It was a horrible weekend back in action for Everton after their warm weather training break. For their on-loan players though, there were more mixed fortunes.
We start with veteran Kevin Mirallas who was at his snide best during Olympiakos’ abandoned derby away at League leaders PAOK. A raucous pre-game ceremony saw objects flying in every direction from the home support, and as the teams lined up even before the final whistle, what looked like a toilet roll thrown from the stands hit Olympiakos manager Oscar Garcia in the face and he collapsed in a heap, with the game immediately called off.
An outraged Mirallas then made some rude gestures at the home fans, pointing at his genitals as he walked off the pitch, causing even further aggravation.
In Spain, Sandro Ramirez didn’t even make the squad as Sevilla were spanked soundly 5-2 at home by Atletico Madrid four days after holding Manchester United to a 0-0 draw at home in the first leg of their Round of 16 Champions League game. Sandro did feature in that game, getting off a shot after coming on for last five minutes.
Ademola Lookman got the start for RB Leipzig and helped put the hosts up early, making a lung-bursting run into the box and getting a touch on the ball that took it to the post with teammate Jean-Kévin Augustin banging home.
The youngster was subbed off on the hour mark, and his team then contrived to throw away the lead giving up two goals in twenty minutes to lose 2-1 to FC Cologne.
Anderlecht finally got back to winning ways with Lukasz Teodorczyk grabbing a hattrick in a 5-3 romp over Royal Excel Mouscron. Henry Onyekuru continues to sit out as he is still rehabilitating from his knee injury.
In England, Muhamed Besic would likely have approved of how his teammate Mirallas spoke his mind, and had himself an excellent game for Middlesbrough in a rollicking 3-3 draw at Sunderland that swung from side to side. Tyias Browning dropped to the bench after a couple of underwhelming performances and Brendan Galloway played for the Under-23s the day before.
The Bosnian bulldog laid on a perfect pass for Patrick Bamford to score and put Boro ahead with just over twenty minutes to play, but a wicked corner from former Blue Bryan Oviedo setup the Black Cats’ equalizer with five minutes of time added on already played as both sides finished with ten men.
Nottingham Forest finally decided to give youngster Kieran Dowell a break and the move immediately reaped rewards. The attacking midfielder looked off-colour in the midweek game against Reading and was yanked with an hour to go and Forest drew that game 1-1 with a late equalizer. Then on Saturday away at Queens Park Rangers Dowell was on the bench while his replacement Lee Tomlin tore it up with two goals and an assist as the Reds went up 3-1. Dowell came on and was subdued as the game ended 5-2 for the visitors.
Bolton Wanderers also picked up four points from their two games, winning 1-0 at home to Sunderland on Tuesday and then a scoreless draw away at Norwich over the weekend. Antonee Robinson was given a break for the first game but returned and was one of the Trotters’ best players over the weekend. After just his one appearance for Bolton soon after his loan deal was announced, Harry Charsley hasn’t been in the squad since.
Ipswich lost to high-flyers Cardiff City midweek after Callum Connolly was given an ill-advised rest, and then came back in a quiet performance as the Tractor Boys beat Preston away 1-0.
Midfielder Joe Williams put in a couple of tough-tackling performances as Barnsley lost at home to Burton 2-1, then won 2-0 away at Birmingham City.
Matthew Pennington dropped to the bench and didn’t appear to be missed as Leeds United drew 2-2 away at Derby and then won at home 1-0 against Brentford.
In League One action, Boris Mathis missed Northampton’s 0-0 draw against Oxford after being taken ill on Friday.
Substitute goalkeeper Louis Gray didn’t feature as Carlisle United enjoyed a successful week with two away wins, 3-1 at Barnet and 1-0 at Yeovil.
Finally, in the Irish Premier Division Sam Byrne is yet to make an appearance for Dundalk FC who stuttered to another scoreless draw.