Todd Kane and NEC Nijmegen took on Marco van Ginkel's PSV, with an ascendancy to third place well within the sight of the newly promoted side from Gelderland. Unfortunately, they suffered a 3-0 defeat at the hands of the merciless league leaders. Both players played the whole game for their respective sides, with Van Ginkel scoring his side's final goal — it was his second goal in three starts for the side he joined on Transfer Deadline Day. Keep the Chelsea dream alive, Marco!
Stipe Perica was an unused substitute for Udinese.
Over in Germany, Andreas Christensen and Borussia Monchengladbach continued their faltering start to the new year with a 3-2 loss to Hamburger SV.
Mario Pasalic started AS Monaco's 1-1 draw against Saint-Etienne, but as has become convention, he was subbed off in the 67th minute.
Marko Marin started for Trabzonspor and helped them to a 2-1 win over Kayserispor, scoring their opening goal. He was subbed off in the 87th minute.
Middlesbrough took on Leeds United on Tuesday, but even with key center-back Daniel Ayala out injured, Tomas Kalas lost out on a spot in the starting XI to 18-year-old Dael Fry. Kalas was brought on late as a substitute, replacing striker Jordan Rhodes.
Wallace played for Gremio despite previous (and probably inaccurate) reports of an injury, in their 2-0 loss to Toluca in the Copa Libertadores.
As the number of allowed substitutes on the bench decreased to a mere seven in the Europa League as opposed to that in the Serie A, Nathaniel Chalobah was left out of Napoli's squad, as they lost 1-0 to Villareal in the Round of 32.
The star of this week's Loan Round-up is undoubtedly Michael Hector, who turned in a match-winning performance in the middle of the park for Reading, who upset their ... erm, formidable ... Premier League opponents West Bromwich Albion to advance to the quarterfinals of the FA Cup. Also earning the praise of his manager, Hector scored the second goal of the 3-1 victory with a header from a set-piece situation. Fellow loanee, Lucas Piazon was brought on in the 93rd minute but scored with his second touch of the ball, hammering the final nail in the Baggies' coffin.
You can read the Tilehurst End's in-depth Match Analysis here, which heavily focuses on Hector.
Nathan Ake was handed a rest by Quique Sanchez Flores, whose Watford side also progressed to the quarterfinals with a 1-0 win over Leeds United. On a slightly worrisome side, currently second choice left-back, Jose Holebas, who has looked decent whenever he's had to step in for Ake this season, greatly impressed for the Hornets and earned the Man of the Match award. Hopefully, he doesn't get in the way of Ake's regular Premier League minutes, as the Dutchman has been arguably as impressive all season.
Victor Moses starred in West Ham's 5-1 mauling of Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park, opening the scoring for his side, whose remaining goals came via doubles from Dmitri Payet and January signing Emmanuel Emenike. Moses completed the whole 90.
John Swift started on the bench for Brentford and was brought on for Josh McEachran in the 70th minute, but couldn't prevent them from slumping to a 1-3 loss to Derby County.
Mitchell Beeney, who recently had his emergency loan deal at League Two side Newport County extended until April, sat on the bench in the wake of the return to fitness of their previously first-choice keeper. Newport drew 1-1 against Exeter City.
Alex Kiwomya was not in Fleetwood Town's squad for their fixture against Scunthorpe, and is due to return to Cobham at the end of his month-long loan spell.
Borussia Monchengladbach increased their win tally in 2016 to two with a crucial derby victory over fellow Rhine side, FC Koln. Andreas Christensen started alongside Havard Nordveit (instead of Martin Hinteregger, who scored an own goal in their loss to Hamburg), and wasn't posed many problems by the Koln attack, keeping a clean sheet in his side's 1-0 victory. Gladbach now sit in fifth position, level on points with Bayer
NLeverkusen, and one behind third-placed Hertha Berlin.
There was no such luck for Papy Djilobodji, whose Werder Bremen side were beaten 2-0 by FC Ingolstadt. Papy did have his customary pile-driver effort from distance that wasn't off by all that much though.
Charly Musonda started (and completed) his third straight game for Real Betis, who played out a 1-1 draw against Sporting Gijon, temporary home of Barcelona starlet Alen Halilovic. Musonda is quickly adapting to the higher level of play in La Liga, completing as many passes in this game as he did in his first two combined. He also drew a whopping 10 fouls! That remind you of another Belgian back in London? Hmm.
