An extended Easter weekend edition of the Loan Report hands over the headlines to a trio of Englishmen who have come through the ranks at Chelsea and forged solid professional careers from them. All defensively-minded, two of them found the scoresheet to extend the streak into a 35th week, whilst another secured the first promotion of his fledgling time in the game.
The first contribution went to Sam Hutchinson, who grabbed his first goal as a Sheffield Wednesday player on Good Friday in their 4-2 win over Bournemouth. An opportunist close-range header owed much to his continued use in central midfield, but his afternoon would ultimately be soured by a dismissal for two yellow cards and a suspension that will rule him out for much of the remainder of the season.
Three days later, fellow right-back (and actually playing as one) Todd Kane took advantage of a rare start for Blackburn Rovers by finding the back of the net for the first time since late August. His 30-yard strike took a heavy deflection before trickling over the line but they all count and helped Rovers on their way to a 4-2 win over Birmingham City.
A video of his goal will be included here when it becomes available.
Down in League One, George Saville and Brentford had a very Good Friday themselves as they ended a 21-year exile from England’s top two tiers by beating Preston North End 1-0 at Griffin Park to seal promotion to The Championship. Saville earned a first-half penalty to set Mark Warburton’s team on their way and was front and centre in their post-match celebrations.
Romelu Lukaku impressed for Everton in their 2-0 win over Manchester United on Sunday and played his part in the victory by winning the penalty from which they scored their opening goal as his shot was handled by Phil Jones. It was a positive end to a week that had started with a 3-2 reverse at the hands of Crystal Palace, with the Belgian playing the full 90 minutes on both occasions.
Victor Moses was a late substitute for Liverpool as they beat Norwich City 3-2 to go five points clear at the top of the Premier League.
Ryan Bertrand returned to left-back for Aston Villa in their 0-0 draw at home to Southampton and was entirely unremarkable except for an incident in which the visitors claimed handball against him when he blocked a cross into the area. No penalty was given.
In The Championship, Patrick Bamford played a little over a half for Derby County away to Doncaster and was an unused substitute against Barnsley. Despite the Rams picking up six points over the long weekend, their fate now lies in the Playoffs as both Leicester City and Burnley have ensured promotion to the top flight.
Bamford may yet be joined in the post-season by a number of Blues team-mates but Josh McEachran played no part in either of Wigan’s matches against Reading or Burnley, and whilst Nathaniel Chalobah and Kenneth Omeruo both played ninety minutes for Middlesbrough against Millwall, their hopes of sneaking into sixth place were well and truly ended by a 2-1 defeat.
Both loanees struggled in Boro’s 3-5-2 formation with Chalobah in particular described as ‘all at sea’ in the very heart of the trio, although it has to be said that the frailties of the team’s display merely served to expose the core of the defence even further.
Milan Lalkovic was absent through injury for Walsall on Friday but his hamstring problem had subsided sufficiently for him to take part against Gillingham on Monday. The Slovakian played ninety minutes for a Saddlers team that now have nothing but pride to play for.
In the Isthmian Premier, Daniel Pappoe’s good run as a Kingstonian player continued with two more fine outings at centre-back in emphatic victories against both Wealdstone and Carshalton.
A fourth consecutive clean sheet for Thibaut Courtois provided the foundation for Atlético Madrid’s 2-0 win over Elche on Friday to keep them four points clear at the top of La Liga with four rounds to play. Courtois now turns his attentions to the small matter of a Champions League Semi Final against parent club Chelsea…
Oriol Romeu was an unused substitute for Valencia away to Osasuna whilst Marko Marin played the entirety of Sevilla’s 4-0 drubbing of Granada. He provided more than one pass to Kevin Gameiro that ultimately caused all manner of confusion in the visiting defence as the highlights attest to:
Uli Dávila played 76 minutes of Córdoba’s win at Herculés in La Segunda, and Jhon Pírez was still missing for Leganés in their draw with Las Palmas a further level down.
Having put themselves into a strong position in the Belgian title race last week, Thorgan Hazard and Zulte Waregem shot themselves in the foot on Saturday by losing 3-2 at Lokeren, the team that also beat them in the League Cup Final a month or so ago.
In the Second Division, Billy Clifford played the last five minutes of Antwerp’s win against Dessel.
Due to the KNVB Cup Final being played this weekend the Eredivisie had Easter off, meaning no action for Lucas Piazon, Patrick van Aanholt, Christian Atsu, Bertrand Traore or Stipe Perica.
Cristian Cuevas and FC Eindhoven did play in the Jupiler League though, and a draw at Den Bosch on Friday combined with a 1-0 win against De Graafschap on Monday secured sixth place for the club and a very strong chance of partaking in the promotion playoffs over the coming weeks.
The sooner the end of Saint Etienne’s season arrives the better for Kurt Zouma. He went unused as a substitute for the sixth time since signing for Chelsea in January as Les Verts drew 0-0 against Rennes on Friday.
There was no action for either Gael Kakuta or Wallace this week as both Lazio and Inter clearly feel their services aren’t required at this stage.
The world’s media finally picked up on Mario Pašalić’s arrangement with Chelsea this week thanks largely to the presence of Michael Emenalo at Hajduk Split’s game last weekend. The Nigerian wasn’t in the stands for their match against Lokomotiva this week as Pašalić was booked in a 2-2 draw.
FK Sarajevo won 3-2 away to Travnik but Matej Delac’s personal run of clean sheets was maintained as he missed the match; Dejan Bandović playing in goal instead.
As expected, Joao Rodriguez hasn’t been selected in Uniautónoma’s three matches since his father Willy was sacked as manager. He will only be included in this report if he features from now until the end of the European club season, when he will return to Chelsea.