Viduka scores in front of national team boss

Mark Viduka showed Socceroos coach Pim Verbeek just what a benefit he could be still to the Australian national team with a goalscoring performance for Newcastle United on Saturday.

Mark Viduka showed Socceroos coach Pim Verbeek just what a benefit he could be still to the Australian national team with a goalscoring performance for Newcastle United on Saturday.

Viduka put the icing on the cake of a terrific Newcastle win, 3-0 over Reading at St James Park, to make it three wins on the trot for the Magpies.

The goal in the 58th minute was a clinical finish and was Viduka-s third since his return from injury last month. He did it with Australian coaches Verbeek and Graham Arnold in the stands to watch and they met with Australia-s 2006 FIFA World Cup captain afterwards to discuss his international plans, which is so far still up in the air.

The news wasn-t as good for Viduka-s heir apparent in the national team, with Scott McDonald replaced after an hour, as Celtic-s title hopes all but disappeared with a 1-0 loss at home to McDonald-s former club Motherwell. Also in Scotland, Danny Invincibile played a full game for Kilmarnock in a 0-0 draw with Hearts.

In the Premiership, Mark Schwarzer and his Middlesbrough team had to settle for a 2-2 at home after leading 2-1 and on course for a famous upset. But a Wayne Rooney shot that Schwarzer looked to have covered, took a big deflection off a team mate and there was nothing the Australian keeper could do.

Josip Skoko again started for Wigan Athletic, as their climb away from the relegation zone continued with a 2-0 win over Birmingham City; Mile Sterjovski was replaced in the 50th minute, as Derby County lost 1-0 away at Everton; while Brett Emerton made a return from injury, coming off the bench as Blackburn Rovers were held to a 1-1 draw at home against Tottenham Hotspur.

Nick Carle and David Carney did not receive game time, with Carle-s Bristol City losing 2-0 away at Southampton, which could see them lose top spot if Stoke can beat Crystal Palace on Monday night. Carney also stayed in the bench, but watched his Sheffield United team win 3-0 at home against Leicester City, for whom Patrick Kisnorbo was sent off after 10 minutes, after being deemed last man after a challenge in the penalty box. Paul Henderson in goals parried the initial penalty shot, but was unable to keep out the rebound, while James Wesolowski also played a full game for Leicester.

The only bright news in the Championship was Chris Coyne-s Colchester United team keeping their slim survival hopes alive with a 2-0 win over Ipswich Town. Coyne played a full game for Colchester.

In Italy, Vince Grella was not in the Torino squad that lost 1-0 at home against Empoli; Mark Bresciano came on as a 62nd minute replacement for Palermo in a 3-2 win over Juventus; while Zeljko Kalac was again between the sticks for AC Milan in a 3-1 win against Cagliari.

It was a terrific weekend for our boys in Holland, with Jason Culina, Luke Wilkshire and Brett Holman all enjoying wins. Culina came on as 70th replacement for PSV, in a 2-0 win over Heracles Almelo; Wilkshire a full game in a 1-0 win over Excelsior that sees them remain in 3rd spot; while Holman played a full game in NEC Nijmegen-s 2-0 win over Roda JC.

In Germany, Josh Kennedy played 73 minutes for Karlsruhe, but he couldn-t prevent a 1-0 loss to Arminia Bielefeld, which has all but ended their hopes of a UEFA Cup spot. Meanwhile Matt Spiranovic got a rare start for Nurnberg, as they won 3-1 away at Eintracht Frankfurt. Michael Beauchamp remained on the bench.

Jacob Burns played a full game for his new Romanian side Unirea Urzieni, as they won 3-2 away at Politechnica Iasi; Wayne Srhoj came on in the 83rd minute, as Politechnica Timisoara won 3-0; while Josh Mitchell and Spase Dilevski played full games as Universitatea Craiova drew 1-1 with Gloria Bistrita.

In Turkey, Michael Petkovic played a full game for Sivasspor in a 2-1 loss to Besiktas, while in Norway, Kasey Wehrman played a full game in Fredikstad-s 2-1 win against Molde.