Loan watch: Martinez off the mark and Snodgrass shines

Toni Martinez celebrates scoring his first goal for Real Valladolid

West Ham United loanee Toni Martinez scored his first goal for Real Valladolid at the weekend.

The striker swept home from seven yards to open the scoring in a 1-1 draw with Cadiz on Saturday, keeping his side’s hopes of finishing in the promotion play-offs alive.

Martinez, who was included in the starting XI for just the second time since returning to his homeland in January, believes Valladolid can make up the four-point gap between themselves and the top six over the closing five rounds of the season.

“We are not going to throw in the towel,” he told the club’s official website. “We have played very well and we believe that we can achieve it. We have five finals and we will go for them, the first of them next Saturday at Numancia. 

“The goal was a great play from the whole team. The change of orientation of Michel, the patience of Toni, Nacho’s well-timed run and cross.

“Now I do not think about whether I'm a starter or substitute, as always, I just think about working to help the team.”

The goal was a great play from the whole team

Toni Martinez

Closer to home, Robert Snodgrass returned to the Aston Villa starting XI in style, completing an impressive 90 minutes in Saturday’s 1-1 Championship draw with Derby County.

The Scot was in superb form at Villa Park, unleashing six shots, making five key passes and embarking on four dribbles, as Steve Bruce’s side came from a goal down to snatch a point through Lewis Grabban’s late equaliser. Villa are guaranteed to finish fourth with one game to play and will most likely take on Middlesbrough in the Play-Offs.

At the other end of the same division, Reece Burke missed Bolton Wanderers’ 2-0 defeat at Burton Albion. Martin Samuelsen was an unused substitute for the Brewers, who won their third consecutive league match to climb to 22nd in the table.

Samuelsen's Burton need to secure at least a draw at Preston North End – who need a win themselves to have any chance of leapfrogging Derby into the final Play-Off place – to give themselves a chance of avoiding relegation. Burke's Bolton need to beat Nottingham Forest at home and hope both Burton and Barnsley, who travel to Derby, fail to win to stay up.

In Germany, Reece Oxford missed Borussia Monchengladbach’s 1-1 Bundesliga draw at Schalke 04 through injury.