draw with FC Twente. Michael Zullo came on as a 64th minute substitute.

In Serie A, James Troisi was an unused substitiute as Atalanta crashed to a 4-1 loss to Fiorentina.