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Everton Loans Recap: Besic debuts for Boro with booking, quiet weekend otherwise

How did Everton’s on-loan contingent do this weekend?

Muhamed Besic is booked on debut
Middlesbrough FC

With Everton out of action and away in Dubai, the Toffees’ loanees had a slow weekend themselves, with goals and wins hard to come by.

Kevin Mirallas returned to action, playing a full ninety minutes after suffering a shoulder contusion last weekend and leaving the game. Olympiakos beat Panionios 1-0 to stay in third, four points behind AEK Athens and six adrift of leaders PAOK Thessaloniki.

Sandro Ramirez played just over 45 minutes, coming on as a sub for injured left winger Joaquín Correa in a 2-1 win for Sevilla away at Las Palmas. The result keeps them in fifth-place, one point ahead of Villareal in sixth. The forward was unable to muster and shots or key passes in his time on the pitch, and it remains to be seen if he will be used on Wednesday’s first leg of the Champions League Round of 16 fixture against Manchester United.

Young winger Ademola Lookman got a starting spot in Red Bull Leipzig’s Monday night game against Eintracht Frankfurt in a sloppy, bad-tempered game which had everything but good defending. By everything I mean everything, including a penalty given and then taken away by VAR, a mass brawl at halftime and the pitch being peppered with tennis balls and festooned with toilet paper.

Anderlecht continued their recent slide, losing again this time to St. Truiden and deepening the crisis at the Belgian club as Henry Onyekuru continues to watch from the sidelines.

Back in England, Muhamed Besic finally made his first appearance for Middlesbrough and marked it with an indifferent performance capped off with a booking (of course). He started the game at Cardiff City and mostly invisible as the left midfielder in a 4-3-3 - Besic in fact had no defensive or offensive contributions apart from 2 accurate long balls and a foul before he was hauled off after an hour as Boro went on to lose 1-0.

Wingback Antonee Robinson endured a bad week, with Bolton Wanderers losing two consecutive away games 2-0. At Cardiff, he was one of the better Trotters on the evening but two early goals for the hosts put paid to Bolton’s chances. He was decent enough against Queens Park Rangers pumping in four crosses in vain. With Bolton’s injury crisis in midfield now over, Harry Charsley has not been involved in the last few games.

Sunderland slumped to yet another defeat despite switching to a four-man backline, with Tyias Browning having an unimpressive day that saw him yanked off at the break. Brendan Galloway did not make squad in the 2-0 home loss to Brentford.

Callum Connolly gave a good, strong-tackling account of himself in Ipswich Town’s 1-1 draw away at Norwich City. The fullback-turned-midfielder looked to have led his side to a win too, only to see the Canaries equalize in the 4th minute of time added on at the end of the game.

Nottingham Forest rested Kieran Dowell but were unable to find a win, drawing 0-0 away at Burton. The 20-year-old did come on in the 89th minute and still managed to find enough time to touch the ball once, get offside and even foul an opponent for a yellow card.

Matthew Pennington had an ordinary game playing right centre half for Leeds United, with the hosts falling behind 2-0 early to visitors Bristol City. They clawed it back in the second half to tie it 2-2 late, but the Lilywhites are winless in nine games and their hopes of making the season-end promotion playoffs are looking very faint.

Joe Williams was out of action as Barnsley had the weekend off.

Boris Mathis made his debut for Northampton Town, coming on as a late substitute in a 1-2 loss against Gillingham. He didn’t feature in the weekend’s 2-2 draw at Scunthorpe. Goalkeeper Louis Gray was on the bench for Carlisle United as they won one and lost one of their games, sitting in thirteenth place in League 2.

Finally, Sam Byrne made his debut for Dundalk as the Irish Premier Division kicked off over the weekend. The Republic of Ireland youth international forward came on as a late substitute in a 0-0 draw against Bray Wanderers.