Victor Moses was on the bench for a cracker of a game played out between
Andy Carroll West Ham United and Arsenal, and will probably see out the remainder of the season warming the bench. He's only made three starts since the turn of the new year.
Nathan Ake, after an uneasy outing against Arsenal last weekend, was left out of Watford's match-day squad altogether, with Jose Holebas getting the nod (and also scoring his side's equaliser) in Watford's 1-1 draw against Everton.
When asked by the press, this is what manager Quique Sanchez Flores had to say about Ake's abrupt omission:
"Ake needs to recover the feelings."
"I was talking with Ake in the week and he's lost the feelings. When the players have lost the feeling they need time to recover, sometimes a long time, sometimes less."
"I think Ake's season is amazing. He's really young, he's played a lot of matches with Watford in the Premier League and it's his first experience. It's the first time he's played many, many matches at this level so he feels a bit tired at this moment. With a lot of matches in a short time it's normal."
-Quique Sanchez Flores; source: Ghana Soccernet
After playing the majority of Watford's grueling Premier League campaign — remember, Ake's loan experience thus far has been a month-long loan at Reading at the end of last season, a season where he had paltry minutes for the first team and only 5 appearances with the U21 side — it appears that Ake has suffered a bit of a burn-out, and was handed a rest by his manager.
Hopefully, he'll be back in the side for their next game, but it wouldn't surprise me to see Jose Holebas start Watford's games for the remainder of the season, as the Hornets have no assurance that Ake will spend next season with them. They'd understandably prefer to keep the fussy Holebas happy, lest they find themselves without a left-back in the summer.
Patrick Bamford missed out on a chance to find the back of the net against his previous loan club, Crystal Palace, which he left in January due to a sore lack of opportunities. Bamford was brought on for Steven Naismith in the 66th minute, but couldn't prevent his side's eventual 1-0 loss, inflicted by a Jason Puncheon winner.
With the Championship currently undergoing its final run-in and games coming hard and fast, there was midweek as well as weekend action for our players on loan in the second tier of English football. However, John Swift missed out on both Brentford games due to an injury he picked up while on International duty with the England U21 side.
Tomas Kalas started in central defence for Middlesbrough, who comfortably beat Huddersfield Town 3-0 on Tuesday, but with the return of main man, Dani Ayala from injury in the weekend, the Czech defender assumed his position on the bench once again. Speaking to the Northern Echo, though, manager Aitor Karanka was full of praise for Kalas, claiming he's improved a great deal this season.
Lucas Piazon played 61 minutes and Michael Hector was an unused substitute as Reading notched a 2-1 victory against Nottingham Forest on Tuesday. In their 0-2 loss to Birmingham on Saturday, Piazon played the first half while Hector watched proceedings from the bench yet again.
Jordan Houghton played 62 minutes of Plymouth Argyle's 1-2 loss to Wimbledon, as half-man, half-beast, all-FIFA legend, Adebayo Akinfenwa scored a late winner. Plymouth just can't seem to win a game, and have slipped to fifth position. They remain 5 points behind second-placed Oxford United with five games left to play.
Andreas Christensen started for highly inconsistent Borussia Monchengladbach. They followed up their 5-0 thumping of Hertha Berlin last weekend with a 1-0 loss at Ingolstadt.
Having beaten FC Koln yesterday, Bayer Leverkusen overtook Gladbach and now occupy 4th place. However, the race for the last two Champions League places remains as tight as ever, with just 4 points still separating 3rd and 7th positions.
Papy Djilobodji sat out the for the last game of his 3-match suspension.
Christian Atsu was a 68th minute substitute for Malaga who played out a goalless draw away to Watford-affiliated club, Granada (fun fact: Granada started a player named Isaac Success), while Charly Musonda started and played the whole game for Real Betis, who clinched a much-needed (1-0) victory against Levante.
Here's a video of Musonda's performance, touch-by-touch.
Mario Pasalic continues to be kept out due to injury, but there was a start for Jeremie Boga, as Rennes took on OGC Nice, in a crucial clash in the Champions League qualification race. Boga played out wide for majority of the game, as his team were swept aside by Nice via a Hatem Ben Arfa hattrick. It was a lively game for Boga, though, who registered the most take-ons in the game (6/7 successful) and had twice came close to scoring, denied by equally competent saves on both occasions. The Chelsea hopeful completed 90 minutes for the first time since January.
Rennes have now fallen out of the top 4, but there remains only a gap of 4 points between Lyon (and Monaco) in second place, and Rennes in fifth. Hopefully, they can make the most of the five remaining games and secure that elusive third and final Champions League qualification spot.
Jeremie Boga vs Nice: Took two fantastic saves to deny him.— ChelseaLoans (@ChelseaLoans) April 10, 2016
Rennes in general were below par, but Boga did well. pic.twitter.com/V8OZRdhZQL
Bein Sports recently released a special on Boga, which is definitely worth a watch.
Vitesse Arnhem struggled yet again, this time scoring a last-gap equaliser via Denys Oliinyk to salvage a 2-2 draw against ADO Den Haag at home. While Izzy Brown and Nathan (who is currently recuperating from injury in London, if his daily Snapchat stories are to be believed) missed out due to injury, Lewis Baker and Dominic Solanke started for Vitesse, both playing the whole game. Baker assisted Vitesse's goal, swinging in a free-kick that found the head of captain Guram Kashia, who headed straight into the net.
Brown made an appearance back at Stamford Bridge, too, but only to cheer on the Chelsea youth team in their FA Youth Cup semi-final against Blackburn Rovers.
Watching the youth team boys! 2-0 up already pic.twitter.com/f6seorRTC9— Isaiah Brown (@izzyjaybrown) April 8, 2016
Marco van Ginkel just can't stop scoring! The seemingly born-again midfielder scored his sixth goal of the season and even hit the crossbar once, helping PSV to a 2-0 win against Willem II. Wulfert Cornelius is now the second-highest Chelsea loanee goalscorer this season, with only Dominic Solanke and Mario Pasalic (7 each) ahead of him.
van Ginkel hit the post in the first half, but was not to be denied in the second. Helped PSV keep pressure on Ajax. pic.twitter.com/WJqy8rDwS7— ChelseaLoans (@ChelseaLoans) April 9, 2016
Also among this week's loanee goals was Todd Kane, who fired in NEC's equaliser against FC Utrecht. Unfortunately, his side went on to lose the game 3-1.
Todd Kane's equaliser for NEC. Smart thinking & a great finish from the fullback. pic.twitter.com/SEwHx1JvQP— Priya Ramesh (@Priya8Ramesh) April 10, 2016
Juan Cuadrado was an 81st minute substitute for Juventus, who were 2-1 winners against AC Milan, in Milan.
Nathaniel Chalobah, whom Napoli apparently want to keep beyond this season, was a 79th minute substitute (generous minutes by his season's standards), but probably only because his side were 3-0, and a man, up.
Jamal Blackman made his second start for Ostersunds FK but ended up on the losing side just as he did on his debut, conceding two goals to AIK. His third start came a few days later, as Ostersunds clinched their first victory of the season, although there was no clean sheet for Blackman in the 1-2 win.
Jamal in action pic.twitter.com/BC6kZ6pljo— ChelseaLoans (@ChelseaLoans) April 8, 2016
Alex Davey started in central midfield for Stabaek and played the whole game, as his club picked up their first (three) points of the season with a 2-1 win over Valerenga IF. You can read Davey's interview with Welwyn Hatfield Times, where he talks about adapting to life in Norway and taking on Eidur Gudjohnsen's Molde in his first ever game for Stabaek.
