Ben Woodburn continued his brilliant form, delivering another assist, but it wasn’t such a successful weekend for Liverpool’s loaned goalkeepers.
After several weeks of inspiring form, this was a rare spell where not everything went quite according to plan for the borrowed Reds.
The good news was that 11 of the 13 loanees featured as the majority continue to enjoy the regular game-time wanted.
Fortunes were more mixed however, with positive and not-so-positive performances produced; here is all that happened across the weekend.
Another influential display from on-fire Woodburn…
Woodburn followed his season’s best performance featuring two assists by delivering a third in two games to continue his stunning form.
The Welshman supplied Oxford’s first in their 3-0 win over Gillingham on Saturday as he set his side on the way to an impressive three points.
Oxford took the lead on 10 minutes through James Henry, who curled a stunner into the top corner after profiting from the time and space created by Woodburn’s mazy run.
Soon after the loanee was at the heart of Oxford’s slick second – starting a swift counter-attack which Matty Taylor finished to double the lead.
Woodburn is flourishing in the freedom afforded as Oxford’s chief creator and it’s certainly bringing the best from the 19-year-old who already has five assists and a goal from 12 appearances.
A learning curve for one young Red…
Kamil Grabara unfortunately made headlines for the wrong reasons at Huddersfield.
The Polish stopper is yet to keep a clean sheet for the Championship side – though that doesn’t tell the full story of what has been a solid start with the Terriers.
Grabara saw his wait for a first shut-out extended further on Saturday as he made a big error which gifted Millwall a 1-1 draw.
Moments after pulling off a sensational save, the 20-year-old spilled his catch from the resulting corner and Matt Smith punished the mistake, prodding in from close-range.
It was a tough moment for Grabara but he put the error aside and produced a positive reaction which earned praise from manager Danny Cowley:
“Kamil had a difficult first half, and typical of the life of a young goalkeeper, he makes a brilliant save and then he makes a mistake.
“But I was proud of him in the second half. The boys got around him at half-time and I said to him that we know he has the attributes to be a top goalkeeper.”
Grabara’s composure and maturity in dealing with a high-profile mistake on the unforgiving Championship stage was encouraging, and he can use the experience to evolve.
A mixed bag for the remaining nine Reds…
It certainly wasn’t a weekend for goalkeepers, as Loris Karius also endured a tough outing at Besiktas.
The German was in uninspiring form as he conceded four in a 4-1 thrashing at Trabzonspor, and he really should have done better with at least two of the goals.
Staying in Europe, Marko Grujic led Hertha Berlin to a second successive Bundesliga win with a 4-0 thrashing of Koln.
The Serbian delivered another dominant display, playing a key part in the second goal by starting the move and marshalling the midfield as Hertha cruised to victory.
Also in the Bundesliga, Taiwo Awoniyi made a welcome return to action at Mainz 05 after three games uninvolved, featuring as a late sub in a 1-0 loss to Wolfsburg.
The Nigerian played the final 15 minutes as his team searched for a way back and he will hope the defeat leads to changes and a long-awaited full debut next time out.
Over in Brazil, Allan Rodrigues had a hectic weekend at Fluminense, featuring twice in four days.
It was a rewarding spell for the Brazilian, who played every minute of the two matches while helping his side pick up four points with a 1-1 draw against Santos and 2-1 win over Gremio.
Five loanees played in the English and Scottish leagues.
Harry Wilson has been in electric form for Bournemouth but turned in one of the quieter displays in the Cherries’ 2-2 draw against West Ham.
Ovie Ejaria continues to enjoy consistent game-time as a mainstay in Reading’s midfield and he helped the Royals secure a 1-1 draw and useful point at high-flying Swansea.
Rhys Williams played another full 90 minutes of first-team football but was unable to prevent Kidderminster going down 2-1 to Spennymoor.
North of the border, Liam Millar continued his strong form at Kilmarnock, but frustration will have been the overriding emotion for the Canadian.
Millar was a shining light in his side’s 0-0 draw with Ross County, but things could been even better for the striker and his team.
Millar’s fine work won Killie a second-half penalty but after being denied the chance to take it, he watched on as Osman Sow saw his tame strike saved and the chance to grab three points wasted.
Sheyi Ojo enjoyed another fine week at Rangers; first helping his side to the Scottish League Cup semi-finals before featuring in the Gers’ 5-0 demolition of Aberdeen.
Liverpool’s Loanees This Weekend
- Harry Wilson (Bournemouth) – 77 mins vs. West Ham
- Sheyi Ojo (Rangers) – 59 mins vs. Aberdeen
- Liam Millar (Kilmarnock) – 78 mins vs. Ross County
- Ovie Ejaria (Reading) – 90 mins vs. Swansea
- Kamil Grabara (Huddersfield) – 90 mins vs. Millwall
- Ben Woodburn (Oxford) – 90 mins vs. Gillingham, assist
- Rhys Williams (Kidderminster) – 90mins vs. Spennymoor
- Taiwo Awoniyi (Mainz 05) – 15 mins vs. Wolfsburg
- Marko Grujic (Hertha Berlin) – 90 mins vs. Cologne
- Loris Karius (Besiktas) – 90 mins vs. Trabzonspor
- Allan Rodrigues (Fluminense) – 90 mins vs. Gremio
Not in action: Nathaniel Phillips, Anderson Arroyo