The final weeks of the season are upon us and with them come opportunities to clinch silverware. Marco van Ginkel did just that this weekend, and will lead off our headliners as the captain of the newly-crowned Dutch champions, whilst Iké Ugbo joins him after finding the net for Milton Keynes.
Van Ginkel has been amongst PSV’s best players all season long, captaining a side that has been head and shoulders above the Eredivisie competition, a fact that was not lost on them as they beat rivals Ajax 3-0 on Sunday to officially secure the title. It was a one-sided match from start to finish that rather summed up the campaign, and ensured that Van Ginkel lifted the coveted shield at the end of the match.
— PSV (@PSV) April 15, 2018
— PSV (@PSV) April 15, 2018
Without quite the same fanfare or importance, Ugbo scored for the first time since February 10th as Milton Keynes were beaten at home 2-1 by Jordan Houghton’s Doncaster Rovers. He played 79 minutes to Houghton’s 90, opening the scoring, but the result leaves them still staring relegation in the face, whilst Doncaster will finish safely in mid-table.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek turned in one of his best performances of the season as Crystal Palace beat fierce rivals 3-2 to take a big step away from relegation on Saturday. The midfielder has been widely-tipped to take a place in England’s World Cup squad, as long as he can stay fit, and outings like he had at Selhurst Park this weekend will go a long way to helping his cause.
If Ruben Loftus-Cheek played like that on a semi-regular basis he would walk into the England starting line-up. Absolutely superb today.
— Matt Woosnam (@MattWoosie) April 14, 2018
Normal thanks to all the players
But Ruben today was epic, he was ghosting past groups of players, freeing up space for Wilf, which probably had a lot to do with him scoring two goals.
Props to Ruben Loftus-cheek 👏👏👏 #CPFC 🔴🔵🦅😭
— GazBod (@gazbod) April 14, 2018
I have two demands regarding Ruben Loftus-Cheek.
Get him on that plane to Russia.
Get him back at Selhurst next season.
— Benj (@Beniesta_) April 14, 2018
Kenedy played 90 minutes as Newcastle beat Arsenal to move into the top half of the table, whilst Tammy Abraham came off the bench to make a positive impact in helping Swansea to a 1-1 draw against Everton. Kurt Zouma and Stoke take on West Ham United on Monday night.
A busy week of double-headers began well for Hull City, where Fikayo Tomori laid on a pair of goals during their 5-0 win at Burton Albion. Ola Aina was handed a rare rest for that, playing just the final seven minutes of the contest, but was back in the side for ninety minutes alongside Michael Hector on Saturday, where Tomori was left on the bench for a 1-0 defeat at home to Sheffield Wednesday.
Lucas Piazon played 80 minutes in victory for Fulham against his former club Reading on Tuesday, and then featured for 54 more in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at home to Brentford. Tomas Kalas was an unused sub on both occasions and has fallen behind Dennis Odoi and Tim Ream in the club’s centre-back pecking order.
Jamal Blackman returned from suspension to help Sheffield United to a 1-1 draw against fellow playoff-chasers Millwall, whilst Jeremie Boga played 69 minutes in defeat for Birmingham at Bristol City before missing the defeat at Wolves on Sunday altogether. Jake Clarke-Salter played twenty minutes of Sunderland’s draw with Norwich and just less than the entire second half of their 2-2 stalemate at Reading, whilst Kasey Palmer got seventee minutes of Derby’s defeat to Wolves and just over half an hour away to Burton, where the Rams were also beaten.
Lewis Baker was once again left minuteless for Middlesbrough.
Jay Dasilva played ninety minutes in Charlton’s 1-0 defeat at home to Scunthorpe, and Todd Kane played all of Oxford’s defeat to Fleetwood and win over Southend respectively.
An heroic performance by Brad Collins and Forest Green Rovers saw them to a 1-0 win away to local rivals Cheltenham and move six points clear of relegation with three games to go (they have four, holding a game in hand over Barnet). A big save late in the match went a long way to securing a seventh clean sheet of the season for the young stopper.
Defeats to Maidenhead and Bromley mean Nathan Baxter and Woking are in deep relegation trouble now and, with two games left, they go into next weekend’s trip to last-placed Guiseley knowing they have to win, with Barrow directly below them in the table enjoying the advantage of having two games in hand. The importance of the fixture is not lost on the players:
The fans have been brilliant all year but we need you more than ever now so the players are paying for the supporters coach to guisley to ensure everyone that wants to be there can. #believe #spreadtheword @wokingfc
— Nathan Baxter (@NathanBaxterGK) April 15, 2018
Jared Thompson’s tenth clean sheet of the season for Chippenham Town was part of a 2-0 win over Truro City that guaranteed survival in the National League South.
