In our round-up of the action involving Chelsea players out on loan, the focus shifts overseas as those in Italy, the Netherlands and Greece continue to push for continental qualification, and one man has already helped create history in Europe this season.
Fikayo Tomori couldn’t prevent AC Milan being eliminated from the Europa League by Manchester United, as the Red Devils won 1-0 after Paul Pogba scored in a goal-mouth scramble, but the on-loan Chelsea defender played a key role in the Rossoneri bouncing back at the first opportunity to keep pace with Serie A leaders Inter Milan.
Tomori prevented a certain goal with a clearance off the line inside the first five minutes at Fiorentina, before winning the ball and launching the counter-attack which ended in the decisive goal of his side’s dramatic 3-2 victory, keeping their rivals below them at arm’s length in second place.
Earlier, on Friday evening, Davide Zappacosta had provided the assist for Genoa’s equaliser as they came back to beat Parma 2-1, maintaining their safety margin above the relegation battle. There was an element of fortune about it, though, as the full-back’s low volley at goal was off target but diverted in by a team-mate six yards out.
Tiemoue Bakayoko came off the bench late on to help Napoli hold their 2-0 lead away at Roma, a result which moved them three points clear of their opponents and within two of the top four and Champions League qualification, with a game in hand.
Things are tight at the top in the Netherlands too. Armando Broja couldn’t find a way to break the deadlock as Vitesse drew 0-0 with relegation-threatened Willem II, but the Arnhem side still gained a point on second-placed PSV Eindhoven after Marco van Ginkel was an unused substitute in their 2-0 defeat to third-placed AZ Alkmaar, meaning just three points separate those three sides.
It was a tough weekend for Juan Castillo as he was withdrawn at half-time during ADO Den Haag’s 5-0 loss away at runaway Eredivisie leaders Ajax.
Closer to home in the Premier League, Ross Barkley came off the bench for Aston Villa midway through the second half of their match against Tottenham Hotspur, but couldn’t prevent them losing the game 2-0.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek suffered a similar fate with Fulham, as they were already 2-1 down to Leeds United when he was introduced as a substitute and the Cottagers couldn’t find an equaliser, leaving them two points from safety in the relegation battle.
In the Championship, Marc Guehi was part of the Swansea City side which suffered defeat to Cardiff City in the Welsh derby, going down 1-0, but remain in the top play-off qualification spot.
Jamal Blackman was on the receiving end of a 4-1 defeat to Watford with Rotherham United, made all the more frustrating by the fact that two of the goals he conceded came from rebounds after he had saved the initial shot.
Ian Maatsen conceded a penalty early in Charlton Athletic’s League One fixture against Bristol Rovers, but helped the Addicks come back from two goals down to win 3-2. He followed that up with a 2-2 draw at Wimbledon in new manager Nigel Adkins’ first game, keeping them in the play-off places.
Luke McCormick was in the Bristol Rovers side beaten my Maatsen and Charlton and suffered a second defeat at the weekend, 2-0 away at Plymouth Argyle, although McCormick was unlucky not to get his name on the scoresheet in that second match, his deflected shot looking set for the back of the net before being turned away by a fine save. Jon Russell played the last 10 minutes of Accrington Stanley’s 2-0 defeat to Sunderland last Wednesday.
Jamie Cumming and Stevenage Borough secured a comfortable 3-1 win at home against Carlisle United in League Two, who spent most of the game with 10 men following a first-half red card.
Baba Rahman and PAOK leapfrogged AEK Athens into third spot, and the European qualification places, as the play-off stage of the Super League Greece began. They beat the capital side 3-1 in a match known as the ‘double-headed Eagle derby’ due to the clubs’ similar badges and shared roots.
Kenedy was part of the Granada side which made history last week by reaching the quarter-finals of the Europa League, making this the club’s most successful European campaign of all time. They actually lost 2-1 to Molde on the night, but the Spanish side’s 2-0 victory in the home leg ensured they progressed to the last eight. However, there was no such saving grace at the weekend, when Granada and Kenedy were defeated by the same scoreline at Valencia in La Liga.
Matt Miazga helped Belgian side Anderlecht recover from conceding an early goal to win 4-1 at home against Zulte Waregem, with both sides being reduced to 10 men. Ike Ugbo was on the losing side with Cercle Bruges, as they were beaten 1-0 away at Gent.
Trevoh Chalobah and Lorient secured an important Ligue 1 draw away at Nantes in dramatic fashion. Having been behind since the second minute of the match, they snatched a point by equalising from a 40-yard free-kick with three minutes left, keeping them one-point clear of the relegation zone.
In Turkey, Danny Drinkwater was in the starting line-up for Kasimpasa twice in the space of six days, as they drew 1-1 with Konyaspor but were then beaten 2-1 away at Genclerbirligi. Lewis Baker was introduced in the second half for Trabzonspor as they won 4-1 at home to Ankaragucu. Danilo Pantic was part of the Cukaricki side which won 2-1 away at Macva Sabac in Serbia.