The end is near for many of the City stars out on loan as we enter the final weeks of the season before they head back to Manchester, and this weekend has proved to be another vital one for our players across Europe.
We start in Scotland where Patrick Roberts has been in the thick of the action as he helped fire his side to an incredible 43 games unbeaten with a brace in Celtic’s 4-1 victory over St Johnstone. The young English winger has enjoyed a successful 18-month long loan spell up in Scotland and his goals on Saturday helped him to increase his overall tally to 15 goals and 19 assists in 56 appearances for Celtic, a remarkable record to bring back to the Etihad.
Moreover, his recent performances have seen his team-mates heap praise; including former Manchester City centre-back Dedryck Boyata affirming that “he deserves to play at the biggest level in the world”. I speak for all City fans in saying that we look forward to Roberts being given the opportunity to impress Pep in pre-season and hope he can force his way into the first team.
Celtic 4-1 St Johnstone
🗓6th May 2017
— ㅤ (@CelticBible) May 6, 2017
In the Premier League, Jason Denayer featured for already-relegated Sunderland in midfield once again instead of his natural defensive position as his side gave the fans something to cheer about with a 2-0 away win over Hull City. Meanwhile, in the Championship, Aaron Mooy’s Huddersfield go into the Championship play-off semi-finals on a worrying run of form. David Wagner’s side fell to a 3-0 defeat at home to Cardiff City, resulting in their third defeat in the last four games. Huddersfield comfortably finished in the play-offs in 5th position on 81 points for the season and face Sheffield Wednesday in the first leg of the semi-final.
In Spain, Eliaquim Mangala started for Valencia as they battered already-relegated Osasuna 4-1 at the Mestalla. The Frenchman has been in impressive form for Valencia this season and according to the Daily Star has attracted interest from Real Madrid. Samir Nasri was also back in action for Sevilla as they dropped more points at home in a 1-1 draw with Real Sociedad. The Frenchman was subbed off after 81 minutes as Jorge Sampaoli sought fresh ideas in an attempt to find a late winner. Marlos Moreno also made a rare appearance for Deportivo La Coruna. The Colombian winger was substituted on in the 71st minute but was unable to make an impact as the relegation candidates fell to a 2-1 defeat at home to Espanyol. In the second tier, affiliate side Girona moved one step closer to promotion to La Liga with a 3-1 victory over play-off hopefuls Huesca, but Pablo Maffeo wasn’t named in the match day squad for the game. While for Angeliño, the great escape is on for Mallorca. His side seemed all but relegated a few weeks ago, however back to back wins have seen his side move just 3 points off safety after they beat Elche 1-0 at the Iberostar Estadio.
In Italy, Joe Hart featured in Derby della Molle, the local derby held between two of Italy’s most famous clubs, Torino and Juventus. The match was held at the Juventus Stadium and it seemed that 10-man Torino were on the verge of a famous victory before being dealt a devastating blow through Gonzalo Higuain’s last-gasp strike. His injury time equaliser meant that Joe Hart’s wait for a clean-sheet now extends to 17 games. Meanwhile, since the return of Ivan Juric at Genoa, on-loan midfielder Olivier Ntcham has lost his first-team spot and was forced to watch from the sidelines as they picked up an impressive 1-0 win over Inter Milan.
Big players = big moments…🙌
Gonzalo Higuain snatches an injury-time point for Juventus in style! pic.twitter.com/ayxCLdjX7S
— BT Sport Football (@btsportfootball) May 6, 2017
In Holland, the trio of Enes Ünal, Bersant Celina and Yaw Yeboah featured for FC Twente as they fell to a shock 1-0 defeat to Sparta Rotterdam. The season comes to an end in Holland next week and it is expected that both Ünal and Yeboah will be making their final appearances for the club against Groningen. Oleksandr Zinchenko, following comments about his stay at PSV last week, wasn’t selected to play PSV’s 1-1 draw at Groningen or even for the reserve side Jong PSV. It has truly been a disappointing loan spell for the Ukrainian midfielder and he will look forward to travelling back to Manchester soon to meet up with Guardiola and the development squad. In the second tier, affiliate side NAC Breda secured a play-off spot with a 2-0 away victory at Almere City. On-loan midfielder Thomas Agyepong opened the scoring on 16 minutes for the away side while Manu Garcia and James Horsfield also started as they clinched 5th place in the Eerste Divisie.