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City Loan Watch: Roberts wins trophy, Zinchenko bags two assists, Denayer struggles

It was a successful weekend for the Manchester City senior side in the Premier League after a hard-fought 2-1 away victory against Burnley at Turf Moor. And around the globe, the majority of the youngsters out on loan managed to get more minutes under their belt, with many proving to be useful assets in their respective sides – others not so much…

In Scotland, it was a big day for Patrick Roberts who featured at Hampden Park for Celtic’s 3-0 victory over Aberdeen in the Scottish League Cup Final. The trophy marked Roberts’ and Brendan Rodgers’ first trophy at the club and overall Celtic’s 100th major honour of its history. The Englishman, who was urged to feature in the lineup by former Celtic forward John Hartson, started on the right-hand side of an attacking three, ahead of Callum McGregor and played for 65 minutes before he was substituted straight after Celtic took a resounding 3-0 lead.

In Holland, it proved to be an even more successful week on a personal note for the Manchester City forwards in both tiers, despite their overall results. In the Eredivisie, Enes Unal added to his tally as his close-range effort earned his 9th league goal of the season, taking him to the top of the goalscorer’s chart tied with Feyenoord’s Nicolai Jorgensen and just one ahead of reported Manchester City target Kasper Dolberg of Ajax. Despite Twente’s dominance, they were unable to overturn a 2-0 lead and fell to a 3-2 defeat away at NEC Nijmegen. Bersant Celina was yet again in action for Twente also and was very close to completing the comeback in the dying minutes of the game, however his header from the centre of the box went wide of the post. The Kosovan attacking midfielder has 4 goals to his name this season and is currently the 2nd top goal-scorer at the club, behind Unal. Yaw Yeboah was substituted at half time.

Oleksandr Zinchenko was on form on his second start for PSV, he picked up two assists to guarantee the victory for PSV as they put in a dominant display against ADO Den Haag. Zinchenko was the standout performer and even received the plaudits of Manchester City Women’s star Lucy Bronze. Meanwhile, in the second tier, Manchester City’s affiliate club NAC Breda were in action and here David Faupala, the man most remembered for his goal on his senior debut in City’s comical 5-1 defeat away at Chelsea last season, bagged his first goal of the season during a 3-1 loss to SC Cambuur. Ashley Smith-Brown retained his first team spot as the main left-back at the club while Brandon Barker was named as a substitute.

Joe Hart was on song again for Torino in Serie A this weekend, the Granata picking up their third consecutive victory to move up to 6th with victory over Chievo. Amid the continued reports of an extension to his loan deal at Torino or even a possible move to West Ham, England’s number one made two saves in a comfortable victory which sees Sinisa Mihajlovic’s side a point ahead of Napoli. In other news, Olivier Ntcham was forced to watch his side Genoa from the sidelines as remarkably defeated Juventus 3-1, thanks to a brace from Diego Simeone’s son Giovanni Simeone. The young Frenchman hasn’t featured for Genoa since the 30th October…

Back in England, it was a difficult weekend for both Jason Denayer and Wilfried Bony in the Premier League. After his positive display at the Stadium of Light in his new holding midfielder role, Jason Denayer featured again for Sunderland as they travelled to title-contenders Liverpool, however the young Belgian struggled to contain the likes of Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mané on the day. It was a tough 90 minutes for both N’Dong and Denayer in the centre of midfield and this was summed up in the final moments of the game, with both to fault for gifting the resulting penalty scored by former blue James Milner as Liverpool picked up an important 2-0 victory at Anfield. In the early kick off on Sunday, Stoke travelled to Vicarage Road and surprisingly omitted Wilfried Bony from their starting eleven, ruining Fantasy Football sides up and down the country (including mine!). The Ivorian played no part in Stoke’s 1-0 victory as Mame Biram Diouf was preferred to lead the line and even Peter Crouch was substituted ahead of Bony with 8 minutes to go.

Finally, we travel to Spain where it has been an eventful weekend for the Manchester City crop of talent. In Seville it has been a difficult week for Samir Nasri, the Frenchman was expected to feature somewhat in Sevilla’s Champions League crunch match against Juventus, however the attacking playmaker suffered an injury setback which seen him miss not only the Juve game but also the weekend’s tie against Valencia. Eliaquim Mangala featured yet again for Valencia, starting the match in an unusual back three with Abdennour and Garay. This proved to be a poor tactical decision by Cesare Prandelli who made immediate changes after an hour but his side were unable to prevent a 2-1 defeat at the Sanchez Pijuan. Valencia sit in 16th place, just 1 point ahead of Deportivo La Coruna, the home of Marlos Moreno. The Colombian featured in a 4-3 thriller against Malaga, and was substituted on the 90th minute at 3-3, before Manuel Pellegrini’s former side found a late winner. Manu Garcia was once again named on the bench for Alaves who picked up a vital 3 points away at another of Pellegrini’s former sides Villarreal.

Next week is a big week not only for Manchester City as they face the leaders Chelsea at the Etihad but also for the youngsters. Next Monday’s update will focus on how Denayer got on against the champions Leicester City and we’ll see if Samir Nasri returns for Sevilla as they face Granada on same the day as El Clásico next Saturday.

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