We have three more goals to bring you from Chelsea’s army of loanees in what was a bumper week of action up to and over the Easter Weekend. We begin, as is becoming customary, with Patrick Bamford.
Bamford withdrew from England Under-21 duty with a mild injury requiring a bit of rest and rehabilitation and it meant missing a home match against Germany at his temporary home of Middlesbrough’s Riverside Stadium. It did at least pay off handsomely as he returned to fitness in time to face Wigan on Good Friday and netted his 17th goal of the season to secure a 1-0 win.
The result was enough to send Boro top of the table but in such a tight Championship title race it was going to prove hard to maintain, and a 2-0 defeat at Watford on Monday duly saw them knocked from their perch. Bamford played the full match but was starved of service, whilst Tomas Kalas had an impressive half-hour cameo at right-back after a full 90 minutes against Wigan at centre-back. Kenneth Omeruo missed both fixtures through injury.
In the same division on Monday, Todd Kane reminded Nottingham Forest fans that he not only exists but is very much capable of contributing towards their (extremely) unlikely push for a playoff spot. He came off the bench away to Brentford and scored his first goal in Forest colours, putting the finish to a fantastic cross from Ben Osborn.
In Italy, Mohamed Salah’s form continued unabated as he produced another sublime solo effort to seal a 2-0 win over Sampdoria and maintain Fiorentina’s Champions League qualification hopes. Evidently channelling a teenage Michael Owen, Salah’s array of dazzling individual goals in Florence will almost certainly lead to I Viola taking up the option to extend his stay into next season.
It was a quiet Easter Weekend in the Premier League as far as loanees go as Victor Moses was unable to play for Stoke against parent club Chelsea, whilst Christian Atsu was not involved for Everton against Southampton.
In the Championship, Nathaniel Chalobah missed Reading’s draw with Cardiff through injury but his place in the team was taken by Nathan Aké, who made his Royals debut in a midfield role. The versatile Dutchman caught the eye with a tidy first appearance under Steve Clarke and should be involved in their final six league matches, although he is cup-tied for their FA Cup Semi Final against Arsenal.
League One’s big Saturday clash pitted Swindon against MK Dons but whilst John Swift started, Lewis Baker was only a substitute for the Dons and the duo were unable to go directly up against one another. Swift had a tidy if slightly quiet hour before being substituted, whilst Baker came on for the final quarter of an hour to help seal a 3-0 win for Karl Robinson’s side.
Alex Davey played the duration of Scunthorpe’s 2-0 win over Peterborough and will hope to retain his place at the heart of the Iron defence tomorrow when it’s his turn to face Chelsea team-mate Baker.
Marco van Ginkel started for Milan in their 2-1 win away to Palermo and played well, claiming an assist for the opening goal as his cross from the right was turned in at the near post by Alessio Cerci.
Stipe Perica was handed a first start for Udinese away to Genoa and earned praise from manager Andrea Stramaccioni for his performance in their 1-1 draw, with more now presumably to follow.
Vitesse extended their unbeaten streak into a tenth Eredivisie match with their 1-1 draw against Groningen on Saturday, a run which has taken them to fifth place in the table. With five games to go, they are very much in position for the end-of-season playoffs for the right to qualify for the Europa League.
Bertrand Traore played the full match in attack whilst there was a stoppage time run-out for Josh McEachran. Wallace was an unused substitute after returning from injury.
Oriol Romeu played half an hour from the bench as Stuttgart lost 3-1 away to Wolfsburg and then took the opportunity to confirm that he would like to leave Chelsea this summer in search of more stability in his career.
Lucas Piazon was a time-wasting last-minute substitute for Eintracht Frankfurt in their 2-2 draw at home to Hannover.
Gael Kakuta impressed again as he helped Rayo Vallecano to a 2-1 win at Eibar on Friday to push Paco Jemez’s side into the top half of La Liga.
Mario Pašalić and Elche travelled to Espanyol on Monday evening but the Croatian was an unused substitute in their 1-1 draw.
Marko Marin remains absent through injury for Anderlecht and it would be highly surprising if he were to return to fitness this season.
Uli Dávila and Joao Rodriguez were not involved for Vitória Setúbal away to Marítimo.
Matej Delač, who this weekend revealed he still harbours ambitions of returning to Chelsea and contributing in a meaningful capacity, kept a clean sheet as FK Sarajevo destroyed FK Mladost 4-0.
Cristian Cuevas was not involved in Universidad de Chile’s 4-2 win at Universidad Católica.