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Saturday 19 January 2019

McGeady is still smiling after second Spartak start

AIDEN MCGEADY was celebrating today after helping Spartak Moscow to a win away to Marseille on his Champions League debut for the Russian side, writes Aidan Fitzmaurice.

McGeady impressed by setting up one of the goals for Spartak in a 2-1 win over Saturn on his league debut last weekend and last night the former Celtic man clocked up his second successive start, playing on the right of midfield as Spartak won 1-0 in France, an own goal from Marseille defender César Azpilicueta 11 minutes from time the only goal of the night as Spartak ended a dismal run of games in France, winning there for the first time in 11 games.

McGeady was substituted with seven minutes to go but the Ireland man will be happy with his display and his contribution to the win.

He can now take a break for a few days as Spartak are not in action again until Monday, when they are away to Spartak Nalchik in the Russian league, with Nalchik currently two places ahead of McGeady's club in the league table.

Spartak coach Valeri Karpin later said that Ukrainian goalkeeper Andriy Dykan was the main man for his side, Karpin awarding his keeping a rating of 11 out of 10.

"I'm a perfectionist and our play wasn't great; we weren't at 100pc. My instructions were particularly defensive because half my players were involved in a competition of this scale for the first time. Later on we started to play when the game opened up a little more," Karpin said.

Meanwhile, two other Irish players are in UEFA action tonight. Cillian Sheridan hopes to make his third European appearance of the season for CSKA Sofia when they take on Besiktas in Turkey.

And Dutch-born midfielder Barry Maguire hopes to feature for FC Utrecht away to Napoli. Maguire, who has an Irish father, has been capped at U16 level by the Republic and recently expressed his desire to play for Ireland again after a spell with the Dutch national side.

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