A brace from Bertrand Traore took the total goals scored by Chelsea’s assembled loanees this season to a round 80 (which then increased further later in the day) but his efforts weren’t enough to ensure direct passage into the Europa League for Vitesse this weekend.
The geel en zwaart went into the final round of Eredivisie fixtures knowing a win and help elsewhere would ensure a third-placed finish and qualification for the competition’s group stages. With Traore and Josh McEachran in the starting eleven – the latter now holding his own after taking advantage of recent midfield absences and playing well – Peter Bosz’ side started very well and two excellently-taken goals by Traore had them 2-0 up.
Some less than stellar defending however allowed opponents Utrecht to level things up by the break and despite Wallace coming off the bench to claim an assist for a third goal, the 3-3 draw leaves them facing PEC Zwolle in the convoluted playoffs for a place in the Europa’s qualifying rounds.
Over in Italy, Stipe Perica was handed another start for Udinese away to Roma and finally scored his first goal for the Zebretti, turning home from close range to find the back of the net for the first time since notching twice against Ajax for NAC Breda last September.
Both the Championship and League One Playoff Finals will feature a Chelsea loanee, although neither of the players in question were involved in helping their teams secure a Wembley date. John Swift was sidelined through injury for Swindon’s absurd 5-5 second leg draw with Sheffield United to take an aggregate victory, whilst a recent ankle ailment meant Patrick Bamford was reduced to a place amongst the substitutes as Middlesbrough overcame Brentford (Kenneth Omeruo was not selected). Both players will be fit for the big day in a week’s time and will hopefully have cause for celebration.
Mohamed Salah and Fiorentina crashed out of the Europa League at the Semi Final stage, going down 5-0 on aggregate to Sevilla. They return to Serie A action tomorrow against Parma, and you can keep abreast of Salah’s involvement on Twitter @chelseayouth.
Marco van Ginkel continued as a first choice in Milan’s midfield but it was something of a Rossoneri meltdown away to Sassuolo as goalkeeping errors and ill discipline saw two men dismissed in a 3-2 defeat, with Van Ginkel one of the few to command much respect from the occasion.
Oriol Romeu was once again no more than a 90th minute time-wasting substitute as Stuttgart beat Hamburg 2-1 to go into next week’s final match away to Paderborn with their relegation fate in their own hands; a remarkable turnaround considering how adrift they were a month ago.
Lucas Piazon was an unused substitute for Eintracht Frankfurt in a forgettable 0-0 draw away to Hertha Berlin.
With safety long since assured, Elche mixed things up for the visit of Athletic Bilbao on Sunday, meaning Mario Pašalić only played the last two minutes from the bench. His agent confirmed earlier in the day that talks over a new contract at Chelsea are expected to begin over the summer.
Gael Kakuta wasn’t involved for Rayo Vallecano against Córdoba with a number of other regulars also absent as the end of the season draws nearer.
Uli Dávila was given a rare start by Vitória Setúbal at home to Arouca and completed 57 minutes. Joao Rodriguez has left the club early as he joins up with the Colombian squad ahead of the impending FIFA Under-20 World Cup in New Zealand.
Matej Delač’s eighth clean sheet in eleven appearances for FK Sarajevo provided the foundation for a 2-0 win over Radnik Bijeljina in midweek, and another shutout three days later against second-placed Željezničar kept his side a point clear at the top of the league with just two matches to play.