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In our weekly feature, here on Italian Football Daily, we take a look at the weekend performances of Italian players currently based in the top two divisions in England.

ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE

Claudio Ranieri (Manager – Leicester City)

Claudio Ranieri’s Leicester City went top of the Premier League following a 3-0 win away at Newcastle United. The win meant that the Foxes go into next Saturday’s clash at second placed Manchester United in pole position.

It is an amazing turnaround for the club following last year’s desperate battle to survive relegation under previous manager Nigel Pearson.

Graziano Pelle (Southampton)

Graziano Pelle was unable to add to his seven league goals this season in Southampton’s 1-0 defeat to an in-form Stoke City. Although he played the full game, Pelle was fairly subdued against a Stoke defence which has kept four clean sheets in five games, although Southampton had valid claims for a penalty turned down after Pelle appeared to be unfairly challenged in the area by Phillipp Wollscheid. To cap a frustrating afternoon for Pelle, he was also yellow carded for handball in the dying minutes of the game.

Matteo Darmian (Manchester United)

Matteo Darmian was an unused substitute in Manchester United’s 2-1 win away at Watford, as United manager, Louis Van Gaal, preferred Ashley Young at right-back to the former Torino man.

Fabio Borini & Vito Mannone (Sunderland)

Fabio Borini missed Sunderland’s 1-0 victory away at Crystal Palace on Monday evening due to a late injury.

Vito Mannone was an unused substitute in this fixture.

Angelo Ogbonna (West Ham United)

Angelo Ogbonna was an unused substitute in West Ham United’s 4-1 defeat away at Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday afternoon.

Alessandro Diamanti (Watford)

Alessandro Diamanti was an unused substitute in Watford’s 2-1 defeat at home to Manchester United.

ENGLISH CHAMPIONSHIP

Fernando Forestieri (Sheffield Wednesday)

Sheffield Wednesday have been in excellent form recently, losing only one of their last fourteen. Despite falling behind to an early Huddersfield goal, The Owls came back to win 3-1 to maintain their push for promotion. For once, Fernando Forestieri did not get on the scoresheet, but was once again a constant threat throughout the game as he had a hand in all three of Wednesday’s goals.

Wednesday’s equaliser came after Lucas Joao converted the rebound after Foriestieri’s initial shot was cleared off the line. He then provided the assists for Wednesday’s second and third goals from Kieran Lee, who converted Forestieri’s pass after a goalmouth melee, and Joao again who converted Forestieri’s reverse pass which wrong-footed the Huddersfield defence.

Diego Fabbrini (on loan from Watford) & Michael Agazzi (Middlesbrough)

Middlesbrough and Diego Fabbrini continued their push for promotion with a 1-0 win over QPR at the Riverside Stadium, thanks to a late penalty by Grant Leadbitter in injury time. Fabbrini played only 65 minutes, and was largely ineffective, before he was substituted as ‘Boro looked for the winner that would take them to third place in the Championship table.

Once again, Michael Agazzi did not feature in Middlesbrough’s squad for this fixture.

Mirco Antenucci, Giuseppe Bellusci, Marco Silvestri & Tommaso Bianchi (Leeds United)

Massimo Cellino’s Leeds United returned to losing ways at Elland Road, as they fell to a 1-0 defeat against a Rotherham United team managed by former Leeds’ manager, Neil Redfearn.

Marco Silvestri, Mirco Antenucci and Giuseppe Bellusci all started the game, as the Whites were unable to continue their winning run. Antenucci fired narrowly wide just after half-time and, shortly after, Silvestre was beaten by a header from Rotherham’s Joe Newell which turned out to the winning goal. To cap a poor afternoon for the Antenucci and Bellusci, both were booked, Antenucci after half-an-hour, and Bellusci mid-way through the second half.

Francesco Pisano (Bolton Wanderers)

Francesco Pisano was not included in Bolton Wanderers’ squad for their game away to Reading.

Gabriele Angella (Queens Park Rangers – on loan from Watford)

Gabrielle Angella was an unused substitute in QPR’s 1-0 defeat away to Diego Fabbrini’s Middlesbrough.

Federico Macheda (Cardiff City)

Federico Macheda missed Cardiff City’s 2-0 defeat away at Derby County, as he has still not recovered from surgery to repair a disc injury. The former Manchester United forward is likely to return to action towards the end of November.

Diego De Girolamo (Sheffield United)

Diego De Girolamo once again missed out on selection for Sheffield United’s 1-1 draw away at fellow promotion hopefuls, Walsall. The former Italy Under-20 international did however score twice for The Blades’ Under-21 team in their 3-0 win over Coventry City in mid-week.

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