Matters are beginning to be decided as seasons draw to a close in England and around Europe. In our round-up of the latest loan highlights, we have news of promotions, relegations and sides closing in on play-off places.
Centre-back Kurt Zouma helped Everton to their seventh clean sheet in nine Premier League games when they drew 0-0 at Crystal Palace, who had Michy Batshuayi on the bench. Kenedy came on for Newcastle United’s goalscorer Ayoze Perez in the first half of their 1-1 draw at Brighton.
Mason Mount (pictured top left) and Fikayo Tomori helped Derby County give their play-off chances a big boost with a 2-0 win at rivals for one of the places, Bristol City, although Tomori, who spoke to this website at the weekend, was forced off with a dead leg injury early on. The home side had Jay Dasilva and Tomas Kalas in their starting line-up. Kasey Palmer came off their bench in the second half. City’s play-off hopes are now slim.
Matt Miazga and Lewis Baker were both part of the Reading side which let an early lead slip in a 2-1 defeat at Middlesbrough, but still ended the day celebrating as the Royals’ Championship survival was officially confirmed with a game to spare.
Michael Hector and Sheffield Wednesday drew 3-3 at Preston North End, despite going in at half time two goals down and being reduced to 10 men for the closing stages. Trevoh Chalobah came on as an early substitute in Ipswich Town’s 2-0 loss to Sheffield United.
In League One, Dujon Sterling played all but the final few moments of Coventry’s 1-1 home draw with Shrewsbury, the dropped points ending their outside hopes of a play-off place.
It was a painful weekend for Nathan Baxter at Yeovil Town, as their 2-2 draw with Northampton Town was not enough to prevent them being relegated from League Two. Jacob Maddox and Cheltenham Town beat Swindon Town 3-2.
Jared Thompson was in goal for Warrenpoints 1-1 draw against Ards. His side finish the season one place clear of relegation from the Irish Premiership.
In Italy, Mario Pasalic came off the bench to help Atalanta reach their first cup final for 23 years. He was introduced in the second leg of their semi against Fiorentina with the scores level at 1-1 on the night and 4-4 on aggregate, 11 minutes before the home side found the winner. They now face Lazio in the final on 15 May, hoping to lift a trophy for only the second time in their history, and the first since 1963.
Lazio beat AC Milan 1-0 in the other semi-final, with the only goal coming in a second leg which was marred by racist abuse directed at Tiemoue Bakayoko and his Rossoneri team-mate Franck Kessie. This weekend in Serie A, Bakayoko also tasted defeat when Milan went down 2-0 at Torino for whom Ola Aina was a late substitute. Those two teams are level on points in fifth and seventh place respectively.
In Spain, Alvaro Morata opened the scoring in Atletico Madrid’s 3-2 win over Valencia in midweek, poking home Juanfran’s cross from close range after nine minutes, and helped them to another win at the weekend, 1-0 against Valladolid. However their slim chance of beating Barcelona to the Spanish title has gone. Lionel Messi and co. we crowned champions on Saturday.
Kenneth Omeruo and Leganes kept a clean sheet as they drew 0-0 with Celta Vigo, having lost 1-0 the Athletic Bilbao earlier in the week.
Christian Pulisic was a second-half substitute for Borussia Dortmund as they were defeated 4-2 by Schalke in an ill-tempered derby, after being reduced to nine men by two red cards.
Jake Clarke-Salter suffered a 4-2 defeat to Ajax with Vitesse Arnhem in the Netherlands’ top flight in mid-week, while in the second tier Fankaty Dabo started Sparta Rotterdam’s 2-2 draw with the Amsterdam club’s junior side, but went off injured after 20 minutes.
There were no Dutch top-flight matches this weekend. The Eredivisie postponed this round of fixtures to give Ajax more preparation time for their Champions League semi-final against Tottenham.
Victorien Angban started Metz’s 2-1 win at Red Star, which confirmed their promotion to the French top flight.
Danilo Pantic was in the Partizan side which lost the Belgrade derby, 2-1 to Red Star.