It was another busy week of action for Liverpool’s loaned men, with Taiwo Awoniyi netting his first goal of the season for NEC Nijmegen.
Awoniyi netted two minutes from time to rescue a 1-1 draw for Nijmegen in their derby clash against Vitesse Arnhem in the Eredivisie on Sunday afternoon.
Entering at half-time with his side trailing, the Nigerian made a positive impact using his power to cause problems, and he did that to grab a vital late equaliser.
Rising to head at goal from close range, Awoniyi got the faintest of touches to the ball as he attempted to nudge team-mate Dario Dumic’s effort over the line.
After some debate over whether he had actually connected, the referee awarded him the goal, as the club later confirmed.
The full-back entered for last seven minutes of the Clarets’ last-gasp win over Everton, and being on the pitch for Scott Arfield’s injury-time winner, the Scouser will no doubt have loved every second of condemning the Blues to defeat.
Back in Europe, it was a bad seven days for Lazar Markovic, who was roundly jeered by Sporting fans in his only outing this week.
A night filled with promise for the Serbian—trusted with the No. 10 role against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League—turned into one to forget.
An ineffective 65-minute display culminated in him exiting to boos and whistles as fans vented anger at a perceived lack of effort from Markovic.
Unsurprisingly, he dropped to the Sporting bench for their 1-1 draw with Tondela on Saturday, watching among the substitutes for the duration.
Elsewhere in Europe, Andre Wisdom saw his first action since returning from injury in Red Bull Salzburg’s 1-0 Europa League loss to OGC Nice.
Wisdom played the full game at centre-back and defended well overall, but he was partly at fault for gifting the away side what proved to be the winner—playing a risky pass to the under-pressure Paulo Miranda, who lost possession for the French side to score.
Wisdom dropped to the bench for Sunday’s 5-1 cup victory over St Polten, with manager Oscar Garcia taking a sensible approach to the defender’s injury return.
In the Championship, Danny Ward helped Huddersfield to three points from six as the Terriers kept their top-three spot.
Ward couldn’t prevent his side from falling to a second successive defeat on Tuesday night, however, as his side went down 3-1 at Preston North End.
The Wales ‘keeper could do little about the three goals conceded—the most shipped by Huddersfield this season—and he still managed to produce an outstanding stop in the first half, flying to his right to tip a header over the bar.
Ward and Huddersfield responded perfectly on Saturday, with the Welshman keeping a clean sheet in a dramatic 1-0 win over Derby.
He made two sharp second-half stops with the score at 0-0, saving well at his near post and tipping a header over the bar.
that's more like us! great character after Wednesday and a clean sheet ???
— Danny Ward (@dan_ward52) October 22, 2016
They proved crucial stops as the Terriers won it in injury time, sparking Jurgen Klopp-like celebrations from David Wagner.
It was also another positive week for Adam Bogdan, who was again in good form for Wigan Athletic.
He helped earn an important point at Leeds United on Tuesday, making some impressive near-post stops to keep his side in the game at 1-0 down.
They proved vital as the Latics snatched a draw in stoppage time when they could have been out of sight.
Bogdan’s good form continued on Saturday, despite Wigan falling to a 1-0 loss against Brighton & Hove Albion, with the ex-Bolton Wanderers stopper making an excellent first-half stop when one-on-one to deny the visitors taking the lead, and only being beaten by a scorching long-range strike.
Also in the second tier, Ryan Kent enjoyed another solid week at Barnsley, playing all but four minutes in their two games.
Kent produced a bright display in midweek despite it coming a 2-0 defeat to Newcastle United, with the youngster creating a great chance in the second period, delivering a dangerous a ball across the face of goal that a team-mate just couldn’t reach.
His lively performance ensured he kept his place for Saturday’s clash with Brentford, and Kent played his part in sealing an impressive 2-0 victory.
The wide-man carried a big threat at Griffin Park and it was from his good work that Barnsley notched a second to seal maximum points, with Kent’s left-footed strike coming back off the post after an excellent run, falling perfectly for Sam Winnall to hit home.
Good Win Vs Brentford! Back To Winning Ways?? Shoutout To The Travelling Fans ????
— RyanKent (@ryankent) October 22, 2016
Only two lower-league loanees played again this week, and for Ryan Fulton, it proved to be a disappointing two outings as his Chesterfield side dropped to second-bottom in League One with successive defeats.
The ‘keeper couldn’t prevent a 1-0 home loss to Fleetwood Town on Tuesday—beaten by a well-placed finish—despite being in good form, making two sharp stops to deny the visitors.
And it was another frustrating outing on Saturday, with Fulton’s Spireites beaten 3-1 by table-toppers Scunthorpe.
The young stopper could do little about any of the goals shipped, and despite conceding three times, he saved well when left one-on-one in the first half as his defence afforded him little protection—showing exactly why they’re struggling.
In the same division, Sam Hart featured twice for Port Vale, who also emerged from their fixtures winless, though at least with two draws.
Hart continued in his unorthodox left-midfield role against Charlton Athletic and turned in a hard-working performance in a 1-1 draw as he grows in responsibility at Vale Park.
And Hart finally enjoyed his first action in his natural position on Saturday, playing at left-back in a 2-2 draw with Oxford United, having earned the trust of boss Bruno Ribeiro.
The defender didn’t let his manager down as he slotted in well to produce an assured defensive display, battling well against physical opposition.
Finally, Allan Rodrigues was restricted to a seven-minute substitute appearance for Hertha Berlin, coming on for the final moments of their 2-1 win over FC Koln.
Liverpool’s Loanees in Action
- Markovic – Sporting – Played 65 mins vs. Borussia Dortmund
- Flanagan – Burnley – Played 7 mins vs. Everton
- Wisdom – Salzburg – Played 90 mins vs. OGC Nice
- Ward – Huddersfield – Played 90 mins vs. Preston & 90 mins, keeping clean sheet vs. Derby
- Bogdan – Wigan – Played 90 mins vs. Leeds & Brighton
- Kent – Barnsley – Played 90 mins vs. Newcastle & 86 mins vs. Brentford
- Fulton – Chesterfield – Played 90 mins vs. Fleetwood & Scunthorpe
- Hart – Port Vale – Played 90 mins vs. Charlton & Oxford
- Allan – Hertha Berlin – Played 7 mins vs. FC Koln
- Awoniyi – NEC Nijmegen – Played 45 mins & scored vs. Vitesse Arnhem
- Jones – Swindon – Injured
- Dunn – Morecambe – Injured
Lloyd Jones was again out of action for Swindon Town due to a hip injury which he has reportedly returned to Anfield for treatment on, while Jack Dunn was also uninvolved for Morecambe, though it is less clear as to the exact reasoning.