In our latest round-up of the action involving the Chelsea players out on loan, it was a painful week in the Premier League, but several Blues were involved in big matches as the incredibly tight Championship promotion race heats up...
Armando Broja was part of the Southampton team which slipped to only their second home defeat of the season, being defeated 2-1 by in-form Newcastle United in the Premier League last Thursday evening, despite taking a first-half lead.
The striker was forced off with an ankle injury in that game but recovered in time to be on the bench as they faced Watford at the weekend, being introduced at half-time with his team 2-1 down. The Saints couldn’t find a way back into the game and Broja went off injured again late on, after suffering a heavy whack to the face in a clash with goalkeeper Ben Foster.
Having missed the match against Chelsea on Thursday evening, Billy Gilmour returned to action for Norwich City as a late substitute at Leeds United on Sunday. He was involved in a thrilling, but ultimately heartbreaking, finale to the game for the Canaries, as he was introduced in the 88th minute, shortly before they grabbed a late equaliser, only to concede and lose 2-1 in the fourth minute of added time.
Dujon Sterling and Blackpool gave themselves hope of a late charge towards the Championship play-offs with their fifth win in six games, this time beating Swansea City 1-0 at home. Defender Sterling played his part by helping the Seasiders keep a second consecutive clean sheet.
Tino Anjorin came off the bench as Huddersfield Town were eliminated from the FA Cup by Nottingham Forest last Monday. In the Championship on Friday, he and Levi Colwill were both involved as substitutes in the 2-2 draw, their 17th game unbeaten, which moved the Terriers back into second place.
It could have been even better, though, as Huddersfield had been leading 2-0 with six minutes remaining and Anjorin was then denied a dramatic last-gasp winner by an Andy Carroll goal-line clearance.
Jake Clarke-Salter and Ian Maatsen were both part of the Coventry City team whose play-off chances were dented by a 1-0 home defeat to Luton Town last Tuesday, despite Maatsen going close to an equaliser with a powerful long-range drive.
However, both players started again as the Sky Blues bounced back by beating Sheffield United 4-1 on Saturday. After conceding first they equalised before the break and then surged into the lead with three goals in 16 second-half minutes.
Things went from bad to worse for Danny Drinkwater and Reading at Nottingham Forest. They conceded the Championship’s quickest goal of the season so far after just 17 seconds, before letting in three more after half-time to lose 4-0. That cut the Royals’ safety margin to the relegation zone to four points.
In League One, Jamie Cumming and MK Dons made it five wins in a row by beating Cheltenham Town 3-1 last Tuesday, but they needed a late equaliser to draw 1-1 in the crucial promotion head-to-head with Wigan Athletic on Saturday, leaving the two sides level on points in the chase for automatic promotion.
Mason Burstow came off the bench in the 86th minute for Charlton Athletic, but it was too late to prevent them losing 2-1 to 10-man Accrington Stanley, suffering their seventh defeat in eight games.
Emerson Palmieri featured throughout as Lyon made a promising start to their Europa League last-16 tie by winning 1-0 away at Porto in the first leg, becoming the first French side ever to win away at the Portuguese side in a competitive match at the 13th attempt.
They couldn’t carry that performance over into their domestic form, though, going 4-0 down within the first 50 minutes at home against high-flying Rennes, with their attempted second-half fightback only being able to pull things back to 4-2 by the end.
In Slovenia, Karlo Ziger and Rudar Velenje suffered a 2-0 defeat away at Nafta, leaving them trailing their opponents by eight points in the play-off race. Michy Batshuayi came on in the second half for Besiktas in an Istanbul derby at home against Basaksehir, but there were no further goals as the match ended 2-2, meaning they remain two points below their rivals in the final European qualification spot.