Nathan Ake made his fourth Premier League start for Bournemouth, keeping his place in the heart of defence next to captain Steve Cook. Eddie Howe chose to rest Jack Wilshere for this fixture, given the congested schedule, which meant that the Cherries lined up in a 4-4-2 formation with Adam Smith playing as a right-winger, which is why Ake slotted in at center-back once again.
The young defender, who received praise from Howe in the pre-match presser, unfortunately didn’t have the best of games as Bournemouth lost 3-2 to Burnley. It was his headed clearance that found a Burnley player and eventually Jeff Hendrick, whose shot from distance left Artur Boruc with no chance of saving it. Then, one of Ake or Dan Gosling looked as if they should’ve been marking Ben Mee during a corner, who was the catalyst for Burnley’s second goal that was eventually tapped home by Stephen Ward. Burnley’s third goal was a fine finish by George Boyd from an angle inside the penalty area, although Ake perhaps should’ve done better in trying to block the shot.
Ake did have a decent game outside of those few instances but it’s no consolation really, when they all led to goals. Howe will look to rotate his squad in the upcoming period; hopefully Ake will see some more game time before Bournemouth face Chelsea on Boxing Day, for which he’ll be ineligible.
Upcoming fixtures: Leicester City (H, December 13), Souhampton (H, December 18)
Patrick Bamford was an unused substitute for Burnley in the aforementioned game.
Upcoming fixtures: West Ham (A, December 14), Tottenham (A, December 18)
Tammy Abraham ended his mini goal-drought by scoring the equaliser for Bristol City away to Huddersfield Town, who started fellow loanee Kasey Palmer in midfield. Despite being one of their better performers, Palmer was the first player brought off on 70 minutes, as the Terriers looked to extra midfield steel in the form of Phillip Billing to see out their 2-1 win in the Chelsea Loanee Derby.
Bristol City: Brentford (H, December 13), Preston (H, December 17)
Huddersfield: Burton Albion (A, December 13), Norwich City (A, December 16)
Izzy Brown started for Rotherham and scored the match-winning goal against QPR, propelling his team to only their second victory of the season after finishing a fine one-two combination move. Rotherham are still some way off safety though; they are currently ten points adrift of 21st-placed Blackburn Rovers.
Upcoming fixtures: Fulham (A, December 13), Sheffield Wednesday (A, December 17)
Tomas Kalas started in Fulham’s enthralling 4-4 draw against Wolves and even claimed the assist for Floyd Ayite’s last-gasp equaliser. Lucas Piazon was an unused substitute.
Upcoming fixtures: Rotherham (H, December 13), Derby County (H, December 17)
Christian Atsu was a 70th minute substitute in Newcastle’s 4-0 victory over Birmingham City.
Upcoming fixtures: Wigan Athletic (A, December 14), Burton Albion (A, December 17)
Charlie Colkett played a largely unspectacular 76 minutes in Bristol Rovers’ 4-2 win against Bury.
Upcoming fixtures: Shrewsbury (A, December 17)
Jordan Houghton started for Doncaster but failed to prevail over his former loan club, Plymouth Argyle; Doncaster lost the game 2-0 but remain in the final automatic promotion place, four points clear of Portsmouth in fourth place.
Jamal Blackman claimed another clean sheet as Wycombe Wanderers continued their excellent run of form, beating Chelsea’s potential FA Cup opponents, Notts County, 0-2 and in the process, climbing into the promotion play-off spots.
Alex Kiwomya failed to find the back of the net despite a couple of good chances and played 75 minutes in Crewe’s 0-2 loss to Crawley, for whom Mitchell Beeney was not involved and Alex Davey was only an unused substitute. Crewe and Crawley find themselves in consecutive positions in the league table, in 14th and 15th place respectively.
Dion Conroy played the whole of Aldershot’s 1-1 draw against East Thurrock United in the FA Trophy.
Andreas Christensen started in midweek as Borussia Mönchengladbach were taken apart by Barcelona, 4-0. Gladbach's defensive positioning was far too suspect, often leaving too much space for a late run into the box followed by a subsequent tap-in, and conceded multiple times in the same way. Things got much better for Gladbach over the weekend, with Christensen adding the only goal of their victory over FSV Mainz to an excellent performance overall.
Upcoming fixtures: Augsburg (A, December 17)
As has become the norm, Baba Rahman started for Schalke in the Europa League, in their final group stage match, which also turned out to be the only group stage match they'd fail to win — RB Salzburg overcame the largely second-string Schalke side 2-0. Baba then retained his place and started against Leverkusen in the league but the early dismissal of Naldo did Schalke no favours, and they eventually lost the game 1-0.
"I work really hard and as you can see, the coach is doing a rotation between the Europa and Bundesliga as well. I wish I could play every week but he's doing a rotation for the players to have enough rest and get more power because of the situation we find ourselves."
-Baba Rahman; source: Pulse
Whispers from Ghana also report that Ronald Koeman, up at Everton, is looking to add Baba as a potential replacement for the aging Leighton Baines as early as January, although Chelsea would apparently prefer an initial loan deal.
Upcoming fixtures: Freiburg (H, December 17)
Michael Hector helped to see out the final few minutes of Eintracht Frankfurt’s goalless draw against Hoffenheim.
Upcoming fixtures: Wolfsburg (A, December 17)
Jeremie Boga started again and had another impressive outing in Granada’s 1-1 draw against Malaga. After an abysmal start to the season, Granada are in desperate need of a few wins, but every point counts. Victorien Angban failed to make the match-day squad.
Upcoming fixtures: Real Sociedad (H, December 17)
As things stand, Charly Musonda is back at Cobham recovering from injury, although there’s a high likelihood that he might not return to Betis at all.
Lewis Baker started as Vitesse won consecutive games for the first time in 2016 thanks to a late Ricky van Wolfswinkel winner against Sparta Rotterdam. Nathan was a 62nd minute substitute and Matt Miazga watched on from the bench.
Upcoming fixtures: Jodan Boys (H, December 14), Feyenoord (A, December 17)
Bertrand Traore missed both of Ajax’s games this weekend due to injury.
Upcoming fixtures: Cambuur (A, December 15), PSV (H, December 18)
Danilo Pantic was unavailable last weekend due to injury and was missing from the match-day squad this weekend as well, perhaps due to the same.
Upcoming fixtures: NEC (H, December 18)
Cristian Cuevas started as STVV claimed their second consecutive victory with a 0-1 defeat of KV Kortrijk.
Matej Delac saw four go past him in Mourscron’s 1-4 loss to KV Mechelen. Islam Feruz was not involved.
Kenneth Omeruo started in defensive midfield to rave reviews for Alanyaspor, who beat Karabükspor 0-2.
Wallace played 90 minutes for Gremio in a 0-1 loss to Botafogo.
Milan kicks off on Monday night and this report will be updated with the requisite Mario Pašalić information.