Christian Atsu has returned to light training, but wasn't fit enough to make Malaga's squad for their clash against Real Madrid.
Marco van Ginkel started for PSV, who completed a routine 2-0 victory against Heracles Almelo. The Eindhoven club still sit atop the Eredivisie table, although Ajax are hot on their heels, with only a point less than them.
Meanwhile, NEC Nijmegen faltered yet again, drawing 1-1 against SC Heerenveen. Todd Kane, as usual, completed the whole 90. NEC are now 8th and have hence dropped out of the Europa League qualification play-off spots. However, they're unlikely to stay there, with the gap between 8th and 3rd being only four points.
The same could be said for Vitesse Arnhem, who unexpectedly failed to win against lowly local rivals De Graafschap. In fact, Vitesse, who took the lead via a screamer from Marvelous Nakamba in the first half, conceded two quick goals on either side of half-time but snatched a point from the jaws of defeat by virtue of a super strike from none other than Lewis Baker. Nathan was the only other Chelsea loanee involved in the game; he was brought on in the 81st minute for Denys Oliinyk. Izzy Brown and Dominic Solanke were sidelined due to injury, and Danilo Pantic, whose situation at the club has been unclear since Transfer Deadline Day, was not included in the match-day squad either.
After the game, manager Rob Maas cleared the air around the Serbian's future.
"That boy wants to play. We said iff there is a club for you, then that is what we want you to think about the most. Danilo is young and eager. He has a bit of a Balkan character. This can also be positive. But he must also understand that you have to face competition with us. In his position, Lewis (Baker) and Vako (Valeri Qazaishvili) will play. It is busy in midfield."
"He's in discussions about his future at Vitesse. A few leagues are still open."
"He is looking for his chances therein. The consultation follows Chelsea. Today (Monday) I'm talking to technical director, Mo Allach. "
"Until then, he is not part of our selection. I want to have motivated players. I'm not saying he is demotivated but we need players who are completely focused. He is now working to see if he can continue elsewhere. I think it's fair to guys who work with us throughout the week and train to take them to a game. "
There was Friday night action when Juventus travelled to Bologna, who boast the teenage midfield talents (who have been linked to Chelsea) Amadou Diawara and Godfrey Donsah. Juan Cuadrado replaced Roberto Pereyra at half-time, as the sides played out a goalless draw. The summit of the Serie A table remains tight as ever, with the Bianconeri only one point ahead of Napoli, who failed to win against AC Milan on Monday night.
Stipe Perica was an unused substitute for Udinese. Heard that somewhere before?
Kenneth Omeruo started in the heart of defence for Kasimpasa, who beat Eskisehirspor 2-1. Full of tongue-twisters, that Super Lig.
Marko Marin started for Trabzonspor and was taken off in the 67th minute, as his side lost 2-1 to the mighty Galatasaray while seeing four (4!) of their players sent off at various stages in the game. Incredibly, one of the players sent off, Salih Dursun, showed the referee his own red card, protesting the dismissal of teammate, Luis Pedro Cavanda.
Don't believe me? Have a look.
Oh, and at that point, the scores were still level. The then seven-man Trabzonspor saw Selcuk Inan score the winner for Galatasaray in the 89th minute. Crushing.
Mario Pasalic was an unused substitute as the comfortably second-placed Monaco registered a 3-1 victory over Troyes.
Jeremie Boga was Rennes' final substitute (in the 81st minute) in their 1-0 loss to Caen.
Cristian Cuevas started in STVV's 3-0 loss to KV Kortrijk and as did Victorien Angban, who returned from suspension. The Ivorian was subbed off in the 67th minute, while Cuevas completed the whole game. Joao Rodriguez remained out of the squad, presumably injured.
Cristian Manea wasn't included in Royal Mouscron's match-day squad. More interestingly, recent investigations by ProSport revealed that Manea isn't actually owned by Chelsea, and the story of his transfer was full of discrepancies. Look no further than Costin Stucan's brilliant piece on the whole saga to gain a complete understanding of the situation.
The bottom line, though, is that Manea is not owned by Chelsea, but by Apollon Limassol instead, which means that this is probably the last time he's going to feature in these Loan Round-ups for the forseeable future. Seeya, Cristian!