Loan watch: Okonkwo wins the Austrian Cup

Arthur Okonkwo with his winner's medal for Sturm Graz

Arthur Okonkwo helped Sturm Graz to win the Austrian Cup after they beat Rapid Vienna 2-0 in the final on Sunday.

The young shot-stopper was once again named between the posts for what was his 14th appearance for the club since his January arrival, and he will end his time in Austria with a winner’s medal after two goals from Manprit Sarkaria helped them claim the trophy for the first time since 2018.

Arthur played his part in their cup success in the earlier rounds, when he saved two penalties in a quarter-final shootout success against Red Bull Salzburg on what was his debut for the club.

However there was despair for Charlie Patino who saw his Blackpool side relegated from the Championship following their 3-2 defeat to Millwall on Friday night. Our youngster played the full 90 minutes at Bloomfield Road but despite a valiant effort from the Seasiders who twice equalised in the contest, the defeat condemned them to relegation with one game remaining.

Also dropping down to the third tier are Omar Rekik’s Wigan Athletic who drew 1-1 with fellow strugglers Reading on Saturday, although the Tunisian international remained on the bench throughout.

Meanwhile Brooke Norton-Cuffy helped Coventry City tighten their grip on a play-off spot by beating Auston Trusty’s Birmingham City 2-0. Brooke played the full game to see his side into fifth position with one game to go, three points inside the top six. Auston meanwhile played 85 minutes of the game for the Blues, who had clinched safety with games to spare.

Also in the division, Marquinhos played 65 minutes of Norwich City’s 2-1 loss at West Bromwich Albion that ended the Canaries’ hopes of promotion this season.

There was also disappointment for Nathan Butler-Oyedeji, who after being introduced from the bench at half-time couldn’t prevent Accrington Stanley from falling to a 2-1 defeat at home to Cambridge United, meaning they are all-but relegated from League One.

That is a fate that Ainsley Maitland-Niles is also trying to avoid, who came on for the final 20 minutes of Southampton’s 3-1 loss at Newcastle United, which leaves the Saints bottom of the table, six points from safety.

Also in England, Tom Smith’s Colchester United were beaten 1-0 by Doncaster Rovers, ending their nine-match unbeaten run in League Two, while in the Conference Tim Akinola got 17 minutes of action during Chesterfield’s regular season-finale against Maidstone United, which secured the Spireites third position in the table and a home semi-final in the play-offs.

On the continent, Nuno Tavares returned from injury as a half-time introduction to help Marseille recover from a goal down to beat Auxerre 2-1, with former Gunner Alexis Sanchez netting the winner. That saw them close the gap between them and league leaders PSG to five points, with five matches remaining.

Also in Ligue 1, Folarin Balogun’s Reims fell to a 1-0 loss at Clermont, which was their third defeat in a row and saw them slip into the bottom half of the table.

Elsewhere, Pablo Mari helped Monza to a third straight victory by beating Spezia 2-0 to move into the top half of the Serie A table and secure their spot in the division next season, Ovie Ejeheri kept his third league clean sheet in a row to help SJK beat AC Oulu to move up to second spot in the Finnish league, while Alex Runarsson also couldn’t be beaten as Alanyaspor claimed a 1-0 success against Umraniyespor.

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