It was yet another positive week for Liverpool’s loanees as all 12 borrowed men featured, but Lazar Markovic’s struggles at Sporting continued.
The Serbian has endured a difficult time since arriving in Lisbon and that continued as he was left out of matchday involvement – despite being fit.
Manager Jorge Jesus’ confirmed the decision to leave Markovic out of Sunday’s clash with Arouca – which Sporting won 3-0 – stating the 22-year-old needs to “adapt to our demands” and it follows a poor run of form which saw the Serbian international booed by his own fans.
This meant Markovic’s only game time this week was an unrewarding 15 minute cameo in Sporting’s 1-0 Champions League loss to Borussia Dortmund, making for a disappointing week.
Meanwhile, Lloyd Jones marked his full return from injury for Swindon with a costly error in the Robins’ 1-1 FA Cup draw with non-league Eastleigh on Friday.
The young centre-back produced a decent overall display against physical opponents, looking strong and composed at the heart of defence as he completed the full 90 minutes.
But Jones was at fault for Eastleigh’s opener on the night, looking the wrong way and failing to challenge his marker on a free-kick swung into the box, which resulted in his man heading home under no pressure.
Deputising at left-back, the Scouser had his hands full facing Palace’s pacy wingers, Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend, but overall he defended well against the duo, making the most tackles of any Burnley player on the day.
However, as expected with Flanagan finding his feet, he did endure some shaky moments, including for Palace’s second goal as Zaha beat him easily before sending in a cross from which Connor Wickham scored.
Back on the continent, Andre Wisdom enjoyed a positive outing for Red Bull Salzburg, helping the Austrian side to an impressive Europa League victory over French league leaders, OGC Nice.
Playing at right-back in the 2-0 win, Wisdom offered a reliable defensive presence as his team kept a first European clean sheet this season, dealing impressively well with a revitalised Mario Balotelli and keeping the Italian quiet.
But Wisdom dropped to the bench for Salzburg’s 2-1 loss to Mattersburg on Sunday, as manager Oscar Garcia rotated his side for the league fixture.
In Germany, Allan Rodrigues featured as a substitute in Hertha Berlin’s 3-0 win over Borussia Monchengladbach on Friday.
The Brazilian entered with his team 2-0 up and played nearly the full second period in a deep-lying midfield role, as his side looked to see the game out against their 10-man opponents.
And with cool heads needed, Allan turned in a mature display to help his side earn victory, tidy in possession and tenacious in his off-ball work.
Taiwo Awoniyi enjoyed another full game for NEC Nijmegen, leading the line in their 1-1 draw with Groningen on Saturday.
It proved a frustrating outing for the Nigerian, who turned in a quiet performance, but that he completed the full match was positive as he continues his development.
It was a rare quiet week for Liverpool’s Championship loanees, who all started for their respective clubs.
Adam Bogdan’s, strong run of form came to an end as he conceded three times in Wigan’s 3-1 loss to Reading.
The Hungarian conceded twice in the opening five minutes, and though he was beaten by a good strike and penalty for the second and third goals, he should have done better with the first effort after just 57 seconds.
Bogdan’s hesitation to rush out and clear a long ball left him in no man’s land, presenting an easy finish to Reading’s Garath McCleary who lobbed over him and into the net.
Ryan Kent retained his starting place for Barnsley, playing 77 minutes of their goalless draw with Burton.
The winger produced some bright moments from his left-side role, and nearly opened the scoring when he cut inside on his right foot and hit a curling effort which sailed just wide of the far post – the closest he came to scoring before being withdrawn.
And Danny Ward helped Huddersfield to a 1-1 draw against Birmingham, turning in an accomplished performance in which he could do nothing about the goal conceded – beaten by a close-range header.
Like Jones, all of Liverpool’s lower league loaned men were in FA Cup action this weekend.
Sam Hart’s run of starts came to an end but he featured in Port Vale’s narrow 1-0 first round win over Stevenage.
The youngster came on for the final 27 minutes into an unnatural right midfield role, but he provided a hard-working outlet as Vale saw the game out and moved into round two.
FA Cup action was the second outing for Ryan Fulton this week, with the ‘keeper first featuring in League One for Chesterfield whose poor form continued with a 2-0 loss against Coventry.
The Reds stopper was again left looking towards his defence after each goal, but he may feel he could have done better for the first shipped, allowing a shot straight at him to go through his body.
However, a break from the league inspired better fortunes as Fulton’s side earned a 2-1 cup win over Colchester on Saturday.
Mirroring Chesterfield’s performance, Fulton himself was in better form, making a string of important saves in the second period as his side came under pressure, including a strong stop late on to ensure of the win.
And finally, Jack Dunn played in Morecambe’s 1-1 cup draw against Coventry on Sunday, featuring for the last 15 minutes as his side searched for a winner, but he couldn’t come up with the a piece of cup magic with the game going to a replay.