Another week, another goal, and another for Patrick Bamford. The England Under-21 forward hit the headlines like almost never before this weekend as his contributions helped Middlesbrough overcome Manchester City away from home in the FA Cup.
Boro went into the clash some 10-1 underdogs but there was always an inkling that they had the tools to get the job done and they did just that, coming away from the Etihad with a famous 2-0 victory. Bamford scored the first and played a big hand in the second whilst showing his tremendous work rate and off the ball intelligence throughout.
It was his tenth goal of the season and continued his 100% record of scoring away from home in cup ties against Premier League opposition. He netted at Sunderland for MK Dons in last season’s League Cup and slotted away a penalty at Anfield against Liverpool in this year’s version before his strike in Manchester.
It was his second goal of the week too, having netted against Cardiff in midweek. Tomas Kalas also started that match but suffered an injury that kept him out of the Man City match, whilst Kenneth Omeruo was an unused sub in the latter having been omitted from the squad in the former.
Elsewhere on FA Cup weekend in England, Nathaniel Chalobah made his debut for Reading with a ninety-minute outing in their 2-1 win at Cardiff City. Having been denied a move to Bordeaux as a result of FIFA’s decision to count a Chelsea Under-21 match as an official fixture, Chalobah was forced into accepting a return to the Championship and should play regularly under Steve Clarke.
Ryan Bertrand had one of his poorest games of the season for Southampton as they were knocked out 3-2 at the hands of Crystal Palace. He provided an assist for Scott Dann’s own goal but was out of position at the other end for two Palace goals including one which he appeared to deflect past his own goalkeeper whilst attempting to recover his ground.
Victor Moses and Stoke City take on Rochdale on Monday night and you can keep up with his involvement on Twitter @chelseayouth.
Christian Atsu is away on international duty whilst Lewis Baker and Todd Kane had the weekend off with their teams already eliminated. Kane featured for Nottingham Forest earlier in the week as they lost 3-2 at Fulham.
There was Championship action for Islam Feruz though as he played eight minutes for Blackpool at Watford. Blackpool were 2-0 up at half time but 7-2 down by the time Feruz came on, limiting him to an almost pointless outing.
In League One, Alex Kiwomya played just over an hour for Barnsley in their 2-0 defeat at MK Dons whilst Alex Davey and John Swift had the weekend off with their teams out of action due to FA Cup schedules for their respective opponents.
For the third time in as many weeks, Mario Pašalić and Elche were on the wrong side of a Barcelona hiding. This time they shipped six at home without reply; the Croatian on the pitch for every last one of the goals too.
It didn’t get much better for Gael Kakuta either as he and Rayo Vallecano went down 3-1 at Atlético Madrid in a very one-sided contest.
Marco van Ginkel earned a rare start for AC Milan this season as they took on Lazio but the Rossoneri’s poor season continued as they lost 3-1; the Dutchman playing 56 minutes.
It was also a weekend to forget for Vitesse as they suffered a 4-1 hammering away to Heerenveen. Wallace and Josh McEachran started but were both substituted at half time along with Jan-Arie van der Heijden as manager Peter Bosz was thoroughly unimpressed with the entire team’s performance.
Stipe Perica, meanwhile, has left NAC Breda ahead of a proposed move to Udinese. Italian reports claim that the Zebretti will pay €500k to take over his loan for the rest of the season with a view to paying €4m for him in the summer in a permanent deal.
Arles-Avignon won for the first time since late October as they defeated Nancy 1-0 on Friday night. Matej Delač returned to the team and kept a clean sheet to help them on their way. Rejoice!
Uli Dávila swapped Spain for Portugal this week by joining Vitória Setúbal until the end of the season. He wasn’t involved this week but should be going forward.
Marko Marin joined Anderlecht earlier this week after his Fiorentina spell yielded less than impressive returns, and made his RSC debut away to Standard Liege on Sunday. He played a quarter of an hour and they lost 2-0.
The Bundesliga returns from its winter break next weekend, so Lucas Piazon, Oriol Romeu and Thorgan Hazard will resume their places in the Loan Report.