Vitesse this week finally dispensed of the services of Henk Fraser, who was due to leave at the end of the season, and installed his assistant Edward Sturing as manager for the rest of the campaign. His first match was against Sparta Rotterdam – who Fraser will take charge of in 2018-19, and it yielded immediate reward in the form of a club-Eredivisie record 7-0 win.
Mason Mount was credited with two assists in a strong display before being substituted to applause two minutes from time so Jari Schuurman could make his Vitesse debut. Matt Miazga got 71 minutes in the rout, but Fankaty Dabo was an unused substitute.
Cristian Cuevas was booked in his 73 minutes of Twente’s defeat to ADO Den Haag, a result that means Twente will have to take part in the relegation playoffs at the very least, but they appear destined for the drop automatically.
Dortmund lost their derby against Schalke 2-0 but also lost Michy Batshuayi to a potentially serious injury deep into stoppage time at the end of the match. The Belgian was stretchered off and will undergo tests on what is feared to be a fractured ankle.
Sad news from Dortmund. Looks like Michy Batshuayi has broken his leg
— Jan Aage Fjørtoft 🏳️🌈 🇳🇴 💛💙 (@JanAageFjortoft) April 15, 2018
Baba Rahman, as expected, did not feature for Schalke.
Victorien Angban was booked as Waasland-Beveren lost 2-0 at home to OH Leuven.
Nathan played 45 minutes for Belenenses at home to Sporting.
Charly Musonda was not selected in Celtic’s matchday squad for their Scottish FA Cup Semi Final win over Rangers.
Josimar Quintero did not play for Betis Deportivo against Jumilla.
Mario Pašalić played just thirteen minutes of Spartak Moscow’s 2-1 defeat to Ural.
Danilo Pantic played ninety minutes as Partizan lost the Belgrade derby 2-1 to Crvena Zvezda.
Kenneth Omeruo and Kasimpasa kept a clean sheet in their 2-0 win at home to Karabukspor.
Mitchell Beeney was back in goal for Sligo and played his part in a 2-1 win away to Limerick.
Started: July 15th
Finished: May 26th
|Player||Club||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Europe/Cont||Other||Mins|
|Tammy Abraham||Swansea City||30||5||3||2||3||1||0||0||0||0||1971||37||8|
|Ola Aina||Hull City||44||0||2||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||4003||47||1|
|Jeremie Boga||Birmingham City||30||2||3||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||2190||33||2|
|Charlie Colkett||Vitesse Arnhem||6||0||1||0||0||0||3||0||1||0||293||11||0|
|Cristian Cuevas||FC Twente||24||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1968||24||0|
|Fankaty Dabo||Vitesse Arnhem||27||0||1||0||0||0||4||0||1||0||2625||33||0|
|Jay Dasilva||Charlton Athletic||39||0||2||0||1||0||0||0||1||0||3483||43||0|
|Marco van Ginkel||PSV||28||14||2||2||0||0||0||0||2||0||2874||33||16|
|Michael Hector||Hull City||36||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||3054||37||1|
|Jordan Houghton||Doncaster Rovers||37||0||2||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||3170||39||1|
|Todd Kane||Oxford United||17||3||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1530||17||3|
|Ruben Loftus-Cheek||Crystal Palace||24||2||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||1965||25||2|
|Matt Miazga||Vitesse Arnhem||36||4||1||0||0||0||6||0||0||0||3659||43||4|
|Mason Mount||Vitesse Arnhem||32||14||1||0||0||0||6||0||0||0||2915||39||14|
|Kasey Palmer||Huddersfield Town||4||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||243||5||0|
|Kasey Palmer||Derby County||16||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||473||16||2|
|Danilo Pantic||Partizan Belgrade||31||4||4||1||0||0||11||0||0||0||3146||46||5|
|Mario Pašalić||Spartak Moscow||21||4||2||1||0||0||7||0||0||0||1656||30||5|
|Josimar Quintero||FC Rostov||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||23||1||0|
|Josimar Quintero||Real Betis B||5||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||63||5||0|
|Joao Rodriguez||Tampico Madero||21||7||2||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||1727||23||8|
|Fikayo Tomori||Hull City||25||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||2152||26||0|
|Iké Ugbo||Milton Keynes||16||2||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1161||17||2|
|Kurt Zouma||Stoke City||33||1||1||0||2||0||0||0||0||0||3038||34||1|
|Player||Club||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Europe||Other||Mins|
|Apps||Cln Sht||Apps||Cln Sht||Apps||Cln Sht||Apps||Cln Sht||Apps||Cln Sht||Apps||Cln Sht|
|Mitchell Beeney||Sligo Rovers||11||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||990||11||2|
|Jamal Blackman||Sheffield United||30||8||2||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||2727||32||9|
|Brad Collins||Forest Green Rovers||40||7||0||0||0||0||0||0||3||1||3839||43||8|
|Jared Thompson||Chippenham Town||40||9||1||0||0||0||0||0||3||1||3960||44||11|