Romelu Lukaku and Christian Atsu ensured a 31st consecutive week where a Chelsea loanee scored during the 2013-14 season, and took the running total of goals scored up to 99 in a season of remarkable statistics on the loan front.
Lukaku has been good for a goal more often than not so far this campaign, and netted his 12th for Everton during the Toffees’ 3-2 win over Swansea City on Saturday. His strike was in the same vein as the majority of his tallies before; it owed much to effort and persistence before a close-range conversation past a helpless goalkeeper.
He had another solid all-round game and helped contribute to Ross Barkley’s decisive third, proving himself to be a nuisance at the near post from a corner which eventually led to the winner.
Atsu, meanwhile, has set down a marker as one of Vitesse Arnhem’s players of the season and without much doubt (an honourable mention here to Zakaria Labyad) their standout performer since the winter break. He was in tremendous form on Saturday night away to Groningen and produced a delightful lob for his fourth goal in geel en zwart, but it came in a losing cause as the Arnhem club lost 3-1 to suffer a second straight defeat.
Ghanaian international Atsu was one of the few visiting players to even do himself justice on the night but so impressive was he that he could have easily staked a claim for the man of the match award. Time and again he got the better of the Groningen left-back and came inside to dangerous effect, and was only denied more goals by some committed goalkeeping and defending.
The same positivity cannot be afforded to the other three Chelsea youngsters stationed at the Gelredome. Lucas Piazon returned to the starting eleven for the first time since mid-February as a replacement for the suspended Renato Ibarra but was quiet for large spells and ultimately contributed very little. Bertrand Traore played roughly half of the second 45 minutes and had a good shot seconds after coming on but then suffered the same struggles as Piazon, and Patrick van Aanholt was once again an unused substitute as Rochdi Achenteh held onto his left-back job.
Ryan Bertrand started for Aston Villa at home to Stoke and played the duration of their 4-1 defeat. He was generally solid but might have done better for at least one goal, but Villa were very much second best in every department.
Victor Moses was an unused substitute for Liverpool in a 6-3 win at Cardiff. The Nigerian has played less than 45 minutes of league football in 2014.
In The Championship, Patrick Bamford turned in an impressive performance against former club Nottingham Forest as his current team Derby County – Forest’s hated East Midlands rivals – ran away to a 5-0 thrashing as they desperately try to hunt down Burnley in the chase for the second automatic promotion spot. Bamford made two of the five goals, laying on a fine pass for Jeff Hendrick in the first half before winning a late penalty that allowed Craig Bryson to complete a hat-trick.
Middlesbrough duo Kenneth Omeruo and Nathaniel Chalobah had a big afternoon of their own as well, taking on QPR at the Riverside Stadium. Both played fairly well before Boro suffered a catastrophic injury time in which they conceded twice to lose 3-1. The clinching goal came when Omeruo’s routine backpass hit a divot and caused goalkeeper Dimi Konstantopoulos to miss his kick, allowing Bobby Zamora to score the easiest goal of his career.
Josh McEachran played 68 minutes for Wigan on Tuesday night in a remarkable match against Yeovil that went a little bit crazy after his departure. The Latics led 1-0 when he was replaced by Ryan Tunnicliffe but five goals in the final eight minutes saw the points shared from a 3-3 draw. He was then not involved in the matchday squad against Watford at the weekend owing to a knock.
Sam Hutchinson missed Sheffield Wednesday’s 3-0 midweek win over QPR as a consequence of his inability to play consecutive matches in a short space of time, but was duly restored to the Owls’ midfield on Saturday as an early second half substitute in their 1-0 defeat at Doncaster.
Todd Kane played just three minutes for Blackburn Rovers as a substitute in their 1-1 draw with league leaders Leicester City.
In League One, George Saville and Brentford kept their foot on the promotion pedal with a 3-1 win over Coventry City on Saturday to go four points clear of Leyton Orient whilst having two games in hand. After a busy recent schedule for the Bees, the young midfielder played the first half before being rested.
Milan Lalkovic played his part in helping extend that gap for Brentford, putting in an 81-minute shift against Leyton Orient on Saturday in a 1-1 draw.
In the lower non-leagues, Daniel Pappoe played in defence for Kingstonian after two recent outings in midfield and played well in both their 3-0 win over Bury Town and their 1-1 draw with Lewes.
Thibaut Courtois kept the 50th clean sheet of his Atlético Madrid career on Sunday as Los Colchoneros beat Real Betis 2-0 to continue their title challenge in La Liga. That, combined with a Champions League Quarter Final against Barcelona, mean the Belgian stopper will continue to be tested at the very highest levels before the World Cup this summer.
Courtois wasn’t the only loanee to take on Betis this week as Marko Marin played the entire 120 minutes of Sevilla’s Europa League last sixteen second leg tie against their local rivals on Thursday night. He was impressive again, claiming two ‘second’ assists as his passes to Alberto Moreno were then turned into crosses for goals by Jose Reyes and Carlos Bacca. Sevilla prevailed on penalties but Marin wasn’t required to take one, and he was rested as an unused substitute on Sunday as they beat Osasuna 2-1.
Oriol Romeu was fit enough to be named as a substitute for Valencia in their 1-0 Europa League win over Ludogorets on Thursday and was again on the bench Sunday against Villarreal. He didn’t get on in either match, although his chances of action in the second were reduced by Valencia needing to use one substitution on an injured goalkeeper.
In the second division, Uli Dávila played 67 minutes for Córdoba in a 3-2 defeat to his former loan club Sabadell, and there was once again no action for Jhon Pírez one further tier down as he missed their match with Atlético Madrid B through injury.
Thorgan Hazard and Zulte Waregem lost the Belgian Cup final on Saturday night as Lokeren won for the second time in three years, defeating Essevee 1-0. Hazard was one of the few players to play fairly well but he is still some way short of the form that saw him stake his claim as the best player in Belgium earlier this season, and he hasn’t scored a league goal since the last weekend in October.
Billy Clifford did at least finally see action for Royal Antwerp, earning his first start and a full ninety minutes in a 1-0 win over OH Leuven.
Away from Vitesse, Cristian Cuevas played for FC Eindhoven on Friday night as they suffered yet another defeat, this time at the hands of Emmen.
Stipe Perica and NAC Breda had no weekend fixture with their scheduled date against Go Ahead Eagles postponed due to a nuclear summit in Den Haag, but he did feature in a Friday friendly versus Den Bosch.
Gael Kakuta was an unused sub for Lazio vs Milan.
Wallace did not play for Inter.
A week after playing ninety minutes against Paris Saint Germain, Kurt Zouma returned to Saint Etienne’s bench for the match against Sochaux and remained there for the duration of their 3-1 win.
Mario Pašalić’s second big Croatian derby fixture of the season didn’t quite go the same way as his first; he scored both of Hajduk Split’s goals against Dinamo Zagreb earlier this season, but was booked and ended up on the losing side this time as Hajduk fell to a 2-0 defeat.
Matej Delac played the full match for FK Sarajevo in a 2-1 win over Velez Mostar.
Seventeen year-old forward Joao Rodriguez made his professional debut for Uniautónoma last weekend and did so in some style, scoring one and making another in a 4-2 win over Medellin.
He joined Chelsea in the summer of 2012 but owing to FIFA transfer regulations is unable to ‘officially’ transfer until his 18th birthday this coming may. He spent last season on loan at former club Deportes Quindío before training in England in the latter portion of 2013, and in January joined up with his father Willy Rodriguez at Uniautónoma.
Kickoffs in Colombia often come too late for the regular publishing of this Loan Report so his appearances will most often be updated in a later revision whilst also appearing on Twitter @chelseayouth. This weekend, he played 90 minutes in a 4-0 defeat away to Deportivo Pasto.