Loan Watch: Garner impresses
Following the international break, seven United loanees appeared for their clubs over the weekend, with James Garner’s assured display in Nottingham Forest’s win at Blackpool standing out.
Garner has gone from strength to strength since his second loan move to Forest in the summer, and, once again, proved to be an effective midfield general for the promotion-chasing Championship side.
Despite not gaining a goal or an assist on this occasion, the England Under-21 international displayed his composure and class in his usual central midfield role alongside Ryan Yates. Garner and Yates provided a strong platform from which Forest’s attacking players went on to score four goals and dispatch their hosts comfortably.
An impressive brace for Brennan Johnson and goals from Sam Surridge and Philip Zinckernagel put the game beyond doubt before Callum Connolly gained a consolation for Blackpool in the closing stages.
James Garner's game by numbers vs Blackpool:— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) April 2, 2022
100% succesful dribbles (1/1)
79% pass accuracy (23/29)
75% cross accuracy (3/4)
47 total touches
5 interceptions made
3 chances created
Continuing the good form. 👀🔥 pic.twitter.com/zgX9M9vQhY
Tahith Chong was involved in another Championship victory, as Birmingham City overcame West Bromwich Albion 1-0 at home, with a Lyle Taylor penalty.
Chong came off after 56 minutes, as he is eased back after a long lay-off, following the triggering of an extension to his United contract. "Just a bit of tightness,” Blues boss Lee Bowyer said. “He wanted to carry on but I didn’t want to take any risks with him so I said: ‘No, come off’. I think he is a good player but has obviously been unlucky this season with his injury.
"It was a freak one so he didn't play as much football as Chongy or United would have liked so I can understand why they have done that [extended the contract] because he is a big talent."
Donny van de Beek was forced to withdraw from Everton's 2-1 defeat to West Ham United due to an injury in the warm-up, which means he is doubtful for the vital midweek clash with Burnley. The Dutchman is ineligible to face the Reds next weekend, of course.
In Scotland, Dylan Levitt helped Dundee United to a 1-1 draw with Hibernian in the Scottish Premier League.
The Wales international played the full 90 minutes and saw his side take home a point after Ross Graham’s opener for the Tangerines was cancelled out by Harry Clarke’s equaliser.
Anthony Martial started and played 82 minutes in Sevilla’s 1-0 defeat away to Barcelona on Sunday, a result that leaves Sevilla fourth in La Liga, level on points with their hosts.
In another Spanish encounter, Facundo Pellistri came on as a second-half substitute as Alaves were beaten 4-1 away to Atletico Madrid.
Pellistri joined the action with 12 minutes left on the clock, but Alaves couldn’t find a way back into the match against Diego Simeone's in-form side.
A tough one to take on a night where the team had many chances. pic.twitter.com/QqnLwb7lYz— Sevilla FC (@SevillaFC_ENG) April 3, 2022
Keeper Nathan Bishop produced another clean sheet for Mansfield Town, as the League Two side won 1-0 against Northampton Town.
The important win means that Mansfield now sit sixth in the league, as they continue their push for promotion to League One.
Finally, it wasn’t such a positive weekend for Doncaster Rovers, as the South Yorkshire side were defeated 3-0 away to Wycombe Wanderers.
United loanee Ethan Galbraith came off the bench in that match, but by that point, the result was already beyond doubt.