There was a shock red card for Taiwo Awoniyi but Naby Keita grabbed an excellent assist in a week in which several Liverpool loanees were left out.
Frustration was the overriding feeling this week, as only half of the 18 borrowed Reds enjoyed game time.
There was a shock sending off for Awoniyi…
The Nigerian striker has earned attention for his stunning form this season, but Awoniyi was in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons this weekend.
The 20-year-old’s excellent run of form came to an end as he received the first red card of his professional career in Royal Excel Mouscron’s 2-1 loss to Lokeren.
Awoniyi received his marching orders 15 minutes from time, shown a straight red after being deemed to have deliberately elbowed his marker in the face.
It seemed the right decision as Awoniyi looked to lash out in his frustration at being pulled back as he attempted to launch a counter-attack, but you can judge for yourselves by watching above.
Awoniyi has been Mouscron’s shining light with eight goals and six assists from 29 games, and though this is a disappointing setback, it should do nothing to dent his confidence in what has been a superb season.
Keita was back in top form…
The Guinean midfielder was back in action after a hamstring issue and gave another demonstration of why Kopites can’t wait for his Anfield arrival.
Keita shone with a leading performance as RB Leipzig held Borussia Dortmund to a 1-1 draw, with the soon-to-be Red registering a superb assist for the goal that put his side ahead, which you can see here.
Keita won possession in the middle of the park before showing great vision and technique to spot a through pass and execute it perfectly—teeing up Jean-Kevin Augustin to make it 1-0.
The assist understandably grabbed attention but it came in an impressive overall display from Keita who stood out his side’s star performer on the day.
Seven more Reds were in action…
The youngster was deployed in a deeper central-midfield role in the Black Cats’ 3-4-3 formation, as manager Chris Coleman looked for Ejaria to dictate play from deep.
And the 20-year-old did a tidy job in a hard-fought 1-1 draw, particularly in the first half as his desire and bravery in possession helped keep his side on the front foot.
Ejaria played the full game on his comeback and that he did shows how big a role Coleman thinks he can play in Sunderland’s push to avoid a second successive relegation to League One.
It was a less successful Saturday for fellow Championship loanee Sheyi Ojo, who played only the closing minutes of Fulham’s impressive 2-1 win at play-off rivals Derby.
North of the border, Connor Randall was back in action at Hearts after two games on the bench, featuring twice for the Tynecastle side.
But it as a winless week for the right-back who first helped his side earn a 1-1 draw at Kilmarnock with a solid performance which secured him a start in Sunday’s Scottish Cup quarter-final with Motherwell.
A day that promised so much ended in disappointment for Randall and Hearts, as all hopes of glory ended after a 2-1 defeat in which the 22-year-old struggled playing at left wing-back.
It was a week of more downs than ups for the four European Reds in action.
Divock Origi’s poor form continued with the Belgian producing another muted display in Wolfsburg’s 2-1 loss to Bayer Leverkusen, in which he failed to post a shot on target before being hauled off.
Pedro Chirivella featured twice for Willem II this week, but it was a disappointing period as the Spaniard suffered successive losses.
Chirivella’s first outing came as his side exited the KNVB Cup in the semi-finals with a 3-0 loss to Feyenoord, and his efforts in that tie saw him start on the bench for the first time this season against Heerenveen on Saturday.
Chirivella was the first man introduced—showing his importance and influence to his side—but he couldn’t make the decisive impact which was a tough ask considering his side were already 2-0 down.
Allan Rodrigues played one of Apollon Limassol’s two games as his intermittent game time continues.
The Brazilian featured as his side overturned a 1-0 first-leg deficit to reach the quarter-finals of the Cyprian Cup with a second-leg 2-0 win over Othellos.
Finally, Anderson Arroyo’s instant success with Real Mallorca’s B side continued with back-to-back wins and clean sheets.
The Colombian right-back played all of a 1-0 win over Mercadal in midweek, and enjoyed another full game in a thumping 4-0 win over Llosetense on Sunday in which he was in impressive form.
Liverpool’s Loanees This Week
- Divock Origi – Played 72 mins vs. Bayer Leverkusen
- Ovie Ejaria – Played 90 mins vs. Millwall
- Sheyi Ojo – Played 3 mins vs. Derby
- Connor Randall – Played 90 mins vs. Kilmarnock & 90 mins vs. Motherwell
- Pedro Chirivella – Played 90 mins vs. Feyenoord & 35 mins vs. Herenveen
- Taiwo Awoniyi – Played 75 mins & was sent off vs. Lokeren
- Allan Rodrigues – Played 78 mins vs. Othellos & unused sub vs. AEL
- Anderson Arroyo – Played 90 mins vs. Mercadal & Llosetense
- Lazar Markovic – Unused sub vs. Zulte-Waregem
- Ryan Kent – Unused sub vs. Sheffield Wednesday
- Jon Flanagan – Left out of matchday squad vs. Preston
- Daniel Sturridge – Injured
- Harry Wilson – Injured
- Marko Grujic – No game
- Matty Virtue – No game
- Corey Whelan – No game
- Andy Firth – No game
- Naby Keita – Played 90 mins & assisted vs. Borussia Dortmund