We return from the final international break of 2015 with three more goals in a #CFC #loanwatch season that has so far been fairly consistent in provising weekly headliners. Two of the more familiar faces kick us off whilst one more chipped in with his first of the season.
Lucas Piazon returned to the starting line-up for Reading at home to Bolton – with manager Steve Clarke still in charge after a tumultuous week in which he almost joined Fulham – and opened the scoring in a 2-1 victory. His pressing allowed him to force a mistake from Wanderers defender Prince Desir and, having latched onto the loose ball, he finished confidently.
The Brazilian was replaced midway through the second half whilst fellow Blues loanee Michael Hector played the full match at centre-back again. Clarke remaining at the Madejski Stadium is clearly a good sign for them both as well as future Chelsea dealings with the Royals owing to his lengthy connections with all at Stamford Bridge.
In France on Saturday night, Mario Pašalić scored his fifth goal of the season – good enough to be AS Monaco’s leading goalscorer – to ensure a 1-0 victory at home to Nantes. It was a typically Pašalić sort of goal too; a high hanging cross from the right asked for someone to get into the dirty areas and provide the finishing touch, and the young Croatian obliged.
It’s something he’s done well ever since scoring on his Hajduk Split debut and continues to bring to the table in every match. He’s established himself as a reliable option in a packed Monaco midfield and has grown into a match-winning asset already.
Cristian Cuevas’ only goal as a Chelsea loanee to date came almost two years ago when he spent some time at Dutch second tier outfit FC Eindhoven, but the young Chilean made up for that on Saturday by opening his account for Belgian side Sint-Truidense. He popped up at the far post to open the goalscoring early in their trip to Waasland-Beveren but ended up on the losing side by a 2-1 scoreline.
STVV’s two other Chelsea loanees were absent: Victorien Angban was suspended due to an accumulation of yellow cards whilst Joao Rodriguez was not included in the matchday squad.
Nathan Aké came on as a half-time substitute for Watford at home to Manchester United and earned rave reviews from the Hornets faithful for his commitment to the cause. Watford were seconds away from earning a draw and Aké, featuring at left-back, was as good as he’s been in a yellow and black shirt this season. Many a supporter would already advocate attempting to make the Dutch youngster a permanent signing, although the chances of Chelsea selling are slim at this stage.
It was the highlight of an otherwise very quiet weekend of Premier League action. Victor Moses played 63 minutes for West Ham at Tottenham in a heavy 4-1 defeat, there was no Marco van Ginkel for Stoke whilst Christian Atsu remains injured at Bournemouth.
Patrick Bamford’s Crystal Palace are in Monday night action at home to Sunderland. If the young forward is involved, you’ll hear about it on Twitter @chelseayouth.
Tomas Kalas’ busy international break – he started for the Czech Republic against Poland in midweek – meant he wasn’t included for Middlesbrough at home to QPR on Friday night, with the hosts winning 1-0 courtesy of a last-minute penalty. John Swift did however play an hour for Brentford on Saturday, less than five days after he made his England Under-21 debut at home to Switzerland.
There was no Jordan Houghton for Gillingham in their top-of-the-table clash against Coventry and the 4-1 defeat may have revealed problems posed by his absence. Alex Davey didn’t play for Peterborough once again and manager Graham Westley attempted to excuse his omission by citing Posh’s poor record with him in the team. Someone should probably try to explain correlation and causation to him…
Vitesse drew 2-2 away to ADO Den Haag on Sunday afternoon in a controversial fixture headlined by two penalty decisions. They both went against the Arnhem side, with Dominic Solanke fouled in the box at the end of an early run to no avail, before referee Bas Nijhuis later adjudged Kelvin Leerdam to have impeded former Vitesse forward Mike Havenaar in a call that could be described as generous at best.
Solanke played all ninety minutes in attack and put in a really good shift (although he put his best chance wide of the post), whilst Lewis Baker also completed the full match and claimed an assist with his free kick headed home by Leerdam for the second of Vitesse’s two goals. Izzy Brown came on for the last ten minutes but Nathan (injured) and Danilo Pantic (to be confirmed) were not involved.
Todd Kane and NEC Nijmegen were as impressive as ever; another full match, another clean sheet and win, and 5th place in the league ahead of Vitesse.
Andreas Christensen started for the twelfth time since Andre Schubert became manager of Borussia Mönchengladbach and was once again on the winning side as Borussia moved into 5th after defeating Hannover 2-1. The visitors’ goal was just the fourth conceded from open play by Christensen and co. in those twelve games but the Dane made up for that with the match-winning assist five minutes from time.
— Loan (@loanplayers2) November 21, 2015
Jeremie Boga played the final twenty minutes of Rennes’ 2-2 draw with Bordeaux. He replaced 18 year-old debutant goalscorer Ousmane Dembele, signifying the battle he has on his hands for playing time under Philippe Montanier.
Juan Cuadrado was an unused substitute for Juventus against Milan, Nathaniel Chalobah was an unused substitute for Napoli at Verona, Stipe Perica was an unused substitute for Udinese versus Sampdoria, and Wallace was an unused substitute for Carpi at home to Chievo.
The sensitive security situation in Belgium meant a significant number of matches were postponed this weekend, including Cristian Manea’s Royal Mouscron against Sporting Charleroi.
Marko Marin returned from injury to play 72 minutes in a 1-0 win over Genclerbirligi, but there was no such luck for Kenneth Omeruo, who was sidelined again for Kasimpasa’s trip to Kayserispor.
Uli Dávila was not involved against lower-league side Casa Pia in the Portuguese Cup.
Islam Feruz got his customary five-ish minutes for Hibs as they beat Livingston 2-1 in midweek, but then didn’t get off the bench on Saturday away to bottom-of-the-league Alloa.