Taiwo Awoniyi scored, Harry Wilson was Derby’s playoff hero and Ryan Kent earned individual silverware on a fantastic weekend for Liverpool’s loanees.
The borrowed Reds are finishing the season in strong form, with this another rewarding weekend with plenty of game time.
A season-low three loanees missed out; those being Sheyi Ojo, Adam Bogdan (both unused) and Pedro Chirivella (ineligible).
Anderson Arroyo could yet feature in the Gent U21s’ final game of the season against Antwerp on Monday.
With 12 Reds featuring, two goals scored, an award win and big developments in title races and seasons coming to an end, this was an exciting and dramatic weekend.
Here’s the full lowdown on all that happened.
Awoniyi was back among the goals at Mouscron…
The Nigerian has endured a mini-drought in recent weeks, as an untimely injury disrupted his stunning goalscoring streak.
Form is temporary, class is permanent as they say and Awoniyi emerged from his dip by recapturing his touch with his first goal in five games.
Leading Mouscron’s attack against Zulte Waregem on Sunday, the 21-year-old scored his side’s first goal of a 3-0 win, which was their first victory in six matches.
With 12 minutes on the clock, Awoniyi converted an excellent penalty into the bottom left corner.
Perhaps most pleasing was the fact he stepped up to take it, showing a strong mentality and no lack of confidence despite his recent dip.
Mouscron have three fixtures remaining this season, and hopefully Awoniyi can end it with a nice scoring run.
Wilson scored on a dramatic Football League closer…
Wilson has so often been the hero for Derby this season and he picked no better time to do it again as he fired the Rams to the Championship playoffs.
Derby needed victory against West Brom to confirm sixth place, and Wilson scored the third goal of a 3-1 win to effectively earn his side a shot at winning promotion to the Premier League.
With the Rams 2-1 up and facing a tense final 15 minutes, Wilson eased nerves around Pride Park by converting a nerveless penalty into the bottom left corner.
It was an excellent penalty considering the immense pressure and it took the Wales international to a superb 15 goals for the campaign.
Play offs secured? great performance from the boys to get it done?? brilliant atmosphere at pride park to??? @dcfcofficial pic.twitter.com/VIBxCt1LMq
— harry wilson (@harrywilson_) 5 May 2019
Derby now face a tasty semi-final tie against Leeds—the first leg of which will be played on home soil on Saturday evening.
A nervy final day for Herbie Kane also ended in delight as he helped Doncaster to a 2-0 win over Coventry to secure a League One playoff spot.
The victory earned a sixth-placed finish, meaning Kane will now attempt to help the Dons cap off an impressive season with promotion to the Championship.
Kane’s side will play Charlton in the semi-final tie, with the first leg to be played on Sunday.
There wasn’t the same level of drama for Ovie Ejaria, who had already helped Reading achieve their mission of Championship survival with a game to spare.
The midfielder enjoyed a pressure-free final game against Birmingham, which saw two sides with nothing to play for contend a 0-0 draw.
It brought an end to a positive spell for Ejaria, who achieved exactly what he set out to do upon arrival at the Madjeski Stadium.
Indeed, Ejaria helped the Royals to safety and did so while producing some impressive performances which included a goal and two assists in 16 appearances.
Kent earned a prestigious award after a great season at Rangers…
On the pitch, it was a frustrating Sunday for Kent, as injury forced him off after just 45 minutes of his side’s 1-0 win against a Bogdan-less Hibernian.
Off the pitch, though, it was a day to remember for the young winger.
Indeed, at the PFA Scotland awards, Kent won the PFA Young Player of the Year trophy while also being named in the Team of the Year in recognition of a superb campaign.
Proud of this one @ryankent for winning the PFA young player of the year award. A big year both on and off the pitch ?? pic.twitter.com/kLggzPzepm
— Michael Beale (@MichaelBeale) 5 May 2019
Kent hit the ground running upon arrival at Ibrox and never looked back, becoming a key player while standing out as one of Rangers’ best throughout the season.
Six goals and nine assists reflect Kent’s successful campaign, and such a season certainly won’t have gone unnoticed by Jurgen Klopp.
Seven more Reds were in action…
The Premier League loanees had a weekend of mixed fortunes.
Nathaniel Clyne enjoyed the taste of victory as he played all of Bournemouth’s 1-0 win over nine-man Tottenham while operating at left-back for most of the game.
But Danny Ings had one of his worst outings of the season for Southampton, withdrawn after just 45 minutes of his side’s 3-0 loss to West Ham for an ineffective first-half display.
The striker’s form has really suffered since sustaining a hamstring injury at the beginning of February which kept him out for five games.
In his five appearances since returning, Ings has produced just one assist while failing to score.
In Scotland, Liam Millar was rewarded for his impressive first senior start against Celtic with a second as Kilmarnock played Hearts.
The Canadian striker picked up from where he left off to help Killie earn an excellent 1-0 win.
Millar delivered another eye-catching display on the left-wing—where his pace and directness was a constant threat—and he came close to scoring but saw a first-time effort hit the post.
Four loanees featured around the globe with the contrasting fortunes of two goalkeepers producing the big story.
Kamil Grabara was between the sticks as AGF Aarhus opened their playoff semi-final against Aab Aalborg, with the two sides battling for Europa League qualification.
The Polish keeper played a vital part as his side took control of the tie with a 1-0 win, making two big saves to keep a clean sheet and earn AGF a sixth straight victory.
But Loris Karius saw his title hopes with Besiktas dealt a blow as he was unable to prevent his side falling to a painful 2-0 Istanbul derby loss to Galatasaray despite a solid display.
Elsewhere, Marko Grujic had to settle for a place on Hertha Berlin’s bench against Stuttgart after serving a one-game ban.
The Serbian did feature, playing the final half-hour to help his side see out a 3-1 win which was Hertha’s fist Bundesliga success in eight games.
Finally, Allan Rodrigues made a third consecutive start at Fluminense and was in solid form as he played the full 90 minutes of a crazy 5-4 win at Gremio.
Liverpool’s Loanees This Weekend
- Nathaniel Clyne (Bournemouth) – 90 mins vs. Tottenham
- Marko Grujic (Hertha Berlin) – 30 mins vs. Stuttgart
- Danny Ings (Southampton) – 45 mins vs. West Ham
- Liam Millar (Kilmarnock) – 81 mins vs. Hearts
- Herbie Kane (Doncaster) – 90 mins vs. Coventry
- Kamil Grabara (AGF Aarhus) – 90 mins vs. Aab Aalborg, clean sheet
- Harry Wilson (Derby) – 90 mins vs. West Brom, goal
- Ovie Ejaria (Reading) – 90 mins vs. Birmingham
- Ryan Kent (Rangers) – 45 mins vs. Hibernian
- Loris Karius (Besiktas) – 90 mins vs. Galatasaray
- Taiwo Awoniyi (Mouscron) – 90 mins vs. Zulte Waregem, goal
- Allan Rodrigues (Fluminense) – 90 mins vs. Gremio
- Anderson Arroyo (Gent U21) – To play Antwerp on Monday night
Ineligible: Pedro Chirivella
Not in action: Sheyi Ojo, Adam Bogdan