Manchester United’s Javier Hernandez and Sam Johnstone were in action for their respective loan clubs on Tuesday evening. Hernandez was started by Carlo Ancelotti in their UEFA Champions League group stage match against Ludogorets and Johnstone started in the Johnstone’s Pain Trophy Northern Section quarter-final. There are other player in action throughout the week, we will update you on their progress when they play.
Here is how I feel the players fared on Tuesday evening:
Javier Hernandez – Real Madrid
Javier Hernandez played the full match in the 4-0 victory over Ludogorets in the UEFA Champions League. Real Madrid earned a total of 18 points in their group this season, winning every match, scoring 16 goals and conceding twice. Hernandez has been in the headlines recently about his playing time at the loan club, something he must have known about before he made the temporary move away from Old Trafford. On Tuesday evening he had his chance to impress boss Carlo Ancelotti. The Mexican striker had four shots on goal, three were saved by the Ludogorets keeper, one was off target. His pass success was 80% and he created a chance on the 23rd minute with a key pass, which came to nothing.
Playing against a side that were bottom of the group, with a shaky defence, you would have thought it would have been easy for Hernandez to find the back of the net, but it seemed to hard for him. Granted, he had four shots, three could have gone in for him, but the fact remains they didn’t. I don’t think he will be pushing Karim Benzema out of the team anytime soon. He will most likely be a late substitute, like he has recently, playing between one and five minutes at the end of the match. It is a shame as many United supporters still adore him, but he needs to find some form, or he will be shipped out, which is probably already determined.
Next Match: Almeíra – La Liga – Friday 12th December 2014; KO 19:45
Sam Johnstone – Doncaster Rovers
Sam Johnstone played 90 minutes in the 1-0 defeat to Nots County in the Johnstone’s Pain Trophy Northern Section quarter-final at the Keepmoat Stadium on Tuesday evening. Doncaster Rovers won the trophy back in 2007 beating Bristol City 3-2 at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, but there was not to be any glory this season. Incidentally, the Rovers face Bristol City in the third round of the FA Cup in January, so they still have a cup tournament to play in. Johnstone did well during the match, making a couple of clearances. The United youth goalkeeper is a promising talent, earning first team football at lest until January with the Rovers, with a longer loan spell seemingly on the cards, depending on whether Ben Amos stays at the club after the closure of the January transfer window as his contract expires in the summer.
Johnstone was unlucky in the 73rd minute after Liam Noble found the back of the net for County. Just three minutes later it could have been game over, but Johnstone parried a Garry Thompson shot away from goal, saving his team something and giving them all to play for. Kyle Bennett could have equalised for the Rovers on the 83rd minute, but former United goalkeeper Roy Carroll held on to the ball safely. In the same minute County could have bagged another through Jake Cassidy, but he was off target to the left of the goal. Liam Noble had a shot five minutes from time, but his effort was well over the crossbar. Former United striker Alan Smith was also in action for County, with Kevin Pilkington, another former United goalkeeper, on the bench.
Next Match: Gillingham – League One – Saturday 13th December 2014; KO 15:00