We’re edging closer to the 100 goal mark from the Loan Army once again after a productive weekend at home at abroad. We start with a player who is making all the right moves ahead of this summer’s World Cup.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek has experienced something of an up-and-down season, having to wait patiently for an opportunity to impress at Crystal Palace, before doing so and earning an England debut in November. Injuries then kept him out for the best part of three months but, with the finish line in sight and the World Cup looking, he’s timed his run perfectly and was superb in the Eagles’ 5-0 win over Leicester on Saturday.
Scoring one and playing a major role in another, the 21 year-old was in scintillating form, given the freedom to roam from a nominal starting position on the left, and doing pretty much as he pleased from start to finish.
Mate he has been class
— Will Hamilton (@WillLost1) April 28, 2018
He’s been different gravy
— Nothing But Talent (@JoeNBT) April 28, 2018
Ruben Loftus-Cheek putting in a performance that says he should be on the plane to Russia. Gareth Southgate here to witness it. Classy player.
— Kieran Gill (@kierangill_DM) April 28, 2018
Loftus-Cheek the best player on the pitch this afternoon. What a talent. All hail the future of English football. #CPFC
— Ben Nagle (@bennagle17) April 28, 2018
A season-ending injury to Liverpool’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has only improved Loftus-Cheek’s case for a seat on the plane, and at this stage it would be a surprise if Gareth Southgate didn’t include him in his plans.
Palace are effectively safe from relegation now, but Fulham are very much fighting tooth and nail to join them in the Premier League next season, and Lucas Piazon helped them keep up with the equalising goal in their 2-1 win over Sunderland on Friday night. The Brazilian played 74 minutes and found the back of the net with a simple far post tap-in.
Tomas Kalas was a stoppage-time substitute whilst fellow defender Jake Clarke-Salter was an unused substitute for Sunderland.
Later on Saturday afternoon, Todd Kane scored his third goal for Oxford United with a coolly-dispatched penalty seven minutes from time to secure a 2-1 win. The 24 year-old full-back has enjoyed his time at the Kassam Stadium and has dropped more than one hint that he’d be happy to return there on a permanent basis this summer.
Then on Sunday, Mason Mount ‘scored’ for Vitesse in their 5-0 win over FC Twente, a result that relegated their visitors, but whether or not he is officially credited with the goal remains to be seen. He made it 3-0 with an instinctive finish from a rebound, with the ball pushed onto the crossbar, where it bounced down before spinning back over the line. Bryan Linssen made sure, but looked to have been well over the line when he made contact, and it should go down as Mount’s ninth goal of the season.
He also notched an eighth assist when his pinpoint cross was volleyed home by Tim Matavz, and a superb first year of men’s football was capped after the match when he was presented with the Fans’ Player of the Season award.
Matt Miazga played 79 minutes, Fankaty Dabo was an unused substitute, and Vitesse are also now guaranteed a place in the playoffs for a berth in the Europa League. Cristian Cuevas, meanwhile, played 69 disappointing minutes at left-back for the visitors against his former club.
Kurt Zouma was impressive in helping Stoke earn a crucial point by keeping a clean sheet in their goalless draw at Liverpool on Saturday lunchtime. Kenedy featured for all ninety minutes as Newcastle were beaten at home by West Brom, whilst Tammy Abraham was ineligible for Swansea’s defeat at home to Chelsea.
Ola Aina made his 46th appearance of the season as Hull were beaten 2-0 at home by Cardiff City in a match where Fikayo Tomori was an unused substitute and Michael Hector was not in the matchday squad.
Jamal Blackman was in goal as Sheffield United were beaten 1-0 at home by playoff-chasing Preston, whilst Kasey Palmer was restricted to just ten minutes off the bench for Derby at Aston Villa four days after being left on there for the duration of their 3-1 win over Cardiff.
Jeremie Boga and Lewis Baker were not involved for Birmingham City and Middlesbrough respectively.
Iké Ugbo started in a pair of 2-0 defeats for Milton Keynes that saw them relegated from League One this week, whilst at the other end of the table, Jay Dasilva played most of the second half as Charlton moved ever closer to a playoff place with a 1-0 win over already-promoted Blackburn.
Jordan Houghton played every second of Doncaster’s defeat to Blackburn in midweek and their draw at Oldham on Saturday.
Brad Collins claimed at least part of his eighth clean sheet of the season as he helped Forest Green Rovers to a midweek 0-0 draw at Coventry City that ensured they officially avoided relegation. He was taken off after an hour after receiving a blow to the jaw, and was given the all-clear at the hospital post-match, but was left out of their defeat at Luton on Saturday as a medical precaution.
The season ended in grave disappointing for Nathan Baxter and Woking as a final-day defeat at home to Dover consigned them to relegation from the National League. In the top three after fifteen matches, Anthony Limbrick’s young squad struggled through the middle of the season, and were unable to recover.
