City Loan Watch: Celina’s wonder strike, clean sheets for Gunn and Hart, Roberts’ Celtic return

Photo: Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

This week’s City Loan Watch covers yet another important weekend for the Blues out on loan around Europe.

In England, there was a series of wonder strikes which got fans off their seats. One of the most impressive came in the Championship where Bersant Celina hit a long range effort from outside of the box to force a late fight back for Ipswich Town against QPR. Inevitably, Celina’s strike was only to be a consolation goal as Mick McCarthy’s side lost 2-1 at Loftus Road. The Kosovan winger’s wonder goal was named Channel 5’s goal of the weekend and led to rallying calls from the Ipswich town faithful demanding Celina should start their next league game against Bolton.

Slowly making their way up the table are Norwich City who beat Birmingham City 1-0 at the weekend. Angus Gunn was in net for the home side and enjoyed a quiet afternoon, forced to make only one save as he picked up his second clean sheet of the season.

In League 1, there was another contender for goal of the weekend from City loanee Kean Bryan. The academy graduate bagged his first goal as a professional – a wonderful strike from outside of the box in the top left-hand corner to ensure Oldham picked up a point away at Fleetwood Town. Meanwhile, Rodney Kongolo started for Doncaster as they were defeated 1-0 at Northampton Town. While back in the Premier League in the Monday night match-up, Joe Hart finally broke his 23 game long streak without a clean sheet as West Ham beat Huddersfield 2-0 at the Olympic Stadium.

In Scotland, Patrick Roberts made his first appearance for Celtic since returning to the club for his third loan spell. The young English winger was back involved in the goals as he picked up an assist for Celtic’s fourth and final goal of the afternoon as they beat Hamilton Academical 4-1. Brandon Barker was also in action as he featured for Hibernian in their 1-1 draw at St Johnstone, while Aaron Nemane came on for the final four minutes in Rangers’ 4-1 victory over Dundee.

However, Ashley Smith-Brown continues to struggle to make an impact for Hearts. The young English full-back who spent last season on loan at NAC Breda was left on the bench for Hearts’ tie with Aberdeen. The 21-year-old year wing-back is yet to make his debut for the club.

In Holland, it was the same old story for NAC Breda as they continue to struggle to get to grips with life back in the Eredivisie. Our loanees Angelino, Pablo Mari, Manu Garcia, Paolo Fernandes and Thierry Ambrose all started as NAC Breda looked to secure their first victory of the season away at AZ Alkmaar, however that wasn’t to be the case. Two efforts after half time for the home side left NAC Breda chasing two goals and in the end proved to be one too many. The consolation goal came with five minutes to go as Giovanni Korte hit the back of the net from the rebound of Thierry Ambrose’s missed penalty. The defeat leaves NAC Breda 15th in the table with one point after four games. Their next opponents are FC Groningen who picked up a 1-1 draw against VVV Venlo.

Mexican starlet Uriel Antuna came off the bench in the second half to make his loan debut for the club after moving to Manchester City this summer from Santos Laguna. Meanwhile, Isaac Buckley-Ricketts made a 14 minute cameo for FC Twente this weekend who were beaten 1-0 at Sparta Rotterdam.

Over in Spain, there was a reality check for Girona as they were defeated 2-0 away to Athletic Club. Our sister club had been in good form going into their third game of the season, picking up four points from their opening two games, however strikes from Iker Muniain and Aduriz either side of half time inflicted Girona’s first ever defeat in the top flight. Pablo Maffeo started while Douglas Luiz and Olaranweju Kayode both came off the bench late in the second half. Aleix Garcia and Marlos Moreno were left out of the manager’s squad and did not travel to Bilbao.

In the second tier, Yaw Yeboah, who spent the season on loan at Feyenoord last year, officially made his debut for Real Oviedo who fell to a 1-0 defeat at home to Numancia.

Elsewhere in Turkey, Jason Denayer was back in action for Galatasaray since returning to Istanbul for a second season-long loan spell. He was brought off the bench as his side dropped points at Antalyaspor in a 1-1 draw. While in the MLS, Yangel Herrera remains on the side lines as he recovers from a groin injury. The Venezuelan midfielder watched on as New York City were left stunned falling to a 1-0 defeat at home to Colombus Crew.

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