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Chelsea loan round-up: 19 years old, 180 minutes against Juventus, 1 goal conceded

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Andreas Christensen continues to impress as Chelsea loanees see plenty of midweek action.

Sascha Steinbach/Getty Images
ENGLAND:

Lucas Piazon was restored to the starting line-up for Reading, but was taken off in another double-substitution, coming at half-time this time around. Michael Hector, meanwhile, was nowhere to be seen in the matchday squad.

Reading manager Steve Clark likes to deploy Piazon out wide, but since that isn't really the young loanee's natural position, he tends to drift inward. With Garath McCleary doing the same on the opposite flank, the Royals saw a lot of their attacks crowded out by a tight Huddersfield defence. Reading did manage a last-gasp equaliser from Ola John to draw 2-2. If you're interested, you can read some match analysis (also focusing, in part, on Piazon) from the Tilehurst End.

Despite having contributed a fair number of assists and goals, Piazon seems to not quite be justifying the starting spot that he's handed more often than not. Time and time again, he seems too lightweight and lacks the intensity and defensive contribution required for the Championship. With Reading's wealth of attacking options this year, Piazon may well find himself out of the side sooner rather than later at this rate.

Over at Middlesbrough, Aitor Karanka decided to rest Daniel Ayala, who was on four bookings, for their weekend clash against top of the table Hull City, instead of risking him in a midweek tie against worse opposition.  This meant that Tomas Kalas finally started at center-back instead of right-back and helped keep a clean sheet, as they beat Rotherham 1-0. Boro are now just one point behind the leaders, albeit in fourth place. In fact, there's only one point separating first place from fifth, adding substance to the claim that the Championship is the most competitive league in the world!

John Swift completed yet another whole 90 minutes for Brentford, whose resurgence was brought to a halt by a 0-2 home reverse against Hull City. Swift ended up leading the game in terms of  both dribbles completed (5/5) and number of times dispossessed (4)!

EUROPE:

Andreas Christensen helped Borussia Monchengladbach hold Juventus to a draw for the second time in the Champions League group stages, with the game ending 1-1. The young Dane seems to have impressed Juventus enough for them to be interested in him, as per reports that emerged after the game. That's 180 minutes against Juventus and one goal conceded. Isn't half-bad, is it?

Christensen was also rewarded for his efforts for the German club with a call-up to the senior national side. National team Coach, Morten Olsen and his father (and agent), Sten Christensen both decided to speak a few words in the wake of the good news.  Here they are, perilously translated with Google Translate.

"I also watched the game against Dortmund. From day one, he has shown in Gladbach, what kind of player he is."

"He has great foresight for a 19-year-old. He sizes up to his opponents, has the courage, is fast and a good header of the ball, so there is no doubt that here, we see one who will definitely push in the next several years. And maybe even in other positions. Time will tell."

-Morten Olsen

"Andreas' great strength is that he as always been so focused. He has never been to a party at school. I do not think he has drunk a beer or anything yet. He has been very conscious of what he has wanted, and fought extremely hard for it. It is his greatest strength - to be able to put other things in order to achieve his objectives."

-Sten Christensen

Kinda reminds me of myself, you know. I mean, just the part about not having a beer yet, obviously.

Juan Cuadrado was a substitute in the same match, and came on for Paulo Dybala in the 63rd minute.

Mario Pasalic started for AS Monaco against Qarabag FK but was hauled off in the 61st for Ivan Cavaleiro, who went on to score his side's equaliser. The game ended 1-1. Although unbeaten in this year's Europa League campaign, Monaco have won only one of their group stage encounters and now have their work cut out as they face two testing outings against Anderlecht and Tottenham. Three points separate Spurs (in 1st place) and last-placed Qarabag, meaning the door is still open for any two out of the four teams to qualify for the knockout rounds.

Nathaniel Chalobah wasn't even on the bench for Napoli's encounter against FC Midtjylland. Napoli ran out 5-0 winners, and are now guaranteed to qualify to the next stage of the competition. Hopefully, with two dead-rubber games to come, Chalobah will finally see the green of the pitch... but will he get to step on it, too?

#FreeChalobah.

OTHERS:

Jeremie Boga was a 73rd minute substitute for Giovanni Sio, as Rennes won 2-0 away to Angers. He even went close to scoring from a free-kick late on.

Islam Feruz was an unused substitute for Hibernian.

Please play Cristian Manea, Mouscron. Pretty please?

OTHER HEADLINES AND HAPPENINGS:

Todd Kane, after a string of impressive performances with NEC Nijmegen, is apparently on the radar of PSV Eindhoven and Feyenoord, among others. If he does well enough this season... are you thinking what I'm thinking? [Ed.note: YES, RECALL TODD KANE ONCE AND FUTURE RIGHT BACK KING]

Christian Atsu has decided to show a sign of life and reveal that he's working hard towards recovery. Good signs!

Nathan Ake spoke to the Watford media team, previewing their weekend fixture against high-flying Leicester.

INTERNATIONAL CALLUPS:

Andreas Christensen - Denmark
Victorien Angban - Cote d'Ivoire
Michael Hector - Jamaica
Nathan Ake - Netherlands U21
Jeremie Boga - France U19
Lewis Baker, Dominic Solanke and Nathaniel Chalobah - England U21
Izzy Brown - England U19
Mario Pasalic - Croatia U21