A frustrating week for Liverpool’s loanees was summed up by Naby Keita’s red card, but Pedro Chirivella was in impressive form.
Jurgen Klopp’s borrowed men have been in great form recently but this was a less-impressive spell.
Here’s the full lowdown of the action, starting with this week’s star performer.
Chirivella claimed his first Eredivisie assist of the season…
The Spaniard has impressed in a destructive midfield role at Willem II this campaign but provided a nice reminder of his play-making ability on Sunday.
The 20-year-old picked an ideal time to deliver his first league assist for the club—teeing up the winner in a 1-0 victory at PEC Zwolle—and it was a brilliant one too.
After bursting forward from midfield and collecting a loose ball on the left side of the penalty box, Chirivella swivelled to create an angle to cross and floated a delightful reverse ball to Ismail Azzaoui, who finished.
It was a key win for Willem II who moved six points clear of the Eredivisie relegation spot, and Chirivella can be delighted with his influential role.
There was a battle to forget for two Reds in the Championship…
Grujic’s side came out on top with a crucial 2-0 win to move to within just one more victory of promotion to the Premier League—but it was not a day to remember for individual performances.
Indeed, despite the win, it was a nightmare day for Grujic.
The midfielder started on the bench but came on after 10 minutes as an early sub—only to produce a poor 35-minute outing which saw him taken back off at half-time.
Things were not quite as bad for Wilson who at least played all 90 minutes, operating both on the right wing and as a No.10.
But the Wales international was quiet in both positions, unable to inspire his side with the same blistering goal-scoring form as seen in recent outings.
Eight more Reds were in action…
Grujic wasn’t the only Red to have a forgettable weekend, with Jon Flanagan also enduring a miserable time at Bolton.
Similarly to the Serbian, a poor first-half also resulted in Flanagan being hooked at half-time of a 2-0 loss to relegation rivals Burton, a result which left Bolton on the verge of relegation to League One.
In Scotland, Connor Randall made a third consecutive start at Hearts and continued in his unfamiliar right wing-back role as his side went down 2-0 at Aberdeen the same night.
In the lower leagues, Matty Virtue’s positive run at League Two Notts County continued despite a 2-1 loss at Grimsby, a result which ended automatic promotion hopes and condemned Kevin Nolan’s side to the play-offs.
Andy Firth signed off a short but productive spell with relegated National League side Chester on a positive note with a 2-1 win at Barrow in the final game of the season.
Firth made 11 appearances during his time at the Deva Stadium, in which he conceded 22 goals and kept one clean sheet, as he was unable to save the strugglers from relegation.
Three more Reds were in action in Europe but only one enjoyed a winning weekend.
That was young full-back Anderson Arroyo, who extended his unbeaten run since joining Real Mallorca B to a twelfth game in a 1-0 win against Felanitx.
But it wasn’t all positive on the day for the full-back as he was forced off with an injury.
Divock Origi featured in Wolfsburg’s 3-1 loss to Hamburg, with the Belgian making his first start since his Hoffeinheim horror show that saw him subbed after just 42 minutes five games ago.
The Belgian led the line and fared better lasting the full game—producing a performance full of effort, if lacking in quality, as he fired four shots at goal and won five aerial duels.
Finally, Lazar Markovic’s goal-scoring display of last week wasn’t enough to keep him in Anderlecht’s starting XI against Charleroi—with the Serbian only a stoppage-time sub in a 3-1 win.
Keita shrugged off a knock to feature for RB Leipzig but may question why he bothered after enduring a miserable Sunday both collectively and individually.
Keita’s side slumped to a dire 3-0 defeat to relegation-threatened Mainz and matters were compounded by the Guinean being sent off in the final moments.
Keita received his marching orders in injury time—making it the fourth time this season that he has been sent off (for club and country).
The loss leaves Leipzig in sixth place and clinging onto a Europa League spot by a point—but most crucially now facing the battle to secure European football without their best player.
Not all would be bad here though as Leipzig’s failure to qualify for Europe could benefit Liverpool’s final transfer fee to bring Keita to Anfield.
Liverpool’s Loanees This Week
- Markovic – Played stoppage time vs. Sporting Charleroi
- Origi – Played 90 mins vs. Hamburg
- Wilson – Played 90 mins vs. Cardiff
- Ejaria – Played 77 mins vs. Fulham
- Flanagan – Played 45 mins vs. Burton
- Randall – Played 73 mins vs. Aberdeen
- Chirivella – Played 90 mins & assisted vs. PEC Zwolle
- Arroyo – Played 35 mins vs. Felanitx
- Virtue – Played 58 mins vs. Grimsby
- Firth – Played 90 mins vs. Barrow
- Grujic – Unused sub vs. Derby & played 35 mins vs. Hull
- Sturridge – Unused sub vs. Newcastle
- Whelan – Left out of matchday squad vs. Forest Green & Mansfield
- Kent – Left out of matchday squad vs. Nottingham Forest
- Ojo – Left out of matchday squad vs. Sunderland
- Awoniyi – Injured
- Keita – Played 90 mins & was sent off vs. Mainz