Konstantinos Mavropanos returned from his knock to face Arminia Bielefeld on Saturday, completing 90 minutes and helping FC Nurnberg secure another draw.
Mavropanos came off at half-time as Nurnberg faced off against VfL Bochum last weekend. Though initial reports hinted at a muscle injury, later updates confirmed it was just a precaution, with no serious strain or tear.
As a result, the centre-back was free to start against Arminia Bielefeld in the Saturday lunchtime kickoff. In fact, he ended up completing the full 90 minutes of the 1-1 draw.
For the most part, the Arsenal loanee put in a strong performance. He was excellent on the ball, completing five of his six long balls and 92% of his passes. He even successfully pulled off both of his attempted dribbles, though he missed a good chance to score.
Defensively, Mavropanos made six clearances, blocked a shot and made three interceptions. However, he did have one less-than-impressive moment in the buildup to the hosts’ goal.
Picking up the ball on the right-hand side, Jonathan Clauss saw Mavropanos approaching and pushed the ball past him down the line. As the defender scrambled to keep up, Clauss cut back onto his left foot and played a cross which Fabian Klos headed home.
There were other factors to the goal. Mavropanos had to run over to cover in the first place because the left-back pushed too far upfield, the other centre-back wasn’t close enough to his man and the goalkeeper should’ve done better. But it’s a moment to learn from.
Back on the positives, Mavropanos’ physicality was on show throughout the match as usual. Even deep in injury time, he was leaping up to head clearances to the detriment of anyone brave enough to challenge him.
It’s good to have him still out there playing, regardless of the result. If he can keep Nurnberg up and return to Arsenal fully fit, that’s a decent loan.