We catch up with the highlights from the past week for Chelsea players out on loan…
Premier League action
Conor Gallagher’s pinpoint free-kick set up the only goal of a chaotic 1-0 win for West Bromwich Albion at home to Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday. He teed up Kyle Bartley to score 10 minutes in before the Baggies held on to their lead despite the visitors having a goal eventually disallowed following two VAR reviews and missing two penalties.
Stamford Bridge was not the only Premier League venue in London hosting a 0-0 draw on Sunday with Ruben Loftus-Cheek playing the full match for Fulham in their scoreless outing at Crystal Palace. The Cottagers were the dominant side but could not breakthrough a defence marshalled by former Blue Gary Cahill, with Loftus-Cheek one of several of the visiting players to go close to scoring. Michy Batshuayi was an unused sub for Palace. Third-from-bottom Fulham remain three points from safety.
Also in action in the top flight on Sunday was Ethan Ampadu who was in the Sheffield United team defeated 2-0 at home by Chelsea’s next opponents Liverpool.
Drinkwater’s Turkish bow
Danny Drinkwater, who had been hampered by injury since his January loan move to Turkey, was able to make his Kasimpasa debut on Sunday, coming on in the 57th minute of a match at Goztepe. It ended in a 1-0 defeat with the goal coming in the first half.
In European competition last week, two Blues went head to head in the Europa League round of 32 as Napoli met Granada. Kenedy and the Spanish side were 2-0 up from the first leg, but Napoli did their best to turn things around. A 2-1 home win for the Italians was not enough, though, despite Tiemoue Bakayoko putting the ball in the net only to see the goal ruled out for a push, meaning it is Kenedy’s European campaign that continues.
On Sunday there was a win in La Liga for Kenedy and Grenada who are in eighth place in the table after a 2-1 win at home to strugglers Elche.
Fikayo Tomori helped AC Milan to reach the last 16 of the Europa League as he featured throughout their 1-1 draw with Red Star Belgrade (pictured top), meaning they progressed on away goals after the tie finished 3-3 on aggregate.
Then in Serie A there was an important win for Milan and Tomori in their quest for the Serie A title when they beat Roma away. The match ended 2-1 to the Rossoneri despite striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic going off with an injury. Milan also hit the bar. It was their first win in five games in all competitions. They are second in their league table, four points behind Inter.
Broja on target
In the Dutch league, Armando Broja starred for Vitesse Arnhem as they got back to winning ways, after picking up one point in five league games, by defeating VVV Venlo. First he provided the cross for the opening goal, and then he completed the scoring himself to make it 4-1, coincidentally the same scoreline by which they had lost to VVV in the first game of that disappointing run.
Juan Castillo came off the bench late on for ADO Den Haag in their 0-0 draw at home with RKC Waalwijk.
In Belgium, Ike Ugbo was on the winning side for Cercle Bruges, as they defeated Waasland-Beveren 2-0 at home on Saturday in a potentially crucial relegation clash which took the hosts out of the drop zone. Matt Miazga was in defence for an Anderlecht side that won away on Sunday, 3-1 at Standard Liege. The Brussels team are in fifth, only three points off second but they trail Belgian League leaders Bruges by 18 points.
There was a first win in four games for Lorient in France. Trevoh Chalobah played in a back three in their 2-1 home win over St-Etienne with Lorient fighting back from having conceded first and the winner scored inside the final five minutes. Chalobah’s loan side are fourth from bottom in Ligue 1.
In Russia there was defeat for fourth-place Spartak Moscow and Victor Moses who went down 2-0 at home to Rubin Kazan.
Baba Rahman was a second-half substitute in Greece for PAOK, but was unable to prevent them losing 2-1 away at Asteras Tripolis.
Danilo Pantic was in the starting line-up for Cukaricki as they continued their unbeaten run in the Serbian Super Liga, winning 2-1 at Backa, meaning they have still dropped just two points so far this year.
The English lower leagues
In the Championship, Marc Guehi kept a clean sheet with Swansea City as they beat Coventry City 1-0 midweek, but they then lost ground on the top two in the promotion race as they were beaten 3-1 at home by Bristol City.
Jake Clarke-Salter and Birmingham City were on the receiving end of a 3-1 defeat to runaway Championship leaders Norwich City in midweek, but the defender was in the starting line-up again at the weekend when they came from behind to beat Queens Park Rangers 2-1, their first home win in 13 attempts.
Izzy Brown came off the bench too late to do anything about Sheffield Wednesday’s 3-0 defeat to Brentford. He was in the starting line-up on Saturday as they took a 2-0 lead at Luton Town, but a second-half fightback by the Hatters saw Wednesday lose 3-2 in the end.
In League One, Luke McCormick scored the first goal of Joey Barton’s tenure as Bristol Rovers manager with a fine equaliser against Wigan Athletic, cutting in from the left and burying a low drive, but it proved in vain as Wigan bagged a second in injury time to win 2-1. He was on the winning side by the same scoreline on Saturday, though, as Rovers beat Shrewsbury Town to climb out of the relegation zone.
Nathan Baxter was at fault for Crewe Alexandra’s opening goal as they beat his 10-man Accrington Stanley side 2-0 last Tuesday, but the goalkeeper made amends with a series of impressive saves during their 1-1 draw at Fleetwood Town on Saturday. The best among them was stunning stop to deny Josh Morris from the penalty spot with 10 minutes remaining. Fellow Blue Jon Russell came off the bench for Accrington in both those fixtures, as did Tariq Uwakwe against Crewe.
Ian Maatsen was a substitute twice in a week for Charlton Athletic, first in a 2-1 defeat to Burton Albion and the second as one of four half-time substitutes against Blackpool. Those changes were not enough to prevent their struggles at home continuing, as two second-half red cards contributed to a 3-0 loss.
Dropping down to League Two, Jamie Cumming kept back-to-back clean sheets for Stevenage Borough as they made it four games unbeaten with consecutive 0-0 away draws against Port Vale and Newport County.