Seven Reds enjoyed match action on what was another positive week for Liverpool’s loanees as Taiwo Awoniyi and Brooks Lennon found the net.
Just as night follows day, Awoniyi hit the net to continue his excellent form at Royal Excel Mouscron, but unfortunately the goal came in a 3-1 loss to Standard Liege.
The Nigerian dragged his side to level terms after half-time, when he bundled home one of the scruffiest goals you’ll ever see – poking in from on the goal-line after a mini-scramble.
The goal was Awoniyi’s fifth this season, and takes his tally to an impressive five strikes and three assists in 11 games for Mouscron, who sit in sixth place in the Jupiler League.
This third spell in European football is undoubtedly proving a rewarding experience for Awoniyi, who has shown real signs of progress which he will hope to continue.
Lennon signed off the MLS campaign on a positive note, as he netted his second of the season to inspire Real Salt Lake to a final day 2-1 win over Kansas City.
The American produced an impressive performance in which he hit what proved to be the winner, but it still wasn’t enough to help his side secure a play-off place in the Western Conference.
After intelligently holding his position at the back of the box as play developed, Lennon saw his first strike saved but made no mistake with his second as he lashed a half-volley into the roof of the net to make it 2-0.
Brooks Lennon makes it 2-0 RSL pic.twitter.com/9GvTWae45t
— Total MLS (@TotalMLS) October 22, 2017
Lennon, whose pace and goal-threat caused problems all game, should have doubled his tally and sealed victory in the second-half, but he shot straight at the ‘keeper when one-on-one.
It brings to an end a season of mixed fortunes for Lennon, who scored twice and posted two assists in 25 appearances – 15 of which were starts.
After a frustrating few weeks of no game time, Toni Gomes returned to action at Forest Green and instantly made up for lost time by claiming an assist.
Gomes was restored against promotion favourites Coventry in midweek, and, operating as a No.10, set up what was the winning goal in a 1-0 victory.
After receiving possession on the left, Gomes beat a couple of players as he cut inside and set the ball to his teammate, who hit a shot which Coventry’s ‘keeper let slip through his hands and into the net.
Gomes’ work in helping secure only Forest Green’s second win this season wasn’t enough to keep him in the team for Saturday’s trip to Stevenage, where he was disappointingly an unused sub.
It was again a more productive week for the loanees around the globe than those on home soil.
Pedro Chirivella was in influential form at Willem II, playing a key role in securing back-to-back wins with a 1-0 victory at Groningen.
Operating as a deep-lying play-maker, it was brilliant play from the Spanish midfielder – who turned in an impressive performance – that inspired the priceless winning goal.
Chirivella collected the ball deep and patiently observed his options before slotting an inch-perfect through-pass to release his teammate, who raced clear and squared to Fran Sol to score.
Divock Origi wasn’t in quite as positive form at Wolfsburg, but the Belgian almost proved the difference marker as his side were held to a 1-1 draw by Hoffenheim.
Origi came mightily close to breaking the deadlock in the first-half, but after beating two players and cutting inside to the edge of the box, he saw his left-foot rocket cannon back off the post.
That was Origi’s only meaningful contribution however as he struggled on the periphery of the action, registering just 18 touches – the fewest of any starting player – in the 70 minutes played.
Elsewhere in the Bundesliga, Ryan Kent dropped back to the bench at Freiburg, an unused sub against Hertha Berlin.
Allan Rodrigues continues to enjoy most of his game-time in the Europa League at Apollon Limassol, with the Brazilian playing against Atalanta before again being uninvolved in league duties.
Allan played in centre-midfield where he has impressed on the European stage, but he was in quiet form in a 3-1 loss – tidy on the ball throughout but unable to make his mark on the game before being subbed on 56 minutes.
Back on home soil, Jordan Williams was the only other domestic loanee to enjoy game-time this week.
The midfielder continues to be a main stay in Rochdale’s lineup and played successive full games – the first of which saw Williams anchor the midfield in a 2-2 draw against Northampton, in which he caught the eye with his passing range.
And the second saw Williams help ‘Dale to a 1-0 win over Bristol Rovers, with an improved defensive display protecting the back four helping to keep a vital clean sheet.
Meanwhile, Shamal George endured a frustrating week at Carlisle, an unused sub in both of the League Two side’s games.
Connor Randall was also out of action, the defender missing Hearts’ 1-0 win over St Johnstone through suspension.
We will finish off again with an update on club-record signing Naby Keita, who enjoyed a brilliant week at RB Leipzig.
On the night Liverpool set a club-record away win in European competition, Keita also made history as he helped his side to a first ever Champions League victory.
Keita starred with a sensational performance in the historic 3-2 win over Porto, completely dominating the midfield battle with an all-action display, which you can read about in full, here.
And the Guinean capped off a winning week by helping Leipzig to a 1-0 win over Stuttgart on Saturday, playing 63 minutes of the victory.
Sheyi Ojo remains out of action at Fulham due to a dislocated shoulder.
Liverpool’s Loanees This Week
- Origi – Wolfsburg – Played 70mins vs. Hoffenheim
- Kent – Freiburg – Unused sub vs. Hertha Berlin
- Chirivella – WillemII – Played 90mins vs. Groningen
- Awoniyi – Mouscron – Played 90mins & scored vs. Standard Liege
- Lennon – Real Salt Lake – Played 90mins & scored vs. Kansas City
- Allan – Apollon Limassol – Played 56mins vs. Atalanta & left out of matchday involvement vs. Aris
- Randall – Hearts – Suspended vs. St Johnstone
- Williams – Rochdale – Played 90mins vs. Northampton & Bristol Rovers
- George – Carlisle – Unused sub vs. Wycombe & Notts County
- Gomes – Forest Green – Played 61mins & assisted vs. Coventry & unused sub vs. Stevenage
- Keita – RB Leipzig – Played 90mins vs. Porto & 63mins vs. Stuttgart