Loan watch: Win for Xande Silva in Thessaloniki Derby

Xande Silva (far right) celebrates Aris FC's derby win

Two West Ham United loanees took to the field for their respective clubs over the course of the weekend, with Xande Silva tasting victory in the Derby of Thessaloniki.

The fixture on Sunday – otherwise known as the Derby of Macedonia or Derby of Northern Greece, due to its geography – saw Silva’s high-flying Aris Thessaloniki FC take on PAOK Thessaloniki in Super League Greece.

The two teams’ fierce rivalry is also mirrored by their proximity in terms of domestic success: both clubs have won a joint fourth-highest Super League Greece titles, but PAOK having won seven Greek Cups to Aris’ one.

As it were, both teams went into the contest with just one loss between them in their combined opening 20 Super League Greece games – Aris’ defeat to Olympiakos last month – so the stakes in the contest were high.

Having played his part in an impressive fightback last weekend, Silva began the game on the bench, and will have been delighted to see his side make a bright start at Kleanthis Vikelidis Stadium, with Bruno Gama hitting the crossbar from a free-kick early on.

PAOK arguably had the better opportunities in the first half, but it was Aris who took the lead shortly before half-time, Gama converting a Panenka penalty kick after Facundo Bertoglio was felled on the counter.

Both teams came within inches of scoring after the second half resumed, before Silva was introduced shortly after the hour mark as Aris looked to stretch their lead.

In truth, it was PAOK who dominated from thereon out – winning a penalty of their own, which was correctly subsequently overturned by VAR – but Silva and his teammates did their defensive work with diligence to restrict them the visitors to few opportunities.

Understandably boisterous celebrations took place at full-time as Aris claimed their 30th league win over their fierce rivals, leapfrogging them into second place.

They are now just two points behind leaders Olympiakos, who have a game in hand. Afterwards, Silva and his teammates took to social media to celebrate the result.

Back in England's League One, winger Dan Kemp played the closing stages of Blackpool’s 0-0 draw against Oxford United at Bloomfield Road.

On his 12th appearance in all competition for the Tangerines, Kemp was turned to for the final 12 minutes of the goalless encounter.

Blackpool’s CJ Hamilton came closest to breaking the deadlock, hitting the post in both halves for the hosts, but the match ultimately bore not a lot of opportunities in front of goal.

The point sees Blackpool sit 13th in the table, with a home game against division leaders Hull City to follow on Tuesday evening.

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