Danny Ings continued his goal-scoring form on a positive weekend which saw an improvement in game-time for Liverpool’s loanees.
The season of goodwill brought a welcome upturn in game-time this weekend, as seven of the 11 available Reds featured.
Four familiar faces still went without action, with Ben Woodburn, Taiwo Awoniyi, Shamal George and Anderson Arroyo all unused.
Marko Grujic, Allan Rodrigues, Ryan Kent and Connor Randall all remain sidelined, and the former duo now won’t play until after the Bundesliga’s winter break.
Here’s the full lowdown on how those who did play fared, starting with a familiar goalscorer…
Another game, another goal for Ings…
It’s turning into a really good season for Ings, who continues to be the shining light for improving Southampton.
Ings netted his eighth of the season – also his third in his last two games – in a vital 3-1 win at Huddersfield which ensured it will be a happy Christmas for Saints fans.
Ings made it 2-0 just before half-time, coolly converting a penalty which he had won by slotting into the bottom left corner, sending Jonas Lossl the wrong way.
It means the striker has scored more Premier League penalties than any other player this campaign, with three successful spot-kicks.
After a brief injury scare it’s great to see Ings hit the ground running again with goals in successive games, and he will be full of belief that he can keep the run going.
Six more Reds featured at home and abroad…
Starting in the Football League, Harry Wilson, surprisingly, has gone three games without a goal or assist at Derby after a stunning spell of six goals and an assist in seven outings.
But the Welsh Wizard is still in good form for Frank Lampard’s side and produced another bright performance in a 1-1 draw against Bristol City on Saturday.
Wilson was the Rams’ best player on the day, providing a constant source of creation and goal-threat as he impressed in a free-roaming midfield role.
Herbie Kane wasn’t quite able to celebrate his new Liverpool contract and loan extension at League One Doncaster with another goal-scoring display.
But Kane was still in good form in his side’s 2-2 draw with Oxford on Saturday, in which he played the full game again having become a vital part of Donny’s team.
Corey Whelan was back in Crewe’s starting XI against Forest Green but his return didn’t go as hoped, with the full-back subbed after an hour of a 1-0 loss which left his side 18th in League Two.
In Scotland, it was an eventful week at Hibernian for Adam Bogdan.
Injury to first choice Ofir Marciano saw the Hungarian return and shine against Rangers in midweek, with an “unbelievable” display earning a clean sheet to deny ex-Anfield teammate Steven Gerrard.
But Bogdan was unable to follow up that heroic performance with another on Saturday as Hibs drew again, this time 1-1 against Livingston.
Two European Reds featured for the final time in 2018, playing their last games before winter breaks in their respective leagues.
Loris Karius was one of those as the Turkish SuperLig pauses until January, but he unfortunately didn’t sign off for Christmas as he will have wanted.
Indeed, a difficult year for the German ended with an uninspiring performance as Besiktas were thrashed 4-1 by Kasimpasa on Saturday.
Karius had little help from his woeful defence, but the ‘keeper didn’t fare much better himself with some questionable goalkeeping for the second and fourth goal conceded.
Karius’ decision to rush out of goal was partly responsible for the former of those strikes, while he was somehow beaten by a very weak effort for the fourth.
Hopefully 2019 proves a much better year on the pitch for Karius.
The other was Sheyi Ojo, who has endured a frustrating time recently so will have enjoyed his extended outing in Reims’ 2-2 draw against Cean on Saturday.
Ojo played the whole second-half after being introduced at the break with his team 2-1 down, and he helped Reims battle back for a point with a lively display.
Sent on to add a different dimension in attack, Ojo did that as he posed a constant goal-threat, firing two shots on target in 45 minutes – the same total as any starting player.
It’s not the first time Ojo has impressed from the bench this season, and it’s slightly frustrating that the Ligue1 break arrives just when he will have wanted to build on a bright showing.
The task instead for Ojo will be to pick up from where he has left off upon the restart in January.
Liverpool’s Loanees This Weekend
- Herbie Kane (Doncaster) – 90 mins vs. Oxford
- Corey Whelan (Crewe) – 64 mins vs. Forest Green Rovers
- Harry Wilson (Derby) – 90 mins vs. Bristol City
- Adam Bogdan (Hibernian) – 90 mins vs. Livingston
- Loris Karius (Besiktas) – 90 mins vs. Kasimpasa
- Danny Ings (Southampton) – 65 mins vs. Huddersfield, goal
- Sheyi Ojo (Reims) – 45 mins vs. Caen
Injured:Marko Grujic, Ryan Kent, Allan Rodrigues, Connor Randall
Not in action: Ben Woodburn, Shamal George, Taiwo Awoniyi, Anderson Arroyo