Harvey Elliott continued to influence the score with Blackburn on Boxing Day as Marko Grujic added a trophy to the cabinet with Porto.
The 17-year-old has proved to be a revelation in the Championship, with his confidence and conviction swiftly seeing him become a mainstay in Tony Mowbray’s side.
Elliott has caught the eye on a number of occasions and did so again on Boxing Day as Rovers hosted Sheffield Wednesday, providing the assist to ensure his side walked away with a point.
The Owls opened the scoring on the cusp of half-time after a defensive mixup, which came following Elliott’s early sight on goal which was driven wide.
Blackburn struck the upright in the second half before Joe Rothwell equalised thanks to a bursting run inside the box after what will be one of Elliott’s tamest assists of the campaign.
A succession of one-twos between Elliott and Rothwell created the opening to make it 1-1, a scoreline which would remain come the final whistle to keep Rovers seven points adrift of the playoff places.
Elliott was one of Blackburn’s liveliest players at Ewood Park combining attacking play with defensive discipline, where his goal-scoring contribution now sits at four goals and six assists in 17 appearances.
Only Reading’s Michael Olise (seven) and Norwich‘s Emi Buendia (six) have more assists in the Championship this season than Elliott.
On the continent, meanwhile, Grujic added an honour to his name after Porto overcame rivals Benfica, which is now the home of Jan Vertonghen, in the Portuguese Super Cup final prior to Christmas Day.
The midfielder was named on the bench and was called upon with only minutes left on the clock with the scoreboard reading 1-0, after a penalty was converted in the first half.
Grujic replaced key man and the goalscorer Sergio Oliveira, where only moments later Luis Diaz made it 2-0 to put the result beyond doubt, handing Porto the trophy and Grujic his first piece of silverware since winning the Serbian SuperLiga with Red Star in 2015/16.
But it was not a result to savour for Cardiff’s Sheyi Ojo and Harry Wilson, however, as the pair tasted defeat against Brentford in a dramatic Boxing Day clash.
The pair were both named in the starting XI for the eighth successive game, with Wilson nestled in the attacking midfield role and Ojo continuing on the right of the attack.
Cardiff got off to a stunning start as Will Vaulks found the net from his own half with an inch-perfect lob, only for ex-Red Sergi Canos to wreak havoc with a 23-minute hat-trick in the second half to see Brentford lead 3-1.
Vaulks would add score another to cut the deficit after Ojo’s withdrawal, but it would not be enough to trigger a comeback to leave Cardiff sitting in 12th place, behind Elliott’s Blackburn only on goal difference.
Liverpool Loan Watch Roundup
- Harvey Elliott (Blackburn) – 90 mins vs. Sheffield Wednesday, assist
- Harry Wilson (Cardiff) – 90 mins vs. Brentford
- Sheyi Ojo (Cardiff) – 74 mins vs. Brentford
- Marko Grujic (Porto) – 2 mins vs. Benfica
Unused: Morgan Boyes
No game: Loris Karis, Taiwo Awoniyi, Kamil Grabara, Ben Woodburn, Adam Lewis, Anderson Arroyo