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Van den Berg and Elliott impress as Grabara makes it 6 clean sheets in 8

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Sepp van den Berg and Harvey Elliott were among the Liverpool loanees to impress at the weekend, while Kamil Grabara kept his sixth clean sheet in eight league games.

There were no goals or assists from the 10 loanees to feature over the last three days, but there were a number of performances that made an impact.

Van den Berg, for example, made his fourth consecutive start for Preston and, having played the full 90 minutes in a 1-1 draw with Bournemouth, earned considerable praise from manager Alex Neil after the game.

“I thought he was our best player in the first half,” Neil told LancsLive after the game. “When I didn’t think we were very good I thought he was good. I said that to him at half-time.

“I thought he was our best player in the first half and defensively he dealt with [Arnaut] Danjuma really well. He used the ball better than most.

“I’ve been really pleased with his progress. He’s come on a tonne. So yeah, he’s doing well for us just now.”

The Dutchman made more tackles than any other player at Deepdale on Saturday (six), as well as leading Preston for touches (67) and passes (42), as he makes the right-back role his own.

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - Saturday, January 2, 2021: Blackburn Rovers' Harvey Elliott during the Football League Championship match between Birmingham City FC and Blackburn Rovers FC at St Andrew's. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Elsewhere, while Elliott was not a starter as Blackburn visited Millwall, the 17-year-old came off the bench and played a key role in the second goal of their 2-0 win.

It came rather fortuitously, as Tyrhys Dolan’s shot took a deflection before being bundled in by Sam Gallagher, but Elliott’s persistence in pushing forward on the left to cut back for the chance made it happen.

The result was Rovers’ first win in eight Championship games, and pushes Tony Mowbray’s side closer to the top half.

Further up the table, Cardiff’s playoff push took a slight blow as they were held to a 0-0 draw by Huddersfield, with both Harry Wilson and Sheyi Ojo quiet on a tough afternoon.

Wilson started and played 86 minutes, while Ojo came off the bench for the final 32, and remarkably the substitute recorded the highest pass accuracy of any Cardiff player at 66.7 percent.

Southampton's Takumi Minamino celebrates scoring their side's first goal of the game during the Premier League match at St James' Park, Newcastle upon Tyne. Picture date: Saturday February 6, 2021.

In the Premier League, Takumi Minamino returned to the starting lineup for Southampton and produced a tireless display in a 2-0 victory over Sheffield United.

Liam Millar and Adam Lewis both featured in League One on Friday night, with Millar playing the full 90 minutes in Charlton’s 0-0 draw with Oxford United and Lewis coming off the bench in Plymouth’s 2-1 loss to Doncaster.

Marko Grujic maintained his role as late substitute as he played the final five minutes of Porto’s 2-0 win at Gil Vicente, while Anderson Arroyo played his eighth consecutive full 90 in Salamanca’s 1-1 draw with Zamora.

PORTO, PORTUGAL - Tuesday, February 13, 2018: Liverpool's goalkeeper Kamil Grabara during a training session at the Est·dio do Drag„o ahead of the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 1st leg match between FC Porto and Liverpool FC. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

In Denmark, Grabara kept yet another clean sheet as AGF Aarhus’ title challenge continues, with the Pole recording his first shutout in three league games – but his sixth in eight – in a 1-0 victory over Midtjylland.

The 22-year-old has been open in his mental struggle of late, but his decision to knuckle down and focus only on the task at hand has inspired a remarkable run of form.

AGF are four points off the top of the Danish Superliga, with the win at Midtjylland pulling them to within three points of the second-placed side.


Liverpool Loan Watch Roundup

Cardiff City's Harry Wilson celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game during the Sky Bet Championship match at the Cardiff City Stadium.

Unused: Loris Karius
Injured: Taiwo Awoniyi
Not in action: Vitezslav Jaros

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