Loan Watch: Big wins for Laird and Henderson
Manchester United Academy graduates Ethan Laird and Dean Henderson both put in impressive performances for their respective loan clubs at the weekend, contributing to huge results in both the Championship and the Premier League.
Laird, currently on loan at Queens Park Rangers, played the full 90 minutes of his side’s 2-1 home win over Wigan Athletic on Saturday.
The victory means QPR remain at the top of the Championship, level on points with Blackburn Rovers but with a game in hand over the Lancashire club.
After a short injury lay-off, Laird returned to the Hoops' starting XI in last Wednesday's 3-0 home win over Cardiff City, and the right-back will be looking to continue contributing superb displays to what is shaping up to be an eye-catching season for Michael Beale's side.
In the Premier League, Henderson was in top form for Nottingham Forest once more, as Steve Cooper’s side followed up the midweek draw at Brighton with a notable 1-0 win over Liverpool at the City Ground.
Following Taiwo Awoniyi’s second-half opener, the goalkeeper on loan from United was instrumental in keeping Forest’s clean sheet, making a series of superb saves over the 90 minutes - most notably an incredible stop from Virgil van Dijk in the closing stages.
This save is UNREAL! 🤤— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) October 22, 2022
The 92nd minute as Liverpool pile on the pressure, Dean Henderson does this to deny Virgil van Dijk.
Take a bow 👏 pic.twitter.com/Pz5doHlfZA
After the big win, Henderson’s team-mate Ryan Yates heaped praise on the United loanee.
“They had two chances at the end [but] Dean was unbelievable, top drawer. He knows he’s a top keeper and we know that, and that’s back-to-back clean sheets.”
Saturday was bittersweet for another loanee, Amad, who scored his first goal for Sunderland in a 4-2 home loss to Burnley.
The winger opened the scoring at the Stadium of Light after just 16 minutes, slotting home from Jack Clarke’s square ball, before Dan Neil doubled the hosts’ lead after just 20.
However, the visitors came back strong in the second half to score four goals and turn the game on its head, leaving the Black Cats 14th in the Championship table.
Happy for the goal, disappointed with the result 😤😤. pic.twitter.com/dEyKDDItDS— Amad🇨🇮 (@Amaddiallo_19) October 22, 2022
Also in the Championship, Hannibal came on in the 63rd minute of Birmingham City’s 2-1 away loss to Blackburn.
The Reds midfielder, who has made a big impact since moving to the Midlands on loan, joined the action with the score at 2-0 to Blackburn, following first-half goals from Sam Gallagher and Adam Wharton.
But despite Hannibal helping his side halve the deficit, through a Scott Hogan goal, the visitors couldn’t get a second and tasted defeat for the first time in four matches.
A narrow defeat. 😔 pic.twitter.com/ObPCm374Oi— Birmingham City FC (@BCFC) October 22, 2022
After the loss, Birmingham manager John Eustace explained why Hannibal began the game on the bench instead of the starting XI.
“The way he has played in the last couple of games has been phenomenal," he said of the Tunisia International.
"He has broken records for total distance, all that kind of stuff.
“It was also important we used the squad. [Juninho] Bacuna came in today and did well and Hannibal came on for that last half-hour and was very good. I have said it is a squad game, everyone will be used, we are certainty stretched at the moment but it's important everyone gets that opportunity to play and feel wanted."
Alvaro Fernandez also tasted defeat in the second tier, with the left-back playing the full 90 minutes of Preston’s 4-2 away loss to Blackpool.
Ethan Galbraith was in League Two action on Saturday, playing 57 minutes of Salford City’s 2-0 home loss to Stockport. The Ammies also play this evening, travelling to Hartlepool, again in League Two.
In Europe, Alex Telles and Matej Kovar also had difficult days on the road, with Sevilla being beaten 3-1 by Real Madrid and Sparta Prague succumbing to a 4-0 loss at Slavia Praha, respectively.