Tom Rogic made a full return to Celtic’s first team on Sunday morning (AEDT) in a pleasing sign for Graham Arnold with the AFC Asian Cup 2019 quickly approaching.
Rogic got through 90 minutes in the heart of midfield after missing Celtic’s last two fixtures due to the management of a knee injury.
Celtic strolled to a 3-0 win over Dundee, too, a result that will see Brendan Rodgers’ side on top of the Scottish Premiership table on Christmas Day.
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Rogic’s Caltex Socceroos teammate Jackson Irvine also played his part in an important victory as the busy festive period of football in the United Kingdom got going.
Read on for all the details, with all kick-off times in AEDT!
Rogic fit again
Rogic was involved from the start as Celtic won well at home to Dundee on Saturday.
The Caltex Socceroos midfield dynamo created the game’s first chance against Dundee, playing a defence-splitting pass to Mikey Johnston.
Rogic then found Anthony Ralston with another key pass as Celtic started to pile the pressure on against a Dundee side featuring Australian midfielder Jesse Curran.
Johnston then hit the bar before Rogic chipped just over and that pressure eventually told on the stroke of half time as the former opened the scoring.
Johnston doubled his account in the 50th minute with a well-taken header and Filip Benkovic wrapped up the win with an effort of his own 20 minutes from time.
Also in Scotland, Hibernian’s Aussie trio snared a point in a 1-1 draw against Livingston that lifted Neil Lennon’s side up to seventh.
Mark Milligan and Martin Boyle started for Hibs, while Jamie Maclaren came off the bench as Ryan Porteous’ 80th-minute effort secured them a point.
Ryan’s Brighton lose again
Maty Ryan’s Brighton and Hove Albion were beaten for the third English Premier League match in succession on Sunday morning as they lost 2-0 at Bournemouth.
The result was cruel on Brighton, who had a host of first-half chances and controlled the play.
David Brooks’ early strike gave Bournemouth the lead, though, and Lewis Dunk’s 73rd-minute red card made life tough for Ryan’s men.
And Bournemouth quickly made the most of their numerical advantage as Brooks scored his second just four minutes later.
What a comeback!
Hull City’s Championship resurgence continued on Sunday morning with a brilliant 3-2 come-from-behind win over Swansea City.
Wilfried Bony put Swansea ahead after just three minutes and it did not look like it would be Hull’s day when talented youngster Jarrod Bowen missed a 39th-minute penalty.
But with Jackson Irvine playing in an advanced midfield role, Hull did not say die, Bowen levelling from close range with 20 minutes left.
Tommy Elphick then nodded Hull in front before Bowen doubled his account, charging through Swansea’s defence before producing a confident finish.
Bersant Celina pulled a goal back for Swansea but it was not to be as Irvine’s Hull extended their unbeaten run to five and moved up to 16th.
Also in the Championship, Massimo Luongo’s Queens Park Rangers climbed to 10th after winning 1-0 at seventh-placed Nottingham Forest.
Luongo was booked in the second half of a contest QPR won thanks to Toni Leistner’s 45th-minute goal.
And in Europe and Asia
Mathew Leckie’s Hertha Berlin headed into the Bundesliga’s Christmas break with a defeat after going down 3-1 at Bayer Leverkusen.
Leckie, who scored in midweek against Augsburg, was injured and replaced after 54 minutes at the BayArena.
Socceroos staff are already in contact with Leckie and his club regarding the injury, and will continue to monitor the situation closely.
In Germany’s second tier, Robbie Kruse came off the bench in the 59th minute as VfL Bochum won 3-2 at promotion rivals FC Cologne on Saturday morning.
Aziz Behich was an unused substitute as Eredivisie leaders PSV beat AZ 3-1, but Trent Sainsbury was not involved.
And in Saudi Arabia, Matthew Jurman’s struggling Al Ittihad lost 2-1 at home to Al Nassr.
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