The FA Cup and winter weather had an impact on the weekend’s fixture schedule, but there was still plenty of action to cover in our round-up of Chelsea players on loan.
The only one in Premier League action was Ross Barkley, who earned his first points since returning from injury last week as Aston Villa defeated Newcastle United 2-0 at home. Barkley played the first 80 minutes of the win, which took Villa within four points of the Champions League places.
The rest of the players on loan in England’s top two divisions had their schedule taken over by the FA Cup. Marc Guehi enjoyed the most memorable day in that competition as he helped Swansea City secure a fifth-round meeting with Manchester City by thrashing fellow Championship team Nottingham Forest. The Welsh side never looked like letting their lead slip after going ahead in the seventh minute and ended up as 5-1 winners at the Liberty Stadium.
Ethan Ampadu played the whole 90 minutes of Sheffield United’s 2-1 home win over Plymouth Argyle. The Welsh international was unlucky not to get his name on the scoresheet too, as his shot looked goal-bound before appearing to be blocked by a defender’s arm, but no penalty was given.
Izzy Brown came off the bench to make his return from injury for Sheffield Wednesday. However, it wasn’t a happy ending to his first appearance of 2021, as they were defeated 3-0 away at Premier League side Everton.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek was also a second-half substitute for Fulham, but couldn’t do anything to turn the game around as they were eliminated 3-0 by Burnley in an all-Premier League clash.
Ian Maatsen and Charlton Athletic maintained their spot in the League One play-off places with a dramatic comeback at home against Swindon Town. Having been two goals behind at the break, the Addicks scored twice in the second half, including an injury-time equaliser, to salvage a point.
Luke McCormick and Bristol Rovers suffered a 2-0 defeat away at League One’s form team Oxford United, who recorded their sixth straight win.
In the division below, Jamie Cumming was on the losing side with Stevenage, as they travelled to promotion hopefuls Exeter City. The match was decided by a flurry of late action, involving three goals in six minutes, as the visitors were defeated 3-1.
In the overseas fixtures, Marco van Ginkel continued his return from a long injury absence with his second appearance of the season for PSV Eindhoven, this time coming on for the last 16 minutes of their 2-0 home win over RKC Waalwijk in the Eredivisie, being introduced shortly after PSV had scored their second goal.
That result leaves them one point behind second-placed Vitesse Arnhem, who also recorded a home victory, beating Groningen 1-0, although Armando Broja was forced off with an injury midway through the second half.
Juan Castillo earned his first point with ADO Den Haag after joining the club earlier this month and it could prove to be an important one. They drew 0-0 with fellow relegation battlers Emmen, a result which moved Den Haag out of the automatic drop zone.
There was also a clean sheet in Belgium for Matt Miazga, but he and Anderlecht were unable to take all three points either as they drew 0-0 at home with Waasland-Beveren, leaving them one point behind the title play-off places.
Ike Ugbo netted his 11th league goal of the season for Cercle Bruges, opening the scoring in the first half of their 2-1 win away at Kortrijk.
Davide Zappacosta and Genoa continued their recent resurgence in Italy with a 1-0 home win over Cagliari. The right-back went close to extending their lead late on, but was denied by the goalkeeper, and the single goal proved enough for victory in a potentially crucial game for the Serie A relegation battle, as it took the Grifone four points clear of their opponents and the drop zone.
Tiemoue Bakayoko couldn’t prevent Napoli losing 3-1 to Hellas Verona, despite his side taking the lead after just nine seconds, the club’s quickest-ever Serie A goal.
Kenedy suffered a 3-1 defeat away at Osasuna with Granada in the Spanish top flight.