The weekend proved to be one of the most challenging of the season for Manchester City players out on loan. With an eight goal thriller, a birthday debut goal and a late own goal contributing to a 4-0 hammering at home, it was a weekend of mixed fortunes for the City stars around the globe.
Over in Spain, Samir Nasri of Sevilla was involved in one of his side’s tightest games of the season. The title challengers travelled to Gran Canaria to play Las Palmas, one of the breakthrough sides in La Liga, and were fortunate to come away with a vital 1-0 victory. It was an unusually quiet game for the Frenchman as Sampaoli’s side known for their free-flowing football were limited in their play and were forced to resort to long-ball tactics. Sevilla’s victory means that they remain steady in 3rd place, but Eliaquim Mangala at Valencia is not enjoying such fortune. The Frenchman was once again in Voro’s side for their trip to Andalusia to play Real Betis as the 6-time Spanish champions were held to a 0-0 draw. The game saw a clean sheet and a slight improvement in form, but the memories of conceding 7 goals in 2 games prior to the tie remain in the memory of the supporters. Meanwhile, Marlos Moreno watched from the sidelines as Deportivo lost 2-1 to Bilbao. In the Segunda, Angeliño started at left-back for Real Mallorca as they recorded their first victory in over a month against Rayo Vallecano, while Pablo Maffeo featured for affiliate side Girona who continue their promotion push with a point away at Almeria.
Back home, only in England could one side go from beating their relegation rivals 4-0 away to then suffering a defeat by the same scoreline the following week. Here, City loanee Jason Denayer of Sunderland went from hero to zero within a matter of days as his own goal contributed to a dreadful performance from the Black Cats. Meanwhile, Wilfried Bony’s future at Stoke City remains a mystery. The Ivorian forward was left out of Stoke’s 18-man squad to play Crystal Palace and with Crouch, Berahino, Diouf and Walters seemingly preferred by Mark Hughes, it is clear his Stoke future is looking very bleak.
In the Championship, Manchester City’s FA Cup opponents Huddersfield continue to fly high as they recorded their fifth consecutive league victory with a 2-1 victory away at QPR. Aussie midfielder Aaron Mooy was once again indispensable as he dictated the play with the most passes on the pitch (55), adding to his ever increasing statistic of having the most passes in the Sky Bet Championship (2124). While in League 1, David Faupala is off the mark for Chesterfield – the Frenchman scored his first goal for the club on his 20th birthday, in Chesterfield’s 3-1 defeat to Northampton. In Scotland, Patrick Roberts was rested as Celtic beat Inverness 6-0 in the Scottish FA Cup.
— David Faupala (@DavidFaupala9) February 12, 2017
In Italy, Joe Hart’s fortunes are slowly starting to turn. At the Stadio Olimpico, Torino marked their first victory of 2017 in a 5-3 thriller against Pescara. On a personal level, Hart will feel disappointed to have conceded 3 goals, however in context, the result was far more important as Torino move up to 9th and seek to charge for a place in the Europe League. Despite England’s number one living 732 miles away from Manchester, his name remains a constant in the British media and most recently it was reported that he could be moving to Arsenal this summer. Would he be the perfect replacement for Petr Cech?
Meanwhile, it has been another tough weekend for the City contingent in Holland. In the Eredivisie, Enes Ünal’s run without a goal for FC Twente stretches to nearly two months. The 19 year old was in prolific form at the start of the season, scoring 10 goals before the turn of the year, however he is yet to hit the mark in 2017. His side FC Twente were held to a 1-1 draw at Excelsior. Yaw Yeboah, who has recently been linked with a move to FC Porto, was back in the side after a few games on the bench while Bersant Celina remains suspended. At the top of the table, PSV continue to mount a challenge for the title with a 3-0 victory over Utrecht. Ukrainian hot prospect Oleksandr Zinchenko was substituted on for the final few minutes to mark his first appearance for the club since December 10. In the second tier, Ashley Smith-Brown, James Horsfield, Manu Garcia, Thomas Agyepong and Brandon Barker were all in action for affiliate side NAC Breda, but were unable to prevent a 3-2 home defeat to RKC Waalwijk. A real blow to their promotion push as they drop to 7th place in the Eerste Divisie.