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City Loan Watch: Ntcham strikes in injury time, Ünal ends drought, Hart makes five saves

It has been another hectic week for the Manchester City stars out on loan. This week has marked comebacks with some of the loanees making their way back into their respective squads and also on the scoresheet.

In Spain, it has been a week of mixed fortunes for Eliaquim Mangala. The Frenchman started in the last week’s shock 2-1 victory over Real Madrid, however was dropped a few days later for the following game in favour of Aymen Abdennour, to which Voro’s side fell to a 2-1 defeat away at Alaves. With Valencia desperately seeking consistency, could keeping Mangala in the side be the short-term fix to help push for a top 10 spot in La Liga? Samir Nasri was in action in the tightly contested Seville derby between Real Betis and Sevilla, the Frenchman started in an unorthodox holding midfielder role and was competent as Sampaoli’s side overturned a 1-0 deficit at half-time to snatch a late 2-1 victory that kept them 3rd in the table. In the Segunda, Pablo Maffeo started for City affiliate side Girona, who won 2-0 away at Mirandes. Maffeo has been in and out of the team since joining on loan in January but has never lost a game when he has started (W4, D1, L0). Meanwhile, Angeliño started for Mallorca who were on the receiving end of a 4-1 hammering at home to Tenerife.

In Holland, Enes Ünal ended his 6-game goal drought with an equaliser for FC Twente, who drew 1-1 away at ADO Den Haag. The Turkish forward lit up the Eredivisie at the start of the season with 8 goals and 2 assists in his first 8 games but has since struggled to find consistency, only bagging 4 goals in the following 14. Hopefully, his first goal since mid-December can help to kick on his push for the Top Goalscorer accolade. Bersant Celina played the full 90 minutes for FC Twente while Yaw Yeboah was introduced in the 66th minute. Oleksandr Zinchenko was not involved for PSV’s top of the table clash with Feyenoord, the current champions losing 2-1 at home. In the second tier, affiliate side NAC Breda continue their push for a place in the play-offs. Ashley Smith-Brown, Manu Garcia, Brandon Barker, James Horsfield all started while Agyepong was introduced in the second half as the play-off hopefuls beat Volendam 1-0 at home.

In Italy, Olivier Ntcham scored deep into stoppage time, curled in a last minute equaliser for Genoa to pick up a 1-1 draw at home with Bologna. The Frenchman struggled for minutes under Ivan Juric and now with the appointment of Andrea Mandorlini at Genoa, we could be seeing a lot more from Ntcham in the coming weeks. Joe Hart’s wait for a clean-sheet continues. The England number one was in action for Torino as his side came back from 2-0 down to pick up an impressive point away at Fiorentina. Despite conceding twice, Hart was pivotal as he made 5 saves to keep out the home side. The Torino keeper was under fire last week after conceding 4 goals away at Roma and is without a clean-sheet since the 8th January, a run which has seen him concede 17 goals in his last 8 games. A clean-sheet at home to relegation-threatened Palermo next Sunday will prove his critics wrong.

Meanwhile, in England, Jason Denayer wasn’t in action for Sunderland who fell to a 2-0 defeat away at Everton. The Belgian centre-half travelled with the squad, however was forced to miss out due to illness. Wilfried Bony continues to be excluded from the Stoke City squad. Since returning from the African Cup of Nations, the Ivorian forward is yet to make an appearance under Mark Hughes and was not named in the squad for Stoke’s 4-0 away defeat at Spurs. In the EFL Championship, Aaron Mooy starred again for Huddersfield who were held to a 1-1 draw at Barnsley. The Aussie midfielder picked up another assist as his corner was headed by Michael Hefele, the point keeps the Terriers 3rd in the league. Mooy will not be in action for the FA Cup replay against his parent club Manchester City on Wednesday as he is ineligible. In League 1, David Faupala started and featured with former City forward Ched Evans, however Gary Caldwell’s side fell to a 4-0 defeat at home to Oxford United. The relegation threatened side sit 23rd in League 1 and will be relying on Evans and Faupala to help them out of the relegation zone. In Scotland, Patrick Roberts was not included in the squad for Celtic’s 2-0 victory at home to Hamilton Academical.

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