We round up another busy week of domestic and European action for our players out on loan, including a third consecutive start for Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Europa League progress for Tiemoue Bakayoko’s Napoli…
Starting in the Premier League, it was a good night all round for Fulham as they welcomed supporters back to Craven Cottage for the visit of the champions Liverpool. Loftus-Cheek operated once again in an advanced midfield role, starting for the third game in a row, and left the field 74 minutes into the game with his side still ahead.
Scott Parker’s men made a great start and scored early through Bobby Decordova-Reid, holding the Reds at bay until the concession of a penalty 11 minutes from time. Mo Salah converted but the hosts held on well for a useful point that initially kept them out of the bottom three before Burnley’s win at Arsenal.
Earlier on Sunday, Ethan Ampadu was back in the Sheffield United midfield for their trip to Southampton. However, the Blades continued their desperate start to the season with a seventh straight defeat as they were beaten 3-0 at St Mary’s. The young Welsh international played the full 90 minutes for only the fourth time in the Premier League.
Joining them in the bottom two are West Brom, who were defeated 2-1 at Newcastle on Saturday afternoon courtesy of a late Dwight Gayle winner. Conor Gallagher, who had netted in the Baggies’ previous two league games, played 80 minutes and was withdrawn just moments before the crucial goal was conceded.
Bakayoko through in Europe
Needing a point to ensure their place in the Europa League knockout stages, Napoli played out a 1-1 draw with La Liga leaders Real Sociedad on Thursday evening as the group phase came to a conclusion. Bakayoko was deployed in midfield before being withdrawn with 21 minutes remaining and then watched as the hosts conceded a stoppage-time equaliser.
The 26-year-old was then involved for the final half hour in Sunday’s Serie A come-from-behind victory over Sampdoria, a result that leaves Gennaro Gattuso’s side third in the table.
Also in Europa League action in midweek was Kenedy, who started at left wing-back as Granada drew 0-0 in Greece against PAOK. The Spaniards were already through and finish as runners-up to PSV Eindhoven. He was unused as they beat Elche 1-0 away at the weekend to continue a good start to the season in La Liga.
Elsewhere on the continent, Trevoh Chalobah played 77 minutes of Lorient’s 3-0 win against Nimes, which is their first win since October and takes them out of the relegation zone in Ligue 1.
Lewis Baker played back-to-back 90 minutes for Trabzonspor, though the struggling Turks could only muster successive draws, 0-0 away at Kayserispor and 1-1 at home to Sivasspor. The results leave them four points from safety, albeit having played a game or two more than some teams around them.
In Belgium, Matt Miazga featured for the duration during an impressive victory for Anderlecht over Genk, who were top of the Jupiler League. The American international played his part in a second clean sheet in three games for a side now up to sixth in the table.
Cercle Brugge, meanwhile, are six places further back in 13th after Ike Ugbo was unable to prevent them falling to a 1-0 defeat to Oostende.
Having helped Porto secure their place in the Champions League round of 16, Malang Sarr was rested for most of their final game in the group, coming off the bench for the final 11 minutes of a 2-0 win at Olympiacos. He was then an unused sub for their cup victory over Tondela on Sunday.
Danilo Pantic played the final 16 minutes of Cukaricki’s 3-0 win at home to Javor in the Serbian Super Liga, while in Russia it was defeat Spartak Moscow away to Sochi, with Victor Moses featuring throughout in the week he turned 30.
Football League round-up
Swansea City are third in the Championship following a big win in the south Wales derby, with Marc Guehi back in the side to help Steve Cooper’s men register another clean sheet.
The Swans have the best defence in the division, having conceded just 10 goals in 18 games to date, and a brace from Jamal Lowe ensured the points and bragging rights were secured in the Welsh capital. The 20-year-old had missed the 0-0 midweek draw with fellow high-fliers Bournemouth with a slight knock.
Also in England’s second tier, Jake Clarke-Salter played 80 minutes for Birmingham City in their narrow defeat at home to Watford, having been unused in their midweek 2-1 win at Reading.
Jamal Blackman was also on the wrong side of a result against the Hornets as his Rotherham United side lost 2-0 in midweek at Vicarage Road. The goalkeeper was on the bench for the weekend win over Bristol City that leaves the Millers three points clear of danger.
Izzy Brown had two late cameos for Sheffield Wednesday but was unable to prevent them falling to back-to-back defeats at the hands of Huddersfield Town and Barnsley.
In League One, Luke McCormick grabbed a goal and an assist to help Bristol Rovers register consecutive league victories for the first time this season.
The midfielder swung in a left-footed corner for Alfie Kilgour to power in a header inside seven minutes before notching his first goal in senior football with a smart finish inside the 18-yard box. The wins have taken Rovers three points clear of the drop zone.
Three of our youngsters featured for Accrington Stanley this week. Nathan Baxter started in goal for the 3-2 EFL Trophy triumph over Manchester United’s Under-21s, while Tariq Uwakwe played 67 minutes at left wing-back. The latter then started another high-scoring game this weekend as Stanley were beaten 4-3 at Wigan. He was withdrawn at half-time and Jon Russell was introduced for the final 35 minutes.
Ian Maatsen continued his bright start to a maiden senior loan at Charlton Athletic by playing the duration of their 5-2 victory over AFC Wimbledon, a result that leaves the Addicks fifth and just four points off the top.
In League Two, Jamie Cumming’s Stevenage were beaten 4-0 at Carlisle United to leave them just inside the relegation places courtesy of goal difference. However, there was slightly better news for the young goalkeeper when he was awarded the Save of the Round for his penalty heroics in the FA Cup second round win over Hull City.