Nathan Ake made his tenth start for Watford and opened the scoring on what turned out to be a very a memorable day for the Hornets, as they beat Liverpool 3-0.
Ake will miss Watford's next game, as it is against his parent club, but will no doubt return for their next game, which comes only 48 hours later.
Reading finally ended their 4-match losing streak with a 1-0 win over Blackburn Rover. It was new manager Brian McDermott's first match.. Michael Hector partnered captain Paul McShane in the heart of defence while Lucas Piazon was brought on at half-time for Matej Vydra. You can head over to The Tilehurst End's Player Ratings article to see how they thought the loanees fared (spoiler alert: well enough).
Nathaniel Chalobah was an unused substitute for Napoli. With regular playing time still seeming like a big challenge, Serie A strugglers Carpi are deemed to be a likely loan destination for Nate in January. Fellow loanee Wallace was also at Carpi this season but found game time very hard to come by and is heading back to Brazil to join Gremio on another loan deal, with an option to buy. While Carpi is probably a better destination than Napoli in terms of playing opportunities, given the nature of Italian clubs when dealing with loanees they cannot buy, it still carries some amount of risk.
Stipe Perica got his second start (and just fifth appearance) in the league this season, and scored Udinese's only goal, as they ended the calendar year with a 0-1 victory over Torino. He might've gotten lucky with a few deflections but he did it justice with a competent finish!
Now we have to improve our home performances. I'm working hard to stay here and continue to do well. We put in a good team performance. I'm delighted with my goal.
- Stipe Perica
Juan Cuadrado played 83 minutes for Juventus, who beat Carpi 2-3.
Andreas Christensen started alongside fellow 18-year-old, Nico Elvedi as Andre Schubert decided to play his regular partner of late, Havard Nordveit, in midfield for Borussia Monchengladbach's final game before the winter break, against Darmstadt. On a bit of a losing streak (3 in all competitions), Die Fohlenelf were in danger of losing this game as well, when they went 1-0 down in the first half; they went a man down not soon after as well, with captain Granit Xhaka getting dismissed for the third time this season. However, Gladbach mounted a formidable comeback and won the game 3-2, to head into the break in the final Champions League qualifying place.
NEC Nijmegen too, ended their year on an excellent note, beating Feyenoord 3-1. Todd Kane played the whole ninety.
Dominic Solanke spoke to ELF Voetbal after Vitesse's victory over FC Twente, revealing his plans for Christmas!
"It probably looked a little strange, that goal. I used my body well and the keeper could therefore not come in. Fortunately, the referee didn't whistle. I also did not do much wrong, I think. As a striker you always want to score."
"I am very pleased with the confidence of the coach. Vitesse is a great club to gain experience this season and to develop myself. I feel good here. There are certain areas where I can improve myself. I could have included more can and perhaps have to score."
"It takes some time getting used to not playing football during Christmas. In England, we have no winter break. I think it's nice to spend more time with my family; I've taken beautiful gifts for them from the Netherlands, to keep under the Christmas tree."
"On Christmas, there is a turkey dinner. It's a beautiful time to be together. I'll also come to Chelsea in the coming days. I have a lot of guys I haven't seen in a while! I fly Saturday with Izzy and Lewis to London. Maybe we'll go for the Chelsea game. Chelsea play Watford on Boxing Day, where Nathan Ake is on loan this season. Nathan is good friends with Izzy, Lewis and I."
"I was surprised and a little shocked by the news of Mourinho. The results were not good, but everyone knows what he has achieved at Chelsea. Mourinho is a great manager. But Hiddink is too."
"Whether Hiddink can use a scoring forward? Haha. I do not know if he needs me. My contract states that I'm at Vitesse until the end of this season. You'll see me in 2016 in the Netherlands again!"
- Dominic Solanke
What a lovely lad.
I think it's time to make Todd Kane's Tweets a regular feature of this report.
Yes, Toddy. #footballforlife!