Chris Smalling in action for Roma against Lecce

Loan watch: Clean sheet for Smalling

Manchester United defender Chris Smalling put in a man-of-the-match performance to help his loan club Roma beat Lecce 1-0 on Sunday.

Smallingwho made his first start for the Giallorossi in last Wednesday's 2-0 home defeat to Atalanta, was on the winning side this time around as Edin Dzeko's 56th-minute strike proved to be enough to seal all three points and move the capital club up to fifth in the Serie A table.

Elsewhere in Italy, Alexis Sanchez scored on his first start for Inter Milan as Antonio Conte's side kept up their 100 per cent record with a 3-1 win at Sampdoria.

Alexis Sanchez celebrates after scoring for Inter Milan at Sampdoria
Sanchez scored - and was then sent off - in Inter's 3-1 win at Sampdoria.

After helping to deflect Stefano Sensi's shot into the goal for the Nerazzurri, the Chilean then tapped in to make it 2-0 midway through the first half.

Sanchez blotted his copybook just after the break when he was sent off after being shown a second yellow card for diving, but despite Jakob Jankto pulling a goal back for the hosts, Roberto Gagliardini's strike ensured the 18-time Scudetto winners remain two points clear of Juventus at the summit of Serie A.

Our on-loan goalkeepers had mixed experiences this weekend, with Dean Henderson unfortunate to be on the losing side in Sheffield United’s game against Liverpool.

Georginio Wijnaldum’s speculative effort squirmed under the 22-year-old with just 20 minutes to go, after the Blades had previously kept Jurgen Klopp’s men at bay.

Joel Pereira kept his first clean sheet for Hearts in the Jambos’ 0-0 draw at St Mirren, three days after helping the Edinburgh club progress to the Betfred Cup semi-final.

The Portuguese didn’t have a great deal to do on Saturday, with the home side failing to register a shot on target during the game.

Pereira's fellow keeper Alex Fojticek was on the winning side as Stalybridge Celtic won 1-0 at Witton Albion in the Northern Premier League, but Kieran O’Hara and Jacob Carney did not play for their respective loan clubs.

O’Hara’s team, Burton Albion - who knocked Bournemouth out of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday - were due to host Bury, but the Shakers were, of course, expelled from League One last month.

Meanwhile Carney missed Stocksbridge Park Steels’ 1-0 defeat at Belper Town, in the Northern Premier League's South-East Division, through injury and will now return to United after his loan spell at the Sheffield club came to an end.

Alex Fojticek
Alex Fojticek kept a clean sheet in Stalybridge Celtic's win at Witton Albion.

In League One, Ethan Hamilton played 82 minutes in Southend United’s 1-0 home defeat to Accrington Stanley.

Former Reds striker Henrik Larsson, who has been linked with the vacant manager’s position at Roots Hall, was once again in attendance, but Callum Bishop netted the only goal of the game to consign the Shrimpers to their eighth loss of the campaign.

Cameron Borthwick-Jackson was not involved in Tranmere Rovers’ 4-1 reverse at league leaders Ipswich Town.

George Tanner in action for Manchester United Under-23s
George Tanner once again played the full 90 minutes for Morecambe.

In League Two, George Tanner’s Morecambe secured a vital 2-2 draw against Northampton Town thanks to an injury-time strike from Kevin Ellison.

Our young left-back played the full 90 minutes for the League Two strugglers, who sit 22nd in the table, two points clear of Stevenage in the division’s only relegation spot.

Finally, in Norway, Aidan Barlow missed Tromso’s 4-0 defeat at local rivals FK Bodo/Glimt.

A third consecutive defeat for The Boys leaves them one point above Mjondalen, who have a game in hand, in the relegation play-off place.

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