Sheyi Ojo scored a winner and Connor Randall was in fine form on a very positive week in which only two available Reds loanees didn’t play.
Jurgen Klopp’s borrowed men have enjoyed a steady improvement in game time and productivity recently, after a difficult period of little action and derailing injuries.
But this week provided one of the best spells of the season for those plying their trade away from Anfield, with nearly all available Reds featuring and some in excellent form.
Here’s how those who enjoyed game time fared.
One loaned Red was in top form…
Ojo’s excellent form since returning from injury continued as he scored the winning goal to inspire Fulham to a 1-0 win over Birmingham.
Featuring from his usual right-wing role, Ojo struck after 14 minutes with a finish a natural striker would have been proud of.
With play developing down the left, Ojo showed clever movement inside the box to dart across his marker and convert from a cross with a smart volley into the top corner.
A constant threat all game with his pace and eye for a pass causing plenty of problems, Ojo should have grabbed himself a brace in the second-half, but somehow fired over from eight yards out.
Ojo has provided two goals and assists in four games since returning from nearly three months out, and Cottagers boss Slavisa Jokanovic will be delighted to have him back and in such fine form.
Another Red was in impressive form…
Randall was back among the action after three games on the bench, and enjoyed his first 90 minutes since October in Hearts’ 1-0 win over Motherwell.
Even more rare than simply playing a full game was that Randall did so in his natural position.
Pleasingly—and perhaps unsurprisingly—he produced one of his best displays this season.
Finally in comfortable surroundings at right-back, Randall was a solid defensive presence and played a key role in helping keep a welcome clean sheet to earn an important three points.
It’s been a difficult time for Randall at Hearts, but hopefully the positive display will earn him more regular outings in his natural role.
And five other Reds were also in action…
The majority of the action came on the continent and it’s fair to say those involved experienced mixed fortunes.
Pedro Chirivella unfortunately suffered a nightmare in Willem II’s 1-1 Brabantse derby draw against NAC Breda on Friday.
The Spaniard was directly at fault for NAC’s second-half equaliser as he mis-kicked a clearance in the box which saw the ball fall kindly for the visitors to level the score and ultimately grab a point.
Divock Origi was in poor form at Wolfsburg, turning in an ineffective display in a goalless draw with Hamburg which saw the Belgian subbed after just 56 minutes.
Origi again featured on the right of a three-man attacking midfield unit supporting Mario Gomez, and it’s clear from recent form that it’s not a role that brings the best from the 22-year-old.
Allan Rodrigues was in brighter form as he completed back-to-back 90 minutes at Apollon Limassol for the first time this season with a full game against Everton.
The Brazilian was neat in possession but lacked influence as he didn’t hit the same heights as his last outing in the dead-rubber Europa League tie, which the Blues won 3-0.
Taiwo Awoniyi’s rewarding run of game-time continued as he completed a fifth consecutive full league game in Royal Excel Mouscron’s 1-0 loss at Royal Antwerp.
Awoniyi was in positive form and heavily involved, but he may feel disappointed that he didn’t earn his side at least a point as he squandered two good chances.
Finally, Toni Gomes enjoyed another two cameo appearances at Forest Green.
The youngster entered as a second-half sub against Swindon in the Football League Trophy in midweek, and played the final 25 minutes in which time he helped Rovers battle to a late 1-0 win.
And Gomes featured from the bench for the third game running against Grimsby, but his 30-minute run out came in difficult circumstances with his side already down to 10 men, which predictably limited his influence.
It was a week of mixed emotions for Liverpool’s club record signing at RB Leipzig.
The positive was that Keita continued his excellent form by scoring a stunning solo effort – but the down side was that it came in a 2-1 loss to Besiktas which saw the Bundesliga side eliminated from the Champions League.
Despite defeat, Keita shone as Leipzig’s driving force and his goal was quite simply superb: a slaloming run through midfield before coolly slotting home from the edge of the box.
That was Keita’s only outing this week, the 22–year-old being an unused sub in a 2-2 draw against Mainz on Saturday.
Liverpool’s Loanees This Week
- Origi – Played 56mins vs. Hamburg
- Kent – Unused sub vs. Cologne
- Ojo – Played 90mins & scored vs. Birmingham
- Chirivella – Played 90mins vs. NAC Breda
- Awoniyi – Played 90mins vs. Antwerp
- Allan – Played 90mins vs. Everton & could be in action vs. Omonia Nicosia on Monday
- Randall – Played 90mins vs. Motherwell
- Williams – Missed two games through injury
- Gomes – Played 25mins vs. Swindon & 30mins vs. Grimsby
- George – Unused sub vs. Newport County
- Keita – Played 90mins & scored vs. Besiktas & unused sub vs. Mainz05