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Chelsea loan round-up: Boga scores, Ake and Christensen play out thrillers

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ENGLAND:

Christian Atsu remains out for Bournemouth, still recuperating from his recent injury troubles.

Patrick Bamford came on for Connor Wickham in the 86th minute, as Crystal Palace annihilated Newcastle United 5-1. Seeing that they were up 4-1 by the 47th, I wish they'd brought on Bamford sooner. The conditions were perfect for him to come in and do something of note. As it were, he did nothing of note in his 5 or so minutes.

Marco van Ginkel was restored to the Stoke City match-day squad, but didn't get off the bench as they lost to Sunderland, for whom former Chelsea prospect Patrick van Aanholt scored his first Premier League goal!

Nathan Ake was brought back into the starting eleven by Quique Sanchez Flores for Watford's game against Aston Villa. He faced up against Alan Hutton and Carles Gil for the majority of the game and dealt with them without much hassle. He finished the game with the highest (by quite a margin) number of successful interceptions (9), though he was simply run past by substitute Adama Traore on two occasions late in the game. In his defence, young Adama was pretty much unstoppable anywhere on the pitch. Regardless, Nathan Ake is improving noticeably game by game, and has made the left-back slot his own. His decision-making is getting better and so is his positional play, even though he is still susceptible to drifting slightly out of position at times. He also looks increasingly eager (and competent) to join in during attacks. The question remains, what will happen to him if he keeps this up for the whole season? Only time will tell.

Lucas Piazon and Michael Hector both started for Reading, who lost 3-1 at Nottingham. Piazon, as usual, was hauled off early, in the 69th minute.  Our colleagues at The Tilehurst End recently assessed Piazon's role in the squad, comparing him to ex-Royal Marek Matejovsky. Do give it a read.

As expected, Tomas Kalas sat out Middlesbrough's victory against Huddersfield Town. Hopefully, he'll be back for Boro's midweek cup encounter against Everton!

Jordan Houghton and Alex Davey were once again not involved for their respective sides, Gillingham and Peterborough.

BELGIUM:

Victorien Angban and Cristian Cuevas started and finished STVV's 0-1 loss against Royal Mouscron, for whom Cristian Manea did not (surprise, surprise) feature. Joao Rodriguez was an 87th minute substitute for STVV.

Manea has found playing time hard to come by this season. This article from fanatik.ro articulates his situation and puts his struggles down to his lackluster attitude in training; a must read if you're curious to know a little more about the youngster's current state.

OTHERS:

Jeremie Boga finally started his first league game for Rennes in a center-forward role against Reims and even scored his first senior goal! He was taken off for Giovanni Sio in the 61st. The game ended 2-2.

Here's the goal!

Oh, and the celebration too!

Andreas Christensen and Borussia Monchengladbach found themselves in an unfamiliar position, trailing 3-1 to bottom-of-the-table TSG Hoffenheim after 47 minutes. Gladbach showed just why they're currently one of the hottest teams in Europe, coming back to draw 3-3 and hence preserving their unbeaten streak.

Ulises Davila was not involved for Vitoria de Setubal.

EXTRAS:

Victor Moses spoke to the West Ham United media team ahead of their Sunday fixture versus West Bromwich Albion, about his experience playing for the Hammers and about being on his third consecutive loan as a Chelsea player.

Todd Kane spoke briefly about today's Gelderse derby where he'll be lining up against fellow Chelsea loanees, and seems fairly optimistic about his side's chances.