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Loan Report: Mannone’s Easy Game, McNulty Scores Again

The season’s over for Reading, but not for all of our loanees around the world.

Minnesota United FC v New York Red Bulls Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Vito Mannone will probably be wishing most games for the rest of his career are as easy as the game he played last Sunday, when Minnesota United hosted Columbus Crew in a game that ended 1-0 to the home side. It was largely one-way traffic for the majority of the game, with Vito not having to make a single save for the entire contest. Despite their dominance, it took Minnesota until the 70th minute to break the deadlock, but it was mostly a case of when and not if they would score.

Mixed emotions this past weekend for Sone Aluko, as he made a fantastic start to the game scoring after just two minutes away from home, but his Beijing Renhe side ended the match on the wrong end of a 3-1 scoreline at the hands of former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Moussa Dembele and his Guangzhou R&F team. It’s been a worrying start to the season for Beijing Renhe. After the first ten games, they find themselves bottom with just five points, but they are only two points adrift.

Two games in a matter of days for Ludogorets sees them heading into the final day of the season one point in front of title rivals CSKA Sofia. I’ve mentioned the poor discipline record in Bulgaria before, so you would be forgiven for thinking that Joey was the one out on loan there.

The first of the games over the weekend for Ludogorets saw them draw 1-1 with Levski Sofia in a contest that had three red cards. Adrian Popa was brought off just after the hour while he was on a yellow card, which was probably a wise idea from the manager considering the two red cards for his team were still yet to come. Popa was an unused substitute in the second match in a few days as Ludogorets won 2-0 away from home at Botev Plovdiv.

A good way to leave a lasting impression during a loan spell is to score a goal on the final day of the season, and that’s exactly what Marc McNulty did at Hibs. The Scottish league season wrapped up this past Sunday, and Hibs were defeated 2-1 at home by Aberdeen.

McNulty put the Edinburgh side 1-0 up just after 25 minutes, but an equaliser just before half time and a second goal just after the hour sealed the comeback for the Dons. McNulty has returned to Reading for the mean time but both he and Hibs have made it clear they wish to make that deal permanent over the summer.

He didn’t grab a goal on the last day of the season, but I’m sure the Fortuna Sittard fans will have fond memories of Andrija Novakovich for the performances he has put in this season. It was however a forgettable final game for the hosts as they were dispatched convincingly 4-1 by Feyenoord.

In his final game, Novakovich was brought off with fifteen minutes to go, by which time his side were 2-1 down and a man down. A campaign complete with an eleven goal tally in all competitions gives Andrija a good platform to build on, potentially to make a push for a place in the Reading squad next season.