Loan Watch: Kovar makes Sparta Prague debut
Manchester United goalkeeper Matej Kovar made his debut for Sparta Prague this weekend, the day after his new Reds contract and loan move to the Czech side was announced.
Kovar played the entirety of Saturday's 2-2 away draw at Teplice, where a double from the hosts’ forward Abdallah Gningue cancelled out Sparta Prague’s two-goal lead.
Strikes from Jakub Jankto and Tomas Cvancara had made it 2-0 to the visitors after 40 minutes, but Gningue scored in the 43rd and 83rd minutes to deny the United loanee a winning debut.
The draw leaves Sparta Prague in fourth place in the Czech First League, after eight fixtures, and Kovar will be hoping to help his side move up the table during the rest of the 2022/23 season.
In France, Eric Bailly came on as a half-time substitute in Marseille’s 2-1 home victory over LOSC Lille.
The Ivorian joined the action in place of Chancel Mbemba when the score was 1-1, following goals from Lille’s Ismaily and Marseille’s Alexis Sanchez – formerly of United of course.
Bailly's fellow centre-back Samuel Gigot slotted home following a free-kick just after the hour-mark, completing the turnaround for the hosts.
Marseille’s win over Lille followed their 2-0 midweek Champions League defeat away to Tottenham Hotspur, a game in which Bailly played the full 90 minutes.
The French side will be hoping for better fortunes in this week’s round of Champions League fixtures, when they host Europa League champions Eintracht Frankfurt on Tuesday.
Alex Telles also came on as a half-time substitute for his loan club this weekend, joining the fray midway through Sevilla’s 3-2 victory over Espanyol on Saturday.
The visitors took the lead within the first minute through former Spurs winger Erik Lamela, before Jose Angel Carmona added a further two goals.
Espanyol striker Joselu pulled one back from the penalty spot in first-half injury time, before Telles was introduced at the break with his team leading 3-1.
Former Barcelona forward Martin Braithwaite made it 3-2 on 62 minutes, and Lamela was sent off with six minutes to go, but Telles and Sevilla held on for a vital away win.
This victory was a welcome reaction for the Spanish side, who had been beaten 4-0 at home by Manchester City in the Champions League last week.
Sevilla travel to Copenhagen on Wednesday for their second Champions League group game, and Telles will no doubt be aiming to have a big impact and help the Spanish side record a positive result.
A 𝗠𝗔𝗦𝗦𝗜𝗩𝗘 WIN! ➕3⃣ pic.twitter.com/yIVUAED2PA— Sevilla FC (@SevillaFC_ENG) September 10, 2022