On a brighter week for Liverpool’s 13 loanees, Mamadou Sakho impressed on his debut at Crystal Palace and Pedro Chirivella claimed an assist.
After a poor FA Cup display last weekend, Jon Flanagan predictably returned to the bench for Burnley’s clash with Hull, which Lazar Markovic also missed due to a minor injury.
Sakho was therefore the only Premier League loanee to feature, with the Frenchman making his debut for Crystal Palace after two games as an unused substitute.
Some pics of the match yesterday @CPFC ??? pic.twitter.com/Hcnm5q5F7Y
— Mamadou Sakho (@mamadousakho) February 26, 2017
And the France international made it a perfect first outing, producing a shining performance to help the Eagles to a rare clean sheet and huge three points with a 1-0 win over Middlesbrough.
Lining up at the heart of defence, Sakho impressed with his willingness to put his body on the line and the timing of his challenges—with one in particular proving a goal-saving tackle deep inside his own penalty area in the first half.
Sakho’s performance was viewed as a man-of-the-match display by some Palace fans, and his impact drew praise from Sam Allardyce, who highlighted the much-needed composure the Frenchman brought to his defence.
Pedro Chirivella continued his bright form with Go Ahead Eagles, adding a second assist—albeit one of the more simple ones he’ll claim—to his tally in a 3-1 loss to Vitesse Arnhem.
The Spaniard completed another full 90 minutes in the defeat, and though he didn’t enjoy his most rewarding outing, he was still influential from his play-making role.
Chirivella moved the ball well throughout and this played a key part in his side’s goal—claiming a simple assist for Dan Crowley’s late strike, feeding the Arsenal loanee who beat his man and curled home from the edge of the box.
It was another positive seven days for the Reds’ Championship duo, who faced off in a battle of the Anfield loaned men this weekend.
Danny Ward played twice for Huddersfield and was in top form as his fine shot-stopping display proved crucial to posting a clean sheet and 1-0 win over promotion rivals, Reading.
The Wales international made big saves at big moments, pulling off a sensational fingertip stop while flying at full stretch to direct the shot over—that coming before a brave double save to keep the visitors out.
Ward’s second outing came in a fixture that was Ryan Kent’s only action with Barnsley this week, with the young Reds settling for a share of the spoils as they faced off in a 1-1 draw.
Both players were in good form, with Ward producing an assured performance, displaying sharp handling when dealing with crosses and long throws launched into his box.
Meanwhile, Kent produced a quietly positive individual performance too, showing moments of promise with neat linkup play and exciting dribbling, which should have seen him awarded a penalty in the first half after his tidy footwork drew a foul that wasn’t given.
Despite his lively showing, the winger was withdrawn after an hour with Barnsley trailing 1-0 and searching for an equaliser.
While Chirivella was a positive, it was a largely disappointing week for the rest of the European loanees, with Taiwo Awoniyi the only other Red to feature.
The Nigerian was handed an increasingly rare runout at NEC Nijmegen, playing the second half of his side’s loss to Sparta Rotterdam on Saturday.
With Nijmegen trailing 1-0 at the break and having missed a penalty, manager Peter Hyballa introduced Awoniyi in a double substitution, but the striker failed to make the impact hoped for as he squandered one particularly decent chance, firing wide.
Elsewhere, Andre Wisdom was an unused substitute in Red Bull Salzburg’s 1-0 win over Mattersburg, while Allan Rodrigues was uninvolved altogether for Hertha Berlin.
There was mixed success for the three Football League loanees who played, with all enjoying victory but also suffering an element of frustration.
The big positive was Lloyd Jones, who bounced back strongly to a torrid last week by playing an important part in Swindon’s relegation dogfight victory at Coventry.
Jones turned in a resolute performance in the 3-1 success, making numerous important blocks and last-ditch tackles before he was substituted with 15 minutes remaining, having helped the Robins establish a 3-0 lead.
Cameron Brannagan also tasted of victory at Fleetwood Town, but only as a late substitute in a 3-0 win over Northampton as the midfielder played the final nine minutes, by which time the game was won.
Great win again today we need to keep going great support as always from the fans ???
— Cameron Brannagan (@Cameron246bran) February 25, 2017
There was injury frustration for Jack Dunn at Tranmere, as his only action in a 2-1 win over Boreham Wood ended after just half an hour due to suffering a head injury which ruled him out of Rovers’ 5-1 FA Trophy success over Barrow.
Heartbroken to have had to come off injured Tuesday night.. gutted I'm not going to be on the pitch for awhile ??? I will be back stronger!
— Jack Dunn ??? (@Jack_Dunn8) February 23, 2017
Finally, Ryan Fulton was the only lower-league Red uninvolved, with the goalkeeper missing two more games at Chesterfield, which suggests there’s a bigger issue than just an illness keeping him sidelined—despite being no official word as yet.
Liverpool’s Loanees This Week
- Mamadou Sakho – Crystal Palace – Played 90 mins, posting top performance & keeping clean sheet vs. Middlesbrough
- Lazar Markovic – Hull City – Missed game vs. Burnley due to injury
- Jon Flanagan – Burnley – Unused sub vs. Hull
- Danny Ward – Huddersfield Town – Played 90 mins, keeping clean sheet vs. Reading & 90 mins vs. Barnsley
- Ryan Kent – Barnsley – Played 60 mins vs. Huddersfield
- Pedro Chirivella – Go Ahead Eagles – Played 90 mins, posting assist vs. Vitesse Arnhem
- Taiwo Awoniyi – NEC Nijmegen – Played 45 mins vs. Sparta Rotterdam
- Andre Wisdom – Red Bull Salzburg – Unused sub vs. Mattersburg
- Lloyd Jones – Swindon Town – Played 90 mins vs. Coventry
- Ryan Fulton – Chesterfield – Left out of matchday squad for two games
- Cameron Brannagan – Fleetwood Town – Played 9 mins as late sub vs. Northampton
- Jack Dunn – Tranmere Rovers – Played 32 mins vs. Boreham Wood & uninvolved vs. Barrow
- Allan Rodrigues – Hertha Berlin – Left out of matchday squad vs. Eintracht Frankfurt