Nathan Ake made his second start for Bournemouth, although not in midfield as one might’ve expected given the ineligibility of Jack Wilshere for the match against his parent club, Arsenal, but once again at center-back. And once again, Ake impressed.
I have to think Conte would love to have Ake around next season, looks fantastic again— Steve Schmidt (@SchmidtXC) November 27, 2016
In the opening minutes alone Ake made two crucial blocks in quick succession, but there was absolutely nothing he could do to prevent Arsenal’s opener, gifted to them by an errant back-pass from Steve Cook. Ake read the game well and used his pace to good effect throughout the game, despite inadvertently causing Arsenal’s second goal. It was Ake’s headed clearance that fell to Nacho Monreal, who crossed to find the head of Theo Walcott. Ake was slightly out of position having only just cleared the ball and couldn’t get back to mark Walcott quickly enough, but left-back Brad Smith, who was in close proximity, really should have not left it all for Ake to do.
Nevertheless, Ake made a strong case for his inclusion in the Bournemouth XI on a more regular basis. If not at center-back next weekend, there’s a good chance that Ake might start at left-back instead of the woeful Brad Smith if Charlie Daniels remains out injured.
We gave everything in London today. Thanks to all the travelling fans! pic.twitter.com/f0VN81hxHY— Nathan Aké (@NathanAke) November 27, 2016
Upcoming fixtures: Liverpool (H, December 4)
Neither Patrick Bamford nor Kenedy were involved in their teams’ fixtures.
Tammy Abraham started in Bristol City’s 2-1 loss to Reading and was once again isolated up front.
Upcoming fixtures: Ipswich (H, December 3)
Kasey Palmer’s Huddersfield Town take on Wigan Athletic on Monday night, be sure to watch this space for any updates.
Izzy Brown was named in the Rotherham starting XI for the first time under new manager Kenny Jackett and assisted his side’s only goal in the 1-2 loss to Leeds United. He was also named the Millers’ man of the match but his work-rate off the ball continues to be somewhat lacking, much to the fans’ annoyance.
Upcoming fixtures: Burton Albion (A, December 3)
Tomáš Kalas started and Lucas Piazon was an 84th minute substitute as Fulham took an early lead against Brighton and Hove Albion, but ended up losing the game 2-1. Kalas racked up some impressive defensive stats from the game, with with 4/4 tackles won, 9 clearances, 6 interceptions and 4/6 aerials won.
Upcoming fixtures: Reading (H, December 3)
Christian Atsu played the whole 90 minutes as Newcastle suffered a shock 1-0 defeat to Blackburn Rovers at St. James’ Park.
Upcoming fixtures: Hull City (A, November 29), Nottingham Forest (A, December 2)
Charlie Colkett played no part in Bristol Rovers’ 3-2 loss to Chesterfield. Jake Clarke-Salter is injured, and will be for a while thanks to his bone fracture.
Upcoming fixtures: Barrow (H, December 4)
Alexander Kiwomya started both of Crewe Alexandra’s games this week and scored in the midweek 2-1 win against Morecambe, taking his tally for the season up to 7 goals in 14 appearances.
Jordan Houghton, despite being one of the less-heralded loanees, has been having a very impressive season in League Two with Doncaster Rovers and, in fact, leads the Loan Army in terms of minutes played this season. He has been a mainstay in a Doncaster side actively pushing for automatic promotion to League One, and helped them to another victory this weekend by scoring in a 3-1 win against Leyton Orient.
Houghton is only on a half-season long loan as of now and the midfielder claimed that after sorting out his contract (which expires at the end of the season) situation with Chelsea in January, he’ll look to extend his loan further.
Alex Davey was an unused substitute for Crawley, while Jamal Blackman kept a pair of clean sheets for Wycombe. Afterwards, the goalkeeper spoke to the Daily Star about his season so far.
"I'm really enjoying being here. It helps that I'm getting game time, but I'm the happiest I have been for a while. The lads have also been welcoming from my very first training session. They said you've come from a big club, just show your attributes."
"I try to take everything I do in each game into the next one, and I've been able to work on different attributes of my game. I’ve got a longer kick, which you need in League Two, and I'm getting better at coming for corners. I'm just happy to make as many saves as possible and keep on keeping clean sheets."
"Chelsea usually have someone coming to watch games, to do a match analysis and go over things with me, saying things I done well and things I can do better."
