Grujic’s top form continues as goalkeepers produce perfect response – Liverpool FC Loan Watch

7 October 2019

Marko Grujic was the stand-out performer among Liverpool’s loanees over the weekend, while Loris Karius and Kamil Grabara bounced back to form.


This was one of the quieter spells of the season so far for Jurgen Klopp’s borrowed men, but that doesn’t mean that the good form stopped.

Far from it, in fact, as several loanees produced excellent performances – in particular through Grujic and goalkeeping duo Karius and Grabara.

Here’s how the loanees fared, starting with the star performers.

 

Grujic’s shining season continues…

16 August 2019, Bavaria, Munich: Soccer: Bundesliga, Matchday 1, FC Bayern Munich - Hertha BSC in the Allianz Arena. Herthas Marko Grujic cheers his goal to 1:2. (IMPORTANT NOTE: According to the regulations of the DFL Deutsche Fu?ball Liga and the DFB Deutscher Fu?ball-Bund it is prohibited to use or have used photos taken in the stadium and/or the match in the form of sequence pictures and/or video-like photo sequences.) Photo: Matthias Balk/dpa

The Serbian was labelled one of Hertha Berlin’s best-ever midfielders by former manager Pal Dardai last season.

Back for a second season in the German capital, Grujic has certainly been living up to that tag so far this campaign.

In what has been a mixed season for Hertha so far in the Bundesliga, Grujic has been the shining light producing consistently excellent form during the early struggles and recent upturn.

And he maintained those levels again on Friday night with a classy display to inspire his side to a third straight win with a 3-1 victory over Fortuna Dusseldorf.

Operating as part of a midfield pivot, Grujic bossed the game with a superb all-round performance, impressing as his side’s main driving force and play-maker.

It was reflected in the stats as the 23-year-old completed a huge 90 per-cent of his passes and five out of five dribbles, while winning 10 duels as he shone in both phases of play.

Grujic is doing everything he can to show Klopp he is ready for an Anfield first-team role, and form like this will be hard for the boss to ignore.

 

A much-improved weekend for the goalkeepers…

Recent struggles between the sticks saw Karius and Kamil Grabara both come into the weekend under pressure.

Facing a big test of mental strength – particularly in Grabara’s case – the ‘keepers both rose to the challenge to produce fine responses.

After his error cost Huddersfield victory against Millwall last week, Grabara bounced back perfectly keeping back-to-back clean sheets as the Terriers claimed successive wins.

The Polish stopper endured a run of nine games without a clean-sheet but collected two in as many games – the first in a vital 1-0 win over struggling Stoke and the second in a 3-0 win over Hull.

Grabara made some particularly impressive stops in the latter of those wins, and such strong, defiant performances will help him restore full confidence.

Meanwhile, Karius joined his Anfield teammate in rediscovering much-improved form for the Turkish side.

Karius had a tough outing in the Europa League in midweek but was in fine form on the SuperLig return on Sunday.

The German also kept a clean sheet to help his side earn a much-needed three points with a 2-0 win over Alanyaspor, with Karius pulling off two fine full-stretch saves.

 

A mixed bag for the remaining seven Reds…

Nathaniel Phillips (VFB Stuttgart), (Image: Frank Hoermann/SVEN SIMON/DPA/PA Images)
Nat Phillips made a return to Stuttgart’s starting XI but had a difficult comeback, being subbed as his side suffered a first defeat of the season going down 2-1 to Wehen Wiesbaden.

Allan Rodrigues continues to be a mainstay in Fluminense’s midfield, with the Brazilian completing the full 90 minutes as his side earned a second win in a row with a 1-0 victory at Botafogo.

Both Reds plying their trade in Scotland enjoyed victory.

Sheyi Ojo featured as Rangers demolished Hamilton 5-0 and moved to top spot in the Scottish Premier League table, as the Gers took full advantage of Celtic’s shock loss at Livingston.

And in-form Liam Millar made his seventh Scottish Premier League start in a row for Kilmarnock, turning in a good performance as Killie battled to a vital 1-0 victory over Hearts.

South of the border, three Reds featured throughout the Football League.

Harry Wilson made his sixth Premier League start for Bournemouth against Arsenal but was unable to add to his tally of three goals so far this season in a 1-0 loss.

Ovie Ejaria suffered defeat at Reading with a 1-0 loss to Bristol City, but the youngster still impressed standing out as the Royals’ brightest performer on the day.

A disappointing note to finish on.

BRADFORD, ENGLAND - Saturday, July 13, 2019: Liverpool's Ben Woodburn during a pre-season friendly match between Bradford City AFC and Liverpool FC at Valley Parade. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

An injury blow meant Ben Woodburn played only 14 minutes of Oxford’s 2-2 draw at Accrington Stanley, disrupting the youngster’s fine run of form.

A hefty challenge forced Woodburn off with an ankle problem that has not had an official diagnosis publicised yet, but will likely rule the 19-year-old out of international action with Wales U21s.

Oxford boss Karl Robinson has suggested it is at least not too serious, having said after the match that he’s hoping Woodburn won’t be out for any more than “three or four weeks”.


Liverpool’s Loanees This Weekend

Rangers Sheyi Ojo celebrates after scoring his sides sixth goal during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match at Ibrox Stadium, Glasgow. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Image: Ian Rutherford/PA Wire.

  • Nat Phillips (Stuttgart) – 70 mins vs. Wehen Wiesbaden
  • Marko Grujic (Hertha Berlin) – 90 mins vs. Fortuna Dusseldorf
  • Ben Woodburn (Oxford) – 14 mins vs. Accrington Stanley
  • Ovie Ejaria (Reading) – 90 mins vs. Bristol City
  • Kamil Grabara (Huddersfield) – 90 mins vs. Hull, clean sheet
  • Liam Millar (Kilmarnock) – 90 mins vs. Hearts
  • Harry Wilson (Bournemouth) – 79 mins vs. Arsenal
  • Sheyi Oji (Rangers) – mins vs. Hamilton, goal/assist/clean sheet
  • Loris Karius (Besiktas) – 90 mins vs. Alanyaspor, clean sheet
  • Allan Rodrigues (Fluminense) – 90 mins vs. Botafogo

Injured: n/a
Ineligible: n/a
Not in action:Taiwo Awoniyi, Rhys Williams, Anderson Arroyo

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