In this midweek round of games, there were European debuts for Andreas Christensen and Nathaniel Chalobah (albeit vastly varying ones), a first goal in professional football for Jordan Houghton and the loss of a loanee (and a pleasant surprise?) in Mohamed Salah.
Since the resignation of Lucien Favre following Gladbach’s dismal start to the season, Christensen has been restored to the heart of Die Fohlen’s defence. He started their last three Bundesliga games, the latter two resulting in victories, alongside Alvaro Dominguez and Havard Nordtveit, respectively, and was also selected to start their tough Champions League encounter versus Manchester City, partnering the former.
It was an impressive display overall from the nineteen-year-old Dane against a top attacking side, which featured all four of Kun Aguero, David Silva, Raheem Sterling and Kevin De Bruyne. He made several crucial interceptions and blocked many efforts on goal during the course of the game, while looking quite composed on the ball. However, he was extremely unlucky to see Nicolas Otamendi’s shot deflect off his leg and into the goal for City’s equalizing goal. The goal was later credited to Martin Demichelis, whose initial shot from the corner appeared to cross the goal line before being cleared and falling to Otamendi.
Christensen didn’t look as proactive or sharp following the goal but continued to help repel the oncoming City onslaught, that eventually resulted in a 90th minute winner via an Aguero penalty.
You can assess (to some extent) Christensen’s Champions League debut yourself, by viewing a compilation of his touches/defensive involvement in the game.
Mario Pasalic warmed the bench for the whole 90 minutes of AS Monaco’s 1-1 draw with Tottenham.
Juan Cuadrado played the entirety of Juventus' 2-0 win over Sevilla. His stats, according to WhoScored for the game were 3 dribbles, 1 tackle, 3 shots and 94% pass success. Although stats aren't always a correct measure of a player's performance, Cuadrado has evidently been one of the bright spots in Juventus' indifferent campaign so far. Here's Max Allegri, singing his praises.
Nathaniel Chalobah came on for the final five minutes of Napoli’s Europa League clash with Legia Warsaw, making his debut for the Italian club. Hopefully, he’s able to turn things around and make the best of this seemingly confusing loan move in due course of the season.
Jordan Houghton has had minutes aplenty so far this season with third-tier Gillingham and even scored his first goal in professional football. He started and scored his team’s second goal in a comfortable 5-1 victory over Fleetwood. Gillingham currently sit third in the League One table. You can read the midfielder’s post-match quotes here.
Here's his goal.
Alex Davey made his first appearance for Peterborough since the 5th of September, with a 34-minute spell as a substitute in their 2-3 loss to Bury.
Izzy Brown, who was called up to England U19 yesterday for the upcoming round of qualifiers, scored two goals for the Vitesse Reserves on the 28th. There were quotes from the player, too.
I am very happy with my contract extension at Chelsea. It means a lot that Chelsea's staff believes in me.
I'm on loan at Vitesse this year and maybe I'll join a Premier League team on loan before joining Chelsea's first team.
It's disappointing not to play the last two weeks but the manager explained to me that I have to adapt to the style of playing. It was a big risk (injuries) to continue playing the way I did.
It's better to adapt to the playing style first. This is my first season at Vitesse and I haven't proven/achieved anything yet so I have no right to complain about it.
Last but certainly not least, Mohamed Salah is off the Chelsea books after Roma announced that they had made his loan deal permanent. Good luck, Mo!