Chelsea here Chelsea there: Another Gallagher goal and Porto progress for Sarr

We round up a busy week of domestic and European action for our players out on loan, including a second Premier League goal for Conor Gallagher…

The 20-year-old picked his corner for the second weekend running with an assured finish from the edge of the box. The goal drew West Brom level at 1-1 with Crystal Palace, but a red card shortly afterwards left them with an uphill battle and they conceded four second-half goals without reply. Michy Batshuayi was a late Palace sub. 

The result keeps the Baggies in the relegation zone, and that is partly down to Fulham’s first away win of the season last Monday, at Leicester. Ruben Loftus-Cheek started and helped the Cottagers spring a surprise in the East Midlands with a pair of first-half goals.

Loftus-Cheek started again on Saturday as they were beaten 2-0 at Man City. He was withdrawn in the final quarter-of-an-hour of both matches. 

In midweek, Man City were foiled by a defensive Porto side for whom Malang Sarr starred. They kept Pep Guardiola’s side at bay to earn a goalless draw that secures their progression to the Champions League last 16 as a group runner-up. 

Sarr then played in a more tumultuous 4-3 league victory over Tondela at the weekend.

Europa League progress

Elsewhere in Iberia, Kenedy set up Granada’s injury-time equaliser at home to Huesca on Sunday. They had trailed 3-1 but Kenedy, a late sub, helped complete a dramatic comeback in La Liga. 

Earlier in the week the Spanish side’s place in the Europa League knockout stages was secured despite a defeat in which Kenedy was not involved. They will finish top of their group if they win away to PAOK Salonika on Thursday. 

It’s a similar story for Napoli and Tiemoue Bakayoko, who host Real Sociedad on the same night knowing a victory will assure them of first place in their group. Lose and they may not qualify. 

Bakayoko played in their 1-1 draw at AZ Alkmaar and subsequent 4-0 victory at Crotone in Serie A.

AZ’s bench included our own Juan Castillo, who had a busy week. As well as playing twice for Yong AZ, in a 1-0 win at Go Ahead Eagles and 1-0 loss at home to TOP Oss, the defender was on the bench in Naples and again on Sunday in the Eredivisie. 

Staying in the Netherlands, Armando Broja played as Vitesse Arnhem suffered a rare defeat at PEC Zwolle. They stay second in the Eredivisie after the 2-1 loss. 

Over the border into Belgium, Igbo Ugbo netted his eighth goal of the season for Cercle Bruges, although it came in a 2-1 defeat in Leuven, while Matt Miazga played for Anderlecht as they drew 2-2 at Zulte Waregem.

There was also action on the continent for Victor Moses, who helped Spartak Moscow thump Tambov 5-1, Danilo Pantic, who played in Cukaricki’s 1-0 loss at Partizan Belgrade, and Trevoh Chalobah, as Lorient lost 2-0 at Angers in Ligue 1.

Football League action

It was another double gameweek in the EFL. Marc Guehi and Jamal Blackman both played twice for Swansea and Rotherham respectively. The Swans are up to fourth in the Championship after beating Luton 2-0 at the weekend, having lost 2-1 at Middlesbrough. 

It was back-to-back defeats for Rotherham however, although Blackman did impress despite their 3-1 loss at Coventry on Saturday. The Millers are a couple of points and places outside the relegation zone. 

Also in England’s second tier, Jake Clarke-Salter played 80 minutes of Birmingham’s 2-1 loss at home to Barnsley in midweek, and Izzy Brown made a brief substitute appearance in Sheffield Wednesday’s 2-1 loss at top-of-the-table Norwich on Saturday.

Tariq Uwakwe made his first league appearance since October for Accrington Stanley on the same day and had a hand in both of their goals in a 2-1 win over MK Dons, setting up the first and sending over the cross which led to the winner. 

Earlier in the week, Jon Russell played for Stanley in their 2-2 draw at Shrewsbury, and Luke McCormick featured for the first half of Bristol Rovers’ 2-0 loss against Gillingham. 

In League Two, it was two draws and two points for Jamie Cumming and Stevenage. Only a stoppage-time penalty at Walsall denied them victory in midweek, and then they were held to a goalless draw by bottom-placed Southend. They have moved out of the relegation zone themselves on goal difference. 

Finally, in the National League South, Ethan Wady was helpless to prevent Dartford losing 3-1 at Eastbourne Borough, although the Darts do remain top of the table.

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