Liverpool loanee caps Man of the Match display with brilliant backheel goal

Liverpool midfielder Leighton Clarkson turned in a Man of the Match performance with a goal and assist on loan at Aberdeen this weekend.

Clarkson has found himself in a key role in Scotland, after a disappointing loan spell with Blackburn last season, with the 21-year-old a regular starter in the Aberdeen midfield.

A two-match suspension for violent conduct curtailed his progress at the end of September, but he is now thriving in a more advanced position supporting the attack.

That led to a standout display in Friday’s clash with Hibernian, with Clarkson setting up one and scoring another to earn Man of the Match in a 4-1 triumph.

His goal – Aberdeen’s fourth – was an impressive, improvised backheel after taking a touch away from danger in the six-yard box:

Clarkson now has four goals and two assists in just 12 appearances for Aberdeen so far, averaging a direct goal contribution every 133 minutes.

In some ways his successor in the Liverpool academy ranks, Tyler Morton also produced a star turn this weekend as he helped Blackburn to a 1-0 win over Huddersfield.

The 20-year-old made more key passes than any other player, with three, while LancsLive‘s Elliott Jackson gave him an eight-out-of-10 rating, describing him as “the beating heart of this side both in and out of possession.”

2JRCMAN Bolton Wanderers? Conor Bradley in action during the Carabao Cup second round match at the University of Bolton Stadium, Bolton. Picture date: Tuesday 23rd August, 2022.

There was less success for Conor Bradley and Owen Beck, however, with the full-back pair both featuring as Bolton lost 2-1 to Barnsley in the FA Cup.

Bradley started and played the full 90 minutes, while Beck came off the bench late on, in a game that saw ex-Liverpool midfielder Adam Phillips score a thumping goal for the opposition.

Adam Lewis fared better as Newport County beat Colchester 2-0 to progress to the next round, but Max Woltman was a substitute as League Two side Doncaster lost 1-0 to non-league King’s Lynn.

On a more positive note, Jack Bearne came off the bench to score his first-ever senior goal, though it came in Kidderminster Harriers’ 2-1 loss to Darlington.

Fidel O’Rourke also found himself on the losing side as Caernarfon Town fell to a 2-0 defeat to Penybont, but there were 1-0 wins for Marcelo Pitaluga and Anderson Arroyo.

Liverpool Loan Watch Roundup

2JPWBCA McDiarmid Park, Perth, UK. 20th Aug, 2022. Scottish premier league football, St Johnstone versus Aberdeen: Leighton Clarkson of Aberdeen Credit: Action Plus Sports/Alamy Live News

  • Tyler Morton (Blackburn) – 90 mins vs. Huddersfield
  • Leighton Clarkson (Aberdeen) – 90 mins vs. Hibernian – goal, assist
  • Conor Bradley (Bolton) – 90 mins vs. Barnsley
  • Owen Beck (Bolton) – 15 mins vs. Barnsley
  • Marcelo Pitaluga (Macclesfield) – 90 mins vs. Skelmersdale, clean sheet
  • Jack Bearne (Kidderminster) – 31 mins vs. Darlington, goal
  • Adam Lewis (Newport County) – 59 mins vs. Colchester
  • Fidel O’Rourke (Caernarfon Town) – 90 mins vs. Penybont
  • Max Woltman (Doncaster) – 8 mins vs. King’s Lynn
  • Anderson Arroyo (Alaves) – 13 mins. Zaragoza

Injured: Sepp van den Berg, Viteszlav Jaros, James Balagizi, Paul Glatzel
Unused: Rhys Williams