A pair of penalties from Thorgan Hazard and Christian Atsu maintained the streak of a Chelsea loanee scoring in every week of the 2013-14 season, and the duo therefore headline the latest installment of the Loan Report.
We begin with Atsu and Vitesse, who finished the weekend as the Eredivisie leaders after a 3-1 win over Utrecht on Saturday night. The Ghanaian played 90 minutes in a central attacking midfield role and scored his first goal in the yellow and black in converting a penalty won when Lucas Piazon’s shot struck a hand in the box.
Piazon played well before being replaced (by Gael Kakuta) in stoppage time and was denied a goal when his shot struck the post, one of three occasions on which Vitesse were prevented from scoring by the woodwork. Patrick van Aanholt also suffered the same fate when his excellent 25-yard strike on his weaker right foot hit the angle of post and crossbar.
Sam Hutchinson remained an unused substitute, whilst Cristian Cuevas was not selected in the matchday squad.
Hazard, meanwhile, moved into double figures for goals this season when he netted Zulte Waregem’s solitary effort in midweek Europa League action away to NK Maribor. His first half penalty proved enough to take all three points and retain hopes of qualifying for the knockout phase.
On Sunday he played another 90 mins in a 2-0 win over Waasland-Beveren which took Essevee up to third.
Romelu Lukaku had a quiet game for Everton in their goalless draw at Crystal Palace, having a tough time of it over the course of his 90 minutes.
Victor Moses got fifteen minutes as a substitute for Liverpool in their comfortable 4-0 win over Fulham, and with Suarez, Sturridge and Coutinho now all available for the Reds, might find himself being a backup option more often than not.
In The Championship, Todd Kane got his usual 90 minutes for Blackburn as Rovers crashed 3-0 away to Brighton, whilst Josh McEachran and Nathaniel Chalobah were both substitutes for Watford and Nottingham Forest respectively. McEachran got twenty minutes away to his former loan club Middlesbrough, but Chalobah remained unused for a second week running, and having been suspended and away on international duty before that, has played just 45 minutes of club football since the start of October.
Lower down the English ladder it was FA Cup First Round Proper weekend, and there were wins and 90 minutes for Milan Lalkovic at Walsall, Patrick Bamford and the MK Dons, and George Saville and Brentford. Sam Walker and Colchester United, however, were eliminated 3-2 by Sheffield United, and Walker was the unfortunate victim of an own goal when a defender clipped the ball away from his dive to intercept a cross and instead flicked it into the goalkeeper before it crossed the line.
Thibaut Courtois and Atlético Madrid made it four wins from four in the Champions League this week as they spanked Austria Vienna 4-0 and made sure of a place in the competition’s last sixteen. On Sunday away to Villarreal, he conceded a late equaliser in a 1-1 draw.
Oriol Romeu was afforded another Europa League outing against St Gallen and helped Valencia to a win, but as usual he was back to a weekend watching brief from the bench in a 2-2 draw against Valladolid. Marko Marin remains injured.
In the Spanish lower reaches, Uli Dávila got 73 minutes and a booking for Córdoba in a goalless draw at Alcorcón, and Jhon Pírez was absent for Leganés against Real Madrid C.
It was business as usual for Wallace; the Brazilian stayed on Inter’s bench in their 2-0 win over Livorno.
With Vitesse addressed above, Stipe Perica got himself a rare start for NAC Breda against PSV, and whilst the big Croatian didn’t score in his 75 minutes, he did play a part in a surprise 2-1 win for the hosts.
Matej Delac and FK Vojvodina went through a second consecutive 2-2 draw, this time being held at home by Javor Ivanjica. Just like last week, Vojvodina surrended a two-goal advantage and dropped points late in the game.