Nathan Ake started at left-back again for Watford, and was up against fellow loanee Victor Moses, as Watford saw off the the team that beat us last week, West Ham United. Initially, Moses looked as if he may be getting some joy down the flank but was eventually unable to make much of an impact, not even registering a single successful cross. He was brought off at half-time, as Slaven Bilic decided to ring the changes after finding his team 1-0 down.
If it hadn't been made evident so far, Ake has been targeted by the opposition in every game he's played, due to his obvious inexperience, but the youngster showed he was up to the task on the night. He's never been afraid to put in the crunching tackles despite often getting them wrong and giving away fouls, but this time around, he was successful in all his attempts, having the highest number of them on the pitch (6). He's steadily improving in his left-back role, but needs to be given adequate protection, as he was, by Miguel Britos, Etienne Capoue and the omnipresent Troy Deeney as well.
Ake was even the creator of Watford's opening goal, robbing Andy Carroll of the ball near the West Ham box and crossing for Aaron Cresswell/Odion Ighalo to tap home. Watch!
Andy Carroll just did this! Epic fail! #WHUFC #Watfordfc #BPL pic.twitter.com/bVEntR7D9M— PL Football (@PLFootballTips) October 31, 2015
Ake also had a header saved earlier on:
Nathan Ake v West Ham #cfc #loanarmy pic.twitter.com/qfTR1lU3lf— JoostNa (@JoostNa) November 1, 2015
Marco Van Ginkel was a late substitute for Stoke, seeing around four minutes on the pitch.
Patrick Bamford was on the bench for Crystal Palace against Manchester United but Alan Pardew made just one substitution all game, and it was not the Chelsea loanee. Bamford's two-match streak of seeing competitive minutes thus ends.
The reason behind Christian Atsu's formerly unexplained absence has finally been brought to light by manager Eddie Howe. It seems that the Ghanaian winger has been struggling with a shin injury for the last six weeks, and will most likely be out for the next month as well. Hopefully, Atsu will finally have an injury-free, minutes-rich spell to follow after that.
Tomas Kalas was an unused substitute, as Aitor Karanka rotated his defence for Middlesbrough's follow-up to their heroics at Old Trafford. Boro are currently 4th in the Championship and are looking strong contenders for promotion to the Premier League.
Michael Hector started and helped Reading hold Championship leaders, Brighton to a 1-1 draw. Lucas Piazon, whom arrest awaits in Canada (to which he claimed innocence), was brought on in the 73rd minute in Steve Clarke's standard front-four double substitution. Reading promptly equalised not five minutes later.
Hector erm.. also did this.
Michael Hector v Brighton pic.twitter.com/yqBwsuNr2o— JoostNa (@JoostNa) November 1, 2015
John Swift, for the first time this season, completed 90 minutes as Brentford edged past QPR 1-0.
In the highlights video below, Swifty features with a shot from the edge of the box, saved by Rob Green. He doesn't feature after, but Brentford are lovable, which means you should watch the whole thing anyway and root for their promotion.
Jordan Houghton and Alex Davey were both unused substitutes for Gillingham and Peterborough, respectively.
Vitesse Arnhem made light work of Excelsior, notching their second away victory of the season with a 3-0 result. Dominic Solanke scored via a penalty for his fourth of the season while Lewis Baker hit the woodwork and (statistically) assisted Kevin Diks' goal, which was Vitesse's second of the game. Nathan was a 67th minute substitute and Izzy Brown finally returned from injury, coming on late in the game to replace Solanke. Danilo Pantic was an unused substitute.
Here's From Arnhem with Love with a full match report, and an individual assessment of all the loanees in the game.
Dominic Solanke goal #cfc #pk pic.twitter.com/IS19i3Zx0H— JoostNa (@JoostNa) November 1, 2015
Baker's two attempts on goal:
Lewis Baker v Excelsior (1) #cfc #loanarmy pic.twitter.com/NerVawb76q— JoostNa (@JoostNa) November 1, 2015
Lewis Baker v Excelsior (2) #cfc #loanarmy pic.twitter.com/Hwvru4AYIG— JoostNa (@JoostNa) November 1, 2015
Baker's 'assist' to Diks. Great goal.
Lewis Baker assist #cfc #loanarmy pic.twitter.com/ehnwRnTJgb— JoostNa (@JoostNa) November 1, 2015
Andreas Christensen started for Borussia Monchengladbach, who continued their devastating form after their sorry start to the season and beat Hertha Berlin 4-1. Looks like we could use that kind of a turnaround here...
Kenneth Omeruo returned to Kasimpasa's starting XI, playing the whole 90 in their feisty 3-3 draw against Besiktas.
Juan Cuadrado didn't start for Juventus in the Turin Derby but was brought on to replace Sami Khedira in the 11th minute (cookie for you if you can guess why). Cuadrado was involved in both of Juventus' goals in the 2-1 victory, assisting the first for obvious Chelsea 2016-17 player, Paul Pogba, and scoring the winning goal in the 93rd minute.
Alex Sandro made the assist for Cuadrado's goal in the final moments which won Juventus the derby against Torino. https://t.co/JRmM0VoiqK— Seleção Brasileira (@BrazilStats) October 31, 2015
Does that rub salt in our wounds, or what?
Literally the man of (in) my dreams, Jeremie Boga, got around twenty minutes of action off the bench, but couldn't stop Rennes from losing 0-1 to PSG.