Men's Team

Loan Watch: Roberts returns for Celtic

Loan Watch: Roberts returns for Celtic
In what was a tough weekend of results for Manchester City’s loan contingent, Patrick Roberts’ return from injury proved to be the highlight.

The winger made a 21-minute cameo and would have been the match-winner only for his 20-yard effort to cannon back off the crossbar as Celtic were held 0-0 at Motherwell.

After several months out, Roberts spoke of his delight at a return to action, telling “It was the longest four months of my life and it was great to get back out there, though it was a shame about the result.

“I have felt good in the training the last few weeks and I knew I would get on at some point and I was trying my best to get a goal but the bar got me.”

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Elsewhere, Angus Gunn was one of only two men to take three points this weekend, as his Norwich City side beat Reading 3-2.

Gunn played as the Canaries drew 1-1 with Barnsley in midweek and against the Royals, his side were indebted to him as he produced a fine save at full stretch to preserve their lead.

The young ‘keeper has now joined up with Aidy Boothroyd’s England U21 squad for the European Championship qualifier against Ukraine.

Gunn’s Championship colleagues, Bersant Celina and Jacob Davenport had no such luck, losing twice with Ipswich Town and Burton Albion, respectively.

The Kosovan midfielder started on a tough evening as the Tractor Boys lost 3-0 at home to Hull and at the weekend, he was introduced for the final 10 minutes in a 1-0 defeat at Bristol City.

Meanwhile, Davenport started in central midfield as the Brewers suffered defeats against Sheffield United and Wolves, though a slight knock saw the City youngster deployed up front in the closing stages against Wolves, with Burton having used all three substitutes.

In League One, Ash Smith-Brown helped Oxford United inflict a first defeat in eight on Peterborough, who lost 2-1 to the Us.

The City man played the full game at left-back as his side moved six points clear of the drop zone, while team-mate Isaac Buckley-Ricketts was an unused substitute.

Kean Bryan played in tough conditions which saw snow temporarily stop play as Oldham Athletic lost 2-0 at home to Portsmouth.

The 21-year-old adopted his usual centre-half berth as the Latics’ five-game unbeaten run came to an end, though he did go close with a free-kick.

On the continent, Aaron Nemane was the only Blue to avoid defeat, coming off the bench in Go Ahead Eagles’ 1-1 drew with Telstar.

The group at NAC Breda fell to 1-0 defeat at home to fellow relegation battlers Roda JC, in what was their first defeat for three games.

Angelino, Pablo Mari, Manu Garcia and Thierry Ambrose all started, while Paolo Fernandes came off the bench to replace the French striker with half-an-hour remaining.

It was a frustrating home defeat for Breda, with Angelino commenting: “Unfortunately we did not deserve to win. I think we started reasonably and we created enough chances to take the lead. We do not just finish them We need to deal more effectively with our chances.”

In Spain, Pablo Maffeo featured as Girona put up a spirited display against Real Madrid.

The young full-back, who has won admirers in La Liga this season, started in the 6-3 defeat but was taken off for winger, Aday Benitez, as Girona tried to force a way back into the game.