Our latest collection of loan highlights includes Blues in action on FA Cup fourth-round weekend and a dream start for Jamal Blackman to life on loan at Bristol Rovers.
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With the FA Cup fourth round taking place, a number of our loan players whose clubs have already bowed out of the competition had a weekend off, although there was some Chelsea involvement outside of our trip to Hull City.Jake Clarke-Salter was involved in a pair of draws for Birmingham City this week, which came in different competitions and, technically, in away games. However, while their trip to Middlesbrough in midweek, which ended 1-1, took place at their opponents’ traditional home, the same could not be said of their goalless draw with Coventry City.
The Sky Blues have been playing their home games at St Andrew’s this term and in an announcement over the public address system they thanked Birmingham for ‘allowing us to play to our home games at your home’. There will be a replay at St Andrew’s next week.Matt Miazga was also involved in the fourth round of the Cup, wearing the captain’s armband for 66 minutes of Reading’s 1-1 draw at home to Cardiff City. However, it was a bittersweet occasion as he was carried off with an ankle injury.There was only one game in the Championship this weekend, but it involved two of our loanees as Conor Gallagher and Marc Guehi started for Swansea City at Stoke. Although Gallagher forced Jack Butland into a fine save, it was a frustrating afternoon for the Welsh club, who remain just outside the play-off places following a 2-0 defeat.
In League One, Jamal Blackman (pictured top) only joined up with his new Bristol Rovers team-mates last week and he was thrown straight in for their game against fellow mid-table side Fleetwood on Saturday. The goalkeeper made a big impression, however, with an eye-catching save to tip one shot onto the post helping secure a point in a goalless draw.Elsewhere at that level, Richard Nartey came on for the last 15 minutes of Burton’s 1-0 win over MK Dons in midweek, although he remained on the bench at the weekend when the Brewers were held 1-1 by Accrington Stanley.Dropping down to League Two, Josh Grant helped Plymouth to a 2-1 win at struggling Stevenage which moves them up into the automatic promotion places.The past week also brought the resumption of the Scottish Premiership following the winter break, with Nathan Baxter in action twice for Ross County. However, after keeping a clean sheet in a 0-0 draw with Hearts, the keeper was on the wrong end of a 3-0 scoreline against leaders Celtic.
It was a mixed week for Tiemoue Bakayoko and Monaco in France. The midfielder came on as a substitute on Monday night when his side beat Saint-Pryve Saint-Hilaire 3-1 in the last 32 of the French Cup, but there was a reverse of that scoreline on Saturday when they returned to Ligue 1 action against Strasbourg, with Bakayoko playing the full 90 minutes on this occasion.
After starting Atalanta’s shock 2-1 home defeat to SPA, Mario Pasalic had to settle for a second-half cameo as the Nerazzurri won 7-0 at Torino to maintain their push for a Champions League spot.In Spain, Baba Rahman was part of the Real Mallorca side which lost 3-1 against Real Zaragoza to bow out of the Copa Del Rey on Tuesday night.Juan Castillo was in action twice for Ajax Under-21s as they followed up a 2-0 win over Dordrecht with a 3-3 draw at NEC Nijmegen. The latter result knocked them off the top of the table in the Dutch second tier. Ike Ugbo also started both of Roda JC’s matches, although two defeats leaves them only three points off the bottom.