Nathan Ake started his third consecutive game as Premier League newcomers Watford visited the Britannia Stadium on a stereotypically cold and rainy Saturday afternoon. Ake, obviously the weakest link in defence on paper, was targeted but to his credit, he held his own, putting in his best display in a Watford shirt yet. It was an especially good defensive performance overall by Watford, restricting Stoke to a lone shot on goal.
Have a look at Ake's stats, via Opta. That's 5 ball recoveries, 4/6 successful tackles, 3 interceptions, 4/5 clearances, 2/4 aerial duels won and 2 blocked crosses. He did, however, commit the most number of fouls in the game albeit without entering the referee's book. Not bad at all for a 20-year-old in his fourth Premier League start, being played not at his best position.
Patrick Bamford was brought on in the 56th minute for Frazier Campbell, as Crystal Palace searched for an equaliser at Leicester. He managed to have two shots on target but on one instance, went down looking for a penalty instead when he was arguably in a goal-scoring position. With Campbell being generally woeful, Bamford might be in line to start in the League Cup on Wednesday, against Manchester City.
Marco van Ginkel was on the bench again for Stoke but didn't get his usual run out because of Stoke having to make a forced change early on, caused by an injury to Geoff Cameron.
Victor Moses was ineligible to play against his parent club for West Ham. Anyone know how they did this weekend?
Reading started off well against Fulham, being two goals to the good after 50 minutes, one of which was scored by none other than Lucas Piazon. Despite always looking too light for the Championship, Piazon continues to chip in with important contributions, game after game. He was hauled off after 70 minutes, in what seems like an increasingly standard change. Reading decided to self-destruct henceforth, conceding four goals and losing 4-2. Michael Hector played the whole 90, and had a second half to forget. *insert joke about how he'd fit right into our defence*
Piazon seems to have got himself a nice little chant.
SING IT.. Pia Pia Piazon, Piazon Piazon, pia pia Piazon, pia Piazon. pic.twitter.com/NRZefUJSwc— george (@TalkMurtyToMe) October 24, 2015
John Swift opened the scoring for Brentford with a clinical headed finish. He was subbed off at 62 minutes, as Brentford ran out comfortable 3-0 winners against Charlton; their third win on the bounce. Amidst his impressive displays for the Bees, it's easy to forget that Swift is only on an emergency one-month loan as of now. At this rate, he'll almost certainly have his loan extended. Earlier this week, the youngster opened up about his loan, past loans and ambitions.
Here are yesterday's goals from our Championship loanees:
Tomas Kalas, as usual, started at right-back for Middlesbrough but was sacrificed after 59 minutes, with Stewart Downing brought on to help them turn around their 1-0 deficit to Wolverhampton. It was an inspired substitution (Karanka doing a great Mourinho impression there), as Downing grabbed a goal and an assist, helping Boro to a 3-1 win.
Jordan Houghton started and played 58 minutes of Gillingham's 1-1 draw versus Southend. Alex Davey was an unused substitute for Peterborough.
Kenneth Omeruo returned from injury but sat on the bench for the whole duration of Kasimpasa's 0-1 loss to Bursaspor.
Marko Marin appeared to score a Willian-esque free kick for Trabzonspor versus Sivasspor but was credited with an assist, to a certain Okay Yokuslu. Marin was subbed off in the 59th minute, Trabzonspor ending 2-0 winners.
Dk.13 Marko Marin pic.twitter.com/BvGEYoRhl5— Trabzon Takipte (@TrabzonTakipte) October 24, 2015
Jeremie Boga finally got some significant minutes for Rennes, getting 25 off the bench against Lorient. He even did this:
With a Coupe de la Ligue game on Tuesday, we could see Boga start his first game for the French side.
Cristian Manea once again warmed the bench for Mouscron, just as Islam Feruz did for Hibernian.