Several leagues reached their conclusions this weekend, and several players said their goodbyes after loan spells, but there’s still plenty of football to be played. We’ll start at Vitesse, who have a lot still to play for.
Their final league fixture of the season away to Willem II saw them fighting for position in the Eredivisie’s Europa League playoff race. They’d already qualified by virtue of their thrashing of Twente last week, but the exact seedings were still up for grabs, and the 2-2 draw saw them finish sixth and set up a two-legged Semi Final against ADO Den Haag, with the winner facing Utrecht or Heerenveen.
Twice coming from behind, Matt Miazga scored the first equaliser, whilst Mason Mount laid on the second for Tim Matavz with a nice cross from the right. It was his eight assist of the season, lifting him into the league’s top ten creators. Fankaty Dabo was an unused substitute.
⚽ | Vitesse komt weer op gelijke hoogte. Miazga kopt de Arnhemmers weer naast Willem II: 1-1.#wilvithttps://t.co/evsXsSzeAm pic.twitter.com/Gz89YQ23xr
— ESPN NL (@ESPNnl) May 6, 2018
(Goal to follow)
Ruben Loftus-Cheek also claimed himself an assist as Crystal Palace won 2-1 against Kurt Zouma and Stoke to relegate the Potters after ten years in the Premier League. Whilst the 22 year-old midfielder wasn’t as dominant as he had been against Leicester City last time out, he was still an important figure in clinching another three points that ensured the Eagles avoided relegation.
The drop is still very much a concern for Tammy Abraham and Swansea though, and the big forward played half an hour from the bench in their 1-0 defeat against Bournemouth, making Tuesday’s fixture against fellow strugglers Southampton as an absolute must-win.
Kenedy played all of Newcastle’s 2-1 defeat away to his former club Watford.
Fulham’s 23-game unbeaten run came to a halt on the final day; their 3-1 defeat at Birmingham ensured Cardiff City joined Wolves in earning promotion to the Premier League, and consigned Tomas Kalas and Lucas Piazon to the playoffs. Piazon played 63 minutes but Kalas was an unused substitute, and there was no Jeremie Boga for the hosts either.
Hull’s efforts to pull themselves clear of relegation before the climax to the campaign were very impressive and meant they could go into their last match at Brentford in a relaxed mood. Fikayo Tomori and Michael Hector played 90 minutes whilst Ola Aina came on after just eight minutes, replacing the injured Ondrej Mazuch, to make it a positive end to the year for the Blues trio.
Unfortunately, the same could not be said for Jamal Blackman and Sheffield United, as the big goalkeeper was allowed to return to Chelsea early instead of getting the chance to say his farewells to a fan base that, by and large, would like to see him return on a permanent basis.
It’s been an amazing season for me with @sufc_official. I’ve had ups and down but I’ve enjoyed every minute of being a blade. I want to thank the staff, my team mates and massively the fan loved being apart of this team and involved in the achievements ❤️ great learning curve for me as a player. So much more to come from this team and me who knows what the future holds 👊🏾❤️
Kasey Palmer and Jake Clarke-Salter were unused substitutes for Derby and Sunderland respectively, whilst the #FreeBaker campaign continues into the playoffs, as Middlesbrough left Lewis Baker out yet again.
Jay Dasilva and Charlton are playoff-bound despite their 1-0 defeat to Rochdale in Saturday’s 46th and final league game, and now face Shrewsbury Town over two legs for the right to play at Wembley.
Todd Kane played all of Oxford’s defeat to his former club Blackburn, whilst Jordan Houghton signed off at Doncaster by playing every minute of their last two games against Wimbledon and Wigan. Iké Ugbo was an unused substitute for Milton Keynes.
Brad Collins returned from a concussion-enforced absence to feature in Forest Green Rovers’ 3-0 defeat at the hands of Grimsby. Returning to Chelsea next week, he refused to rule out a possible return to the New Lawn next season.
Marco van Ginkel returned for PSV after a fortnight off as they brought the curtain down on their title-winning Eredivisie campaign with a goalless draw at home to Groningen. A Chelsea future looks unlikely, with clubs lining up for his services after a goal-filled season, and Chelsea loan manager Eddie Newton reflecting on his immediate future:
Eddie Newton playing it coy on Marco van Ginkel’s future:
‘That is of course between us and the player. But it is clear that Marco has been in the spotlight and that there are several clubs that are interested in him.’#CFC #LoanArmy https://t.co/VkEasvGJjn
— WAGNH (@WAGNH_CFC) May 3, 2018
Cristian Cuevas didn’t play for a much-changed and already relegated FC Twente side that drew 1-1 with NAC Breda.
Victorien Angban played the second half of Waasland-Beveren’s 3-2 win over Mouscron, but they remain bottom of their Europa League playoff qualification group.
Baba Rahman was named in the Schalke squad for the first time since joining on loan in January, but was an unused substitute, and will look towards their finale next weekend to get a few minutes on the pitch for the first time in more than a year.
Michy Batshuayi’s season is, of course, over.
Josimar Quintero was an unused substitute as Betis Deportivo were relegated against Badajoz.
Nathan played 34 minutes as Belenenses beat Portimonense 3-2.
Charly Musonda was not involved for Celtic yet again, and manager Brendan Rodgers – after brushing off concerns about his diminished playing time earlier in the week – revealed that the Belgian has returned to Cobham for treatment on a shoulder injury, a conveniently-timed development for all involved.
Kenneth Omeruo was an unused substitute as Kasimpasa won 5-2 away to nine-man Trabzonspor.
Mario Pašalić played in the middle of a back three as Spartak Moscow beat Rostov 2-0 on Saturday. He was rather pleased with how he played in such an unfamiliar position.
Danilo Pantic played ninety minutes as Partizan drew 2-2 at home to Napredak.
Mitchell Beeney was in goal as Sligo lost 2-1 at home to Bohemians.
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|