- Jamal Blackman; source: Daily Star
Also, last week, speaking after a win against Cambridge United, Wycombe boss Gareth Ainsworth showered some lavish praise on the Chelsea loanee, claiming that he’d play in the Premier League one day.
"Jamal Blackman will play in the Premier League, and anyone who wants to disagree with me should watch his second half performance today – he was outstanding. He's behind some cracking keepers, and at a smaller club he would have been higher up the pecking order by now."
"He's an awesome talent to have, and that second half performance showed what a great player he is. He's in there and it's his fight, that's the biggest thing for me. Sometimes loan players come in and it's not their fight, but haven't got any of that here, they all fight for Wycombe Wanderers."
"Jamal looks at League Two results to check where Wycombe are before he looks at Chelsea's results, that's the stature of the man, and when he goes onto bigger and better things he will be one we can look back on and say we're really proud he learnt a little bit at Wycombe."
"To be honest, I hadn't seen loads of Jamal before we signed him apart from a few clips, but Barry Richardson (Wycombe's goalkeeping coach) vouched for him. We've added stuff to his game and he's added stuff to our team."
"We'll be looking to keep the best players at this club, and Jamal falls into that category, although Scott Brown is also a good keeper to have at this level if Jamal does go."
"We've got some good contacts at Chelsea, and it's a fantastic relationship to have. To be able to bring a player from Chelsea into League Two is something special in itself."
- Gareth Ainsworth; source: GetBucks
Dion Conroy played the whole 90 as Aldershot lost at Sutton United, and Nathan Baxter started in Met Police’s 1-1 draw against Billericay Town.
Jeremie Boga revealed in Granada’s pre-match press conference ahead of their clash with Celta Vigo that he was finally being given opportunities after working hard on the defensive side of his game in training. He looked set to play a part in the game against Celta but ultimately missed out after picking up a knock in training.
Victorien Angban did not make the match-day squad, nor did Charly Musonda for Betis, due to a lack of match-fitness.
Real Betis - Deportivo (H, December 29), Celta Vigo (H, December 4)
Granada - Osasuna (H, December 30), Sevilla (H, December 3)
Andreas Christensen was part of an excellent Borussia Mönchengladbach defence that held Manchester City to a 1-1 draw in mid-week. Christensen turned in a typically Christensen-esque performance, keeping tabs on Sergio Aguero and getting into good positions whilst complementing the more hard-tackling Tony Jantschke.
He played another 90 minutes against Hoffenheim on Saturday, as Gladbach led a game yet again but failed to win, drawing this one 1-1.
Upcoming fixtures: Borussia Dortmund (A, December 3)
Michael Hector started for Eintracht Frankfurt in the three-man defence and despite being booked after a reckless challenge in the first half, played out an impressive shift and helped his side to a 2-1 win over Borussia Dortmund, which took Frankfurt up to 4th place.
Upcoming fixtures: Augsburg (A, December 4)
Baba Rahman started in Schalke's Europa League win against OGC Nice and was an unused substitute on Sunday against Darmstadt.
Upcoming fixtures: RB Leipzig (A, December 3)
Lewis Baker started in Vitesse's 2-2 draw against Excelsior, while Danilo Pantic was an 83rd minute substitute for Excelsior. Nathan and Matt Miazga were unused substitutes.
Vitesse - PEC Zwolle (H, December 3)
Excelsior - AZ Alkmaar (H, Decembr 3)
Bertrand Traore was on the bench as Peter Bosz rotated in numbers for Ajax's Europa League game against Panathinaikos but he returned to the starting XI in a 0-1 win against SC Heerenveen, going off injured in additional time.
Upcoming fixtures: Groningen (H, Decembr 4)
Matej Delac started and had an own goal credited to him in a 7-0 thrashing of Royal Mouscron by Anderlecht. Islam Feruz made his first start in the league and played 63 minutes.
Cristian Cuevas played 67 minutes in STVV's 1-0 loss to Lokeren.
Mario Pasalic was handed his second Milan start and played 78 minutes in a 1-4 win against Empoli, after which manager Vincenzo Montella claimed to be satisfied with the youngster's performance.
Upcoming fixtures: Crotone (H, December 4)
Kenneth Omeruo played the whole of Alanyaspor's 3-0 win against Kayserispor.
Wallace started for Gremio, in a 4-1 loss to Santa Cruz PE but was an unused substitute in midweek against Atletico Mineiro.
I should perhaps only mention Joao Rodriguez when he plays.