Our weekly round-up of those Chelsea players out on loan today focuses on a young striker enjoying his best goalscoring season and a defender whose side were relegated…
Ike Ugbo has regularly found the back of the net during his campaign in Belgian’s Jupiler League and the 22-year-old managed to notch his fourth goal in three games during Cercle Brugge’s 1-1 draw at Oostende.
Cercle’s survival was confirmed earlier in the week when Mouscron failed to win their game in hand and this latest point meant they finished five clear of the drop zone. Ugbo’s latest goal takes him to a final tally of 16 for the season, his best senior haul by some distance, and was a typically alert close-range finish from inside the 18-yard box.
The Belgian league now moves into the play-offs for the title and European qualification, though Cercle will be involved in neither and can start preparing for another year of top-flight football in 2021/22.
Matt Miazga’s Anderlecht will be in the hunt to be crowned champions after a third-place finish, secured by a 1-0 win at St Truiden this weekend in which the American defender played throughout.
Elsewhere across the Channel, Armando Broja claimed a cup final assist in the Netherlands but it was not enough for 10-man Vitesse Arnhem as they were beaten by a stoppage-time Ajax winner. Read more about Broja’s efforts in the KNVB Cup final here.
Blades finally blunted
After a whirlwind two-year spell in the Premier League, Sheffield United’s relegation was confirmed on Saturday evening following their 1-0 defeat at Wolverhampton Wanderers. It came at the end of a day in which Newcastle United had beaten West Ham to extend the gap between the league’s bottom side and safety to a hefty 19 points.
Ethan Ampadu lined up at the back for the Blades for his 29th appearance of the season but was unable to prevent William Jose firing in the winner 14 minutes into the second half.
Newcastle’s recent upturn in form has also been bad news for Fulham, who picked up a creditable point away at Arsenal. Ruben Loftus-Cheek featured from the bench for the final 13 minutes at the Emirates for a Cottagers side who are now six points adrift with five games remaining, and the sides above them holding games in hand.
Napoli pushing, Lorient battling
Kenedy was in action at Old Trafford in the Europa League as Granada were beaten 2-0 on the night by Manchester United, 4-0 on aggregate. The Brazilian started the game on the right of the attack but was replaced at half-time.
In Ligue Un, Trevoh Chalobah and Lorient remain mired in a battle to beat relegation following a spirited 3-2 defeat at Marseille. The French side are just one point clear of the bottom three with five games remaining.
Tiemoue Bakayoko was a late substitute as Napoli maintained the pressure on the Champions League qualification places in Italy, drawing 1-1 with leaders Internazionale. Gennaro Gattuso’s side are now just two points behind fourth-placed Juventus.
Elsewhere in Europe and England…
Lewis Baker played 90 minutes as Trabzonspor drew 1-1 with Hatayspor in Turkey, while Victor Moses was at left wing-back as Spartak Moscow were beaten 3-0 by Ufa in Russia.
Baba Rahman helped PAOK to an impressive 2-0 win over Olympiacos in the Greek Super League.
There were mixed fortunes for Marc Guehi as Swansea City beat Sheffield Wednesday 2-0 in midweek before needing a late fightback to snatch a point against struggling Wycombe Wanderers. The Swans are now six points adrift of Watford and the final automatic promotion spot in the Championship, with a place in the play-offs looking most likely for Steve Cooper’s side.
Izzy Brown was also involved in that avian encounter of Swans and Owls, playing the final 26 minutes for the hosts in Sheffield. It was the 24-year-old’s first match action since early March but leaves Wednesday second-bottom and seven points from safety.
In League One, Luke McCormick played the duration as Bristol Rovers lost 1-0 to Lincoln City, while Jon Russell was introduced on 77 minutes in Accrington Stanley’s 3-1 defeat at Rochdale.
Jamie Cumming and Stevenage were beaten 1-0 by Mansfield in League Two.