Loan watch: Bernard stands out, Amad scores
While many of Europe's top-flight leagues paused this weekend, several Manchester United loanees were in action at other levels across England and Scotland.
There were no fixtures for Axel Tuanzebe at Napoli, Brandon Williams at Norwich City or Facundo Pellistri at Deportivo Alaves, though the latter enjoyed a milestone week as he made his debut for the Uruguay national team.
In Scotland, it took Amad fewer than five minutes to find the back of the net on his debut for Rangers, as the Scottish Premiership leaders were held to a dramatic 3-3 draw by Ross County.
Handed the No.9 shirt, Amad tapped home a Joe Aribo cross to put Rangers in front and delighted Gers supporters with the rest of his proactive performance.
Amad Diallo makes an INSTANT impact! 🔥— Sky Sports Scotland (@ScotlandSky) January 29, 2022
The young Man Utd star has scored inside five minutes on his Rangers debut 🤯 pic.twitter.com/hTqBFEevxf
The Ivorian played 66 minutes for Giovanni van Bronckhorst's side, who now face a tough challenge for the title from old rivals Celtic. The Bhoys are now just two points behind and the two Glasgow clubs face off on Wednesday in the Old Firm derby. UK-based supporters who want to keep up with Amad’s progress can watch that fixture live on Sky Sports.
Make sure to listen out for strains of ABBA’s Voulez-Vous from the Rangers fans, who have put these words to the 1970s' pop song: "Diallo, aha. Running down the wing, aha. Hear the Rangers sing, aha. We're gonna win the league, aha."
Elsewhere in Scotland, Dylan Levitt faced late despair with Dundee United, who conceded in the last minute against Celtic. Levitt played in the centre of a three-man midfield.
In England's Championship, Di’Shon Bernard put in a stand-out performance for Hull City in the Tigers’ 2-0 win against Swansea City.
The 20-year-old’s ever-reliable defensive display was also marked by a key involvement in the home side’s second goal. Bernard won the ball back from his right-centre-back position, drove forward past two players and opened the game up for Hull, who duly capitalised as Keane Lewis-Potter converted George Honeyman’s cross.
The Hull Daily Mail delivered their verdict on Bernard post-match, writing: “Terrific driving run set up the second goal. Always seemed to be in the right place at the right time, reads the game so well at times.”
Teden Mengi’s Birmingham City side sit 17th in the division after a 2-2 draw against Derby County on Sunday. Mengi provided some crucial interventions at times but couldn’t stop Wayne Rooney’s Rams side finding two late goals to ensure the points were shared.
Although Lee Bowyer has played with a five-man defence for much of the season at Birmingham, he’s changed to a back four since Mengi’s arrival at the club.
James Garner assisted Keinan Davis’s late goal for Nottingham Forest but it proved no more than a consolation strike as Steve Cooper’s side were beaten 2-1 by Cardiff City.
Walsall fans were pleased with the performance of full-back Reece Devine, making his debut for his new side in Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Bristol Rovers. Devine drew a foul from Luca Hoole in the first half which saw Rovers reduced to 10 men due to a second yellow card, but the home team found a 90th-minute winner nevertheless.
Nathan Bishop kept a clean sheet as Mansfield beat Leyton Orient 2-0, while Ethan Galbraith was in action for Doncaster Rovers, who were beaten 3-1 by Plymouth Argyle.