Baxter has been a fan favourite at Kingfield all season but was clearly immensely disappointed at the outcome.
Thanks to the junior cards, @CardsTrust, @Woking_NewsMail and most of all fans for your player of the season awards as well as your unbelievable support throughout the season. Would swap all four awards to have stayed up.@wokingfc is a great club and will come back stronger #COYC pic.twitter.com/RT0lsNQGEK
— Nathan Baxter (@NathanBaxterGK) April 29, 2018
In the National League South, where Woking will play next season, Jared Thompson signed off his first season in men’s football with his 11th clean sheet as Chippenham Town beat Welling United 1-0. In their first season after promotion, Town finished a very respectable 13th of 22 teams, a position Thompson played a major part in helping them reach.
Marco van Ginkel was an unused substitute as PSV, already champions, drew 3-3 at ADO Hen Haag.
Michy Batshuayi’s season ended through injury two weeks ago, whilst Baba Rahman’s long-term layoff has continued ever since joining Schalke in January.
Victorien Angban was suspended again as Waasland-Beveren drew 0-0 at OH Leuven.
Josimar Quintero didn’t play as Betis Deportivo beat Real Murcia 1-0.
Nathan came off the bench to play the final eleven minutes of Belenenses’ home defeat to Braga.
Charly Musonda was not selected as Celtic beat Rangers 5-0 to win their seventh consecutive Scottish Premiership title.
Kenneth Omeruo and Kasimpasa lost 4-1 at home to Fenerbahce.
Mario Pašalić played the second half of Spartak Moscow’s 2-0 win at Amkar.
Danilo Pantic played all of Partizan’s midweek 3-1 win over Radnicki and then did the same in defeat as they lost 2-1 to Vojvodina on Sunday.
Mitchell Beeney helped Sligo to a 1-1 draw at Waterford on Friday night.
Started: July 15th
Finished: May 26th
|Player||Club||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Europe/Cont||Other||Mins|
|Tammy Abraham||Swansea City||30||5||3||2||3||1||0||0||0||0||1971||37||8|
|Ola Aina||Hull City||44||0||2||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||4003||47||1|
|Jeremie Boga||Birmingham City||30||2||3||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||2190||33||2|
|Charlie Colkett||Vitesse Arnhem||6||0||1||0||0||0||3||0||1||0||293||11||0|
|Cristian Cuevas||FC Twente||24||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1968||24||0|
|Fankaty Dabo||Vitesse Arnhem||27||0||1||0||0||0||4||0||1||0||2625||33||0|
|Jay Dasilva||Charlton Athletic||39||0||2||0||1||0||0||0||1||0||3483||43||0|
|Marco van Ginkel||PSV||28||14||2||2||0||0||0||0||2||0||2874||33||16|
|Michael Hector||Hull City||36||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||3054||37||1|
|Jordan Houghton||Doncaster Rovers||37||0||2||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||3170||39||1|
|Todd Kane||Oxford United||17||3||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1530||17||3|
|Ruben Loftus-Cheek||Crystal Palace||24||2||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||1965||25||2|
|Matt Miazga||Vitesse Arnhem||36||4||1||0||0||0||6||0||0||0||3659||43||4|
|Mason Mount||Vitesse Arnhem||32||14||1||0||0||0||6||0||0||0||2915||39||14|
|Kasey Palmer||Huddersfield Town||4||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||243||5||0|
|Kasey Palmer||Derby County||16||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||473||16||2|
|Danilo Pantic||Partizan Belgrade||31||4||4||1||0||0||11||0||0||0||3146||46||5|
|Mario Pašalić||Spartak Moscow||21||4||2||1||0||0||7||0||0||0||1656||30||5|
|Josimar Quintero||FC Rostov||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||23||1||0|
|Josimar Quintero||Real Betis B||5||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||63||5||0|
|Joao Rodriguez||Tampico Madero||21||7||2||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||1727||23||8|
|Fikayo Tomori||Hull City||25||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||2152||26||0|
|Iké Ugbo||Milton Keynes||16||2||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1161||17||2|
|Kurt Zouma||Stoke City||33||1||1||0||2||0||0||0||0||0||3038||34||1|
|Player||Club||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Europe||Other||Mins|
|Apps||Cln Sht||Apps||Cln Sht||Apps||Cln Sht||Apps||Cln Sht||Apps||Cln Sht||Apps||Cln Sht|
|Mitchell Beeney||Sligo Rovers||11||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||990||11||2|
|Jamal Blackman||Sheffield United||30||8||2||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||2727||32||9|
|Brad Collins||Forest Green Rovers||40||7||0||0||0||0||0||0||3||1||3839||43||8|
|Jared Thompson||Chippenham Town||40||9||1||0||0||0||0||0||3||1||3960||44||11|