Marko Grujic hits first-ever senior goal in England as Cardiff City seal vital win

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Marko Grujic fired home a long-range strike to secure Cardiff City a 2-1 win over Barnsley, in another step forward for the Liverpool loanee.

Grujic has become a regular fixture under Neil Warnock in Wales, and made his eighth appearance for the Bluebirds on Tuesday night in the Championship.

With Cardiff looking to keep up the pace at the top of the table, heading into midweek second, six points behind leaders Wolves, Grujic played a vital role in doing so.

Having already gone 1-0 up through Callum Paterson, the young Serbian stepped up to launch a 25-yard strike to establish a two-goal lead.

It was Grujic’s first competitive senior goal since moving to England in 2016.

The 21-year-old had previously made a name for himself for his ghosting, third-man runs while with previous club Red Star Belgrade, scoring six times in 29 SuperLiga games in 2015/16.

But he had shown little of that threat after leaving his native country, and the hope is that now the floodgates will open as Grujic works towards realising his potential.

Joining Cardiff for the rest of the season has proved a masterstroke for the midfielder, whose off-ball game has been under Warnock’s microscope.

If he can blend a new-found defensive understanding with that cutting edge in the final third he could provide Jurgen Klopp with a welcome option in the absence of Emre Can next season and beyond.

Fulham's Sheyi Ojo

Grujic was one of few Liverpool loanees to enjoy a positive Tuesday night on the pitch, despite a host of youngsters being in action.

Sheyi Ojo, however, made his first start since January for Fulham in their 3-0 win over Sheffield United, marking his comeback from injury with a 59-minute display.

The 20-year-old winger completed more successful dribbles (three) than any other Cottagers player, but failed to create any chances for his team-mates.

Andy Firth (Chester), Jon Flanagan (Bolton) and Ovie Ejaria (Sunderland) all started for their temporary clubs, though none tasted victory.

Chester lost 2-0 to Dover Athletic, Bolton drew 1-1 with Reading and Sunderland fell to a 3-0 loss to Cardiff’s promotion rivals Aston Villa, with Ejaria more involved defensively than offensively.

Harry Wilson (Hull) and Ryan Kent (Bristol City) both came off the bench but suffered defeat to Millwall and Preston North End respectively.

Corey Whelan played all 90 minutes as Yeovil lost 1-0 to Shrewsbury in the Football League Trophy, while Matty Virtue was an unused substitute in Notts County’s 1-1 league draw with Cheltenham.

One shining light could come in the form of Naby Keita, who is likely to start for RB Leipzig in their Europa League last-16 first leg at home to Zenit St Petersburg on Thursday night.

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