For the first time in 2015 we have a Loan Report in which no goals were scored, but there have been some interesting events in the loanwatch world over the past seven days, not least atop the Championship.
This week saw the promotion race come to something of a hilt as four sides scrapped for two spots. Middlesbrough, with as many as three Chelsea players on loan this season, were amongst them, and travelled to Fulham this Saturday with Patrick Bamford leading the line, but without Kenneth Omeruo (not selected) and Tomas Kalas, who saw his loan end two games before the end of the season due to the exact paperwork mechanisms involved in the stay.
Despite conceding two penalties, having a player sent off and finding themselves 3-1 behind, Boro hauled themselves back to 3-3 with seconds to go, and decided that with Bournemouth still able to usurp them in the standings on Monday night, nothing but a win would do. Goalkeeper Dimi Konstantopoulos went up for a stoppage time corner and was caught out; Fulham won 4-3 allowing Watford to secure promotion, and Bournemouth could join them tomorrow, leaving Boro to scrap it out in the playoffs.
Bamford had two or three good chances to score at Craven Cottage without taking them, but he did at least start the week by being named Championship Player of the Season, a fine accolade for a terrific young player.
With Victor Moses injured and Christian Atsu still not featuring for Everton, we’ll carry on with the Championship, where both Nathaniel Chalobah and Nathan Aké played for Reading in midweek; the latter claiming a Man of the Match award in the final match of his month-long stay at the Royals. Chalobah then played just over an hour against Brentford on Saturday and had a goal disallowed as Reading lost 2-0.
Todd Kane was an unused substitute for Nottingham Forest.
In League One, Lewis Baker and MK Dons are very much in the fight for a Championship place next season as a pair of wins this week have taken their battle with Preston down to next Sunday’s final match. The midfielder, who turned 20 on Saturday, played 65 minutes of a 3-0 win over Doncaster before initially being named as a substitute for the trip to Rochdale, but an injury during the warm-up meant he started and played ninety very good minutes.
John Swift missed two Swindon matches this week, the first of those due to illness and the second due to manager Mark Cooper resting a number of senior pros ahead of the playoffs, whilst Alex Davey ended his stay at Scunthorpe ahead of the final two matches of the season as his injury would have kept him out of them regardless.
Vitesse’s long unbeaten run came to an end on Saturday as they lost 1-0 to ADO Den Haag. Bertrand Traore, so important to their fortunes, was suspended following the accumulation of yellow cards, and his absence was well and truly felt.
Josh McEachran came off the bench to play half an hour and Wallace returned to the fold for the last ten minutes after a tumultuous last few weeks off the field.
Mohamed Salah helped Fiorentina into the last four of the Europa League with a 2-0 second leg win over Dynamo Kyiv, but he could do little about a 3-1 defeat at home to Cagliari on Sunday.
Marco van Ginkel played another full match for Milan but their fortunes barely improved as they lost 2-1 to Udinese, for whom Stipe Perica was an unused substitute.
Gael Kakuta and Rayo Vallecano lost 2-0 at Sevilla, and Mario Pašalić was suspended for Elche’s 3-0 defeat to Atlético Madrid as he too picked up too many bookings this season.
Stuttgart brought Oriol Romeu back into the fold after spending the best part of the last month on the bench and he helped earn a 2-2 draw against Freiburg as VfB seek to escape relegation.
Lucas Piazon saw a rare full outing for Eintracht Frankfurt but they were downed 2-0 at Dortmund.
Marko Marin is injured.
Chalk up another clean sheet for Matej Delač; he kept things tight for FK Sarajevo in their 1-0 win over Široki Brijeg.
Vitória Setúbal drew 0-0 at Boavista with Uli Dávila an unused substitute and Joao Rodriguez nowhere near the team.