EPL

Man Utd loan Pellistri to Alaves again despite positive pre-season

By Sports Desk August 05, 2021

Manchester United have allowed talented youngster Facundo Pellistri to re-join LaLiga side Deportivo Alaves on loan for the 2021-22 season.

Pellistri, 19, joined United from Penarol in his native Uruguay last October before moving to Alaves in January for the second half of 2020-21 in search of first-team football.

He featured 12 times in Spain's top flight, five appearances coming as a starter, with Alaves ultimately finishing 16th and avoiding relegation.

Pellistri returned to Old Trafford for pre-season and enjoyed a fairly prominent role with many of United's attacking players yet to return from international duty.

He scored a lovely goal that turned out to be the winner in the 2-1 friendly victory over Wayne Rooney's Derby County, before teeing up Jesse Lingard against QPR and also appearing for the best part of 30 minutes at home to Brentford.

His performances led some fans to suggest Pellistri could be a viable option in the United first-team in 2021-22, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer always hinted another loan move was likely – with Jadon Sancho, Mason Greenwood and Amad Diallo all seemingly ahead of him in the pecking order on the right flank, a temporary departure has come to pass.

The teenager will hope to have slightly more of an impact on the pitch at Alaves in 2021-22 than last season, however.

While his talent on the ball was obvious, his 2.5 successful dribbles per game more than any other player in the squad between January 1 and the end of the season, creatively he struggled to be influential.

Pellistri only averaged 0.33 chances created per 90 minutes – among the outfield Alaves players to feature for more than 20 minutes after January 1, only six players were less effective at picking out key passes.

Related items

  • Rangers 0-2 Lyon: Gerrard's milestone European match ends in defeat Rangers 0-2 Lyon: Gerrard's milestone European match ends in defeat

    Steven Gerrard's 50th European match as a manager ended in defeat as Rangers were beaten 2-0 by Lyon in their Europa League opener.

    Having reached the last 16 in each of the previous two Europa League campaigns, Rangers were looking to make home advantage count against what look set to be their toughest rivals in Group A.

    But Lyon – whose previous European match was a Champions League semi-final defeat to Bayern Munich in 2020 – had too much quality on Thursday.

    Karl Toko Ekambi's 23rd-minute stunner put Lyon ahead, with James Tavernier's own goal condemning Rangers to their first ever Europa League group stage defeat at Ibrox.

    Connor Goldson could easily have been dismissed for a reckless challenge on Toko Ekambi in the 13th minute as Lyon settled quicker, though the visiting forward showed no signs of being hindered with an exceptional opener.

    Having been given time to approach the area, Toko Ekambi fooled John Lundstram with some fine footwork before curling a sublime finish across Allan McGregor and into the bottom-right corner.

    Joe Aribo stinging the palms of Anthony Lopes sparked the home crowd into life, and Lundstram almost atoned for his part in Lyon's opener with a low strike that flashed inches wide.

    Lopes had to be at his best to keep Ryan Kent, though Islam Slimani might have put Lyon 2-0 up on the stroke of half-time had he connected with Malo Gusto's cross.

    Yet Lyon struck again early in the second half. Rangers were cut open by Lucas Paqueta's pass and though Slimani's effort was blocked, the rebound bounced in off the unfortunate Tavernier.

    Tavernier was inches away from dragging Rangers back into it with a superb free-kick, only for the post to come to Lyon's rescue as Gerrard's milestone match in Europe proved a disappointing one.

    What does it mean? Ibrox no fortress for Rangers

    Of his 50 European matches in charge, Gerrard has won 25, drawn 16 and lost nine, with his team conceding 48 times in total.

    Rangers had never lost a Europa League group game at Ibrox before Thursday's defeat, though including qualifiers, they have now lost three of their past four home matches in European competition, and Gerrard will need to find a way to turn that around if they are to mount a challenge in this tournament.

    Toko Ekambi's quality shines through

    With Memphis Depay now at Barcelona, Toko Ekambi – who scored 14 Ligue 1 goals last season – has the chance to assert himself as a major threat for Lyon this season.

    He had failed to score in his five Ligue 1 appearances prior to the trip to Glasgow, but his finish – from one of his two attempts – was a sign of the quality the former Villarreal forward has in his locker. It could well kick-start his campaign.

    Goldson caught cold

    Just back from injury, Goldson looked way off the pace at the centre of Rangers' defence, with his early booking for a lunge on Toko Ekambi limiting his impact even further. 

    He was still typically combative, winning possession back on seven occasions – a joint team-high – but it often looked as though Slimani had the beating of him.

    What's next?

    Rangers are back at Ibrox on Sunday, hosting Motherwell, while Lyon face the small task of an away trip to Paris Saint-Germain in their next Ligue 1 outing.

  • Leicester City 2-2 Napoli: Osimhen double earns dramatic comeback point Leicester City 2-2 Napoli: Osimhen double earns dramatic comeback point

    Victor Osimhen completed a late double to bring Napoli from behind and salvage a 2-2 draw against Leicester City, who finished the game with 10 men.

    Napoli were behind after just nine minutes thanks to Ayoze Perez's first goal in 15 games in the Europa League Group C opener at the King Power Stadium.

    Harvey Barnes set up the opener and looked to have wrapped the three points up for Leicester in the 64th minute, but Osimhen got them back in the game with a beautiful lob over Kasper Schmeichel.

    Osimhen then headed home a dramatic equaliser in the 87th minute to maintain Napoli's unbeaten start to the season, with Wilfred Ndidi shown a second yellow card in stoppage time to compound a disappointing end to the game for Leicester.

  • The Rugby Championship 2021: The Breakdown - Hooper to make history as Springboks eye revenge The Rugby Championship 2021: The Breakdown - Hooper to make history as Springboks eye revenge

    South Africa will attempt to spoil Michael Hooper's record-breaking Australia appearance when the Springboks go on a Rugby Championship revenge mission on Saturday.

    Hooper will captain the Wallabies for a 60th time at Suncorp Stadium, surpassing the number of times George Gregan led Australia out.

    A special occasion for the skipper will come six days after Quade Cooper marked his international return by kicking a dramatic winning penalty against the Boks on the Gold Coast.

    Holders South Africa were consigned to a stunning 28-26 defeat in Queensland and trail leaders New Zealand by five points.

    Australia are unbeaten in six Tests against the Springboks on home soil ahead of the round-four showdown, after achieving their first win of this year's tournament last weekend.

    The All Blacks have maximum points from three matches and can take another stride towards regaining the title by beating Argentina.

    Here, Stats Perform uses Opta facts to preview the Rugby Championship double-header in Brisbane.


    AUSTRALIA V SOUTH AFRICA

    Form

    South Africa will be looking to avoid back-to-back defeats in men's Tests for the first time since November 2018.

    Australia have not won back-to-back Tests since October 2019 and may need to show their staying power once again to get their hands on the Nelson Mandela Challenge Plate.

    Dave Rennie's side have scored 27 points in the final quarter of games in this tournament, more than any other quarter of a match.

    Nic White, James Slipper and Taniela Tupou come into the Australia team. Jacques Nienaber makes three changes to South Africa's matchday squad, with Marvin Orie and Trevor Nyakane starting. Cheslin Kolbe is not ready to return from injury.

     

    Ones to watch

    Andrew Kellaway scored Australia's only try in last week's win over the world champions.

    The wing is the joint-leading try-scorer in the tournament with three, alongside David Havili and Malcolm Marx. 

    With Lood de Jager absent due to concussion, Orie takes over at lock for South Africa.

    De Jager has won a competition-high 22 lineouts, including three steals, so Orie has big shoes to fill.

     

    ARGENTINA V NEW ZEALAND

    Form

    The All Blacks dished out a 39-0 thrashing to Argentina in round three, Luke Jacobson scoring two of their five tries.

    New Zealand have kept the Pumas scoreless in each of their past two meetings and have only failed to beat them in two of 32 previous encounters.

    Argentina have lost three consecutive Tests, having lost only twice in their 10 prior to that run.

    Joe Moody comes into a much-changed All Blacks side and Ardie Savea returns as captain, while Samisoni Taukei'aho makes his first Test start. Patrick Tuipulotu and Ofa Tuungafasi are also among the starters.

    Santiago Carreras starts for Argentina at fly-half, while Pablo Matera takes the number eight shirt as Mario Ledesma makes six changes.

     

    Ones to watch

    The versatile Damian McKenzie gets the chance to start a second Test at fly-half for the All Blacks.

    Playmaker McKenzie can put on a show at number 10 and pull the strings in tandem with scrum-half TJ Perenara.

    Pumas captain Julian Montoya won three turnovers in the defeat to the All Blacks last weekend and his tally of four is twice as many as any other player in the tournament.

    Montoya has not missed any of his 40 tackles in the competition.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.