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Loan watch: Pain in Spain for Roque

Roque Santa Cruz

Roque Santa Cruz

Roque Santa Cruz's time on loan is beginning to prove disastrous as his Real Betis side slipped to a tenth consecutive game without a win.

Despite winning their opening four fixtures, Betis lost 2-1 at Osasuna this weekend – the Paraguayan playing the whole game - and they now sit just one place off the drop-zone having taken only one point from the last 30 available.

Vladimir Weiss' own Spanish venture isn't quite going according to plan either as his side suffered a 2-1 loss at Valencia. The winger is now a regular fixture for La Liga's 10th placed side but they are without a win in five.

Meanwhile, Abdi Ibrahim grabbed himself a goal as NEC Nijmegan came from behind on three occasions to snatch a 3-3 draw at Groningen. The midfielder's goal came just two minutes after the hosts had opened the scoring and his side stole a point in the final minutes of the game with a last-minute equaliser.

Swedish striker John Guidetti played 74 minutes for Feyenoord as they claimed the scalp of second placed PSV with a 2-0 win, but Columbian keeper David Gonzalez was dropped to the bench for Aberdeen for their game against Kilmarnock. It ended in defeat and the Dons have dropped to the foot of the Scottish Premier League.

Tottenham's recent resurgence means Emmanuel Adebayor and company may soon be breathing down City's necks at the top of the Premier League. Manu played 90 minutes for Spurs as they beat Dedryck Boyata's Bolton 3-0 in what was their sixth consecutive league victory. Boyata returned from injury for the Trotters and adopted a new position at full back.

Ben Mee and Kieran Trippier were on hand as Burnley's emphatic revival continued with a shock 2-1 win at Upton Park. The Clarets came from a goal behind to take all three points, which catapulted them into the top ten following three back-to-back victories.

Only goal difference separates three City loanees in their battle to avoid the Championship drop. Ryan McGivern's Bristol City lost their first game in seven as Alex Nimely’s Middlesbrough scored a last minute rocket to win 1-0 – Nimely an unused substitute - while Greg Cunningham's Nottingham Forest also suffered an injury time defeat against Brighton.

That 1-0 loss plunged Forest into the bottom three to the relief of Reece Wabara's Ipswich, who without the City defender surrendered the lead to suffer a 2-1 home defeat against Watford.

In FA Cup action, Chris Chantler made his Football League debut as an 88th minute substitute in Carlisle’s meeting with League One leaders Charlton and while Chantler’s side were dumped out 2-0, Luca Scapuzzi played 71 minutes for Oldham as the Latics earned a replay with League Two high fliers Southend.

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City host United in FA Cup third round

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Platt hails Nasri display


David Platt hailed Samir Nasri’s display in the 5-1 win over Norwich City and then warned Blues fans not to expect a goals avalanche every week.

First Team News

Gearing up for Norwich photo gallery