Liverpool’s first team finally got back on their way to victory over the weekend, while many players on loan also gained more experience and playing time.
It was not a weekend to follow the usual recent pattern, with many goals scored or assisted by the talented youngsters who left temporarily.
Indeed, none of the loaned Reds have managed to score or create a goal this weekend – or keep their clean sheet, for the keepers.
Instead, the most impressive performances have come from a few full-backs who have had to overcome adversity and tough challenges over the past couple of years, and although a regular Saturday championship game might not look particularly like Exciting in the larger context of the game, becoming a regular and established player is exactly what these loan periods are for.
To this end, Sepp van den BergThe recent releases of s are a huge step forward.
With Preston this weekend, he was once again deployed to right-back and once again put a good image of himself – as a winner of the support and safety ball rather than as a raging attack outlet, of course.
His side won 3-0 to move up to 13th place, with the Dutchman completing the 90s straight in the space of three days, totaling five tackles, four interceptions and five clearances in those two matches for a notable progressive step.
A league below, Adam lewis was brought back into line with Plymouth, playing the vast majority of the game at left-back in a wild 4-3 win.
It was his first start in Ligue 1 since mid-January and follows several recent outings on the bench. Whether this was a rotation or a case of reclaiming his spot remains to be seen, but Lewis certainly made an impact in both halves with one shot, a few chances created and, defensively, two. tackles won and a shot blocked.
The theme of returning to the line-up after tough times also applies to Loris karius, who kept Union Berlin’s goal for a third straight game.
His four Bundesliga appearances this season have yet to result in a victory, but he has been sufficiently occupied by Hoffenheim in a 1-1 draw with the away side having three shots on target.
It was not a weekend for the attackers to strike on this occasion, with Harry wilson start up and Sheyi ojo come as under as Cardiff drew, Harvey Elliott doing white in Blackburn’s 1-1 with Coventry and Liam Millar being substituted at the break as Charlton got off to a bad start in a possible 3-0 loss to the former Under-23 coach Neil critchley and its Blackpool side.
Abroad, Kamil Grabara conceded three in a draw at the top of the table, Marko Grujic was left to watch from the bench as Porto were held by Sporting CP executives and the Colombian defender Anderson arroyo presented in a friendly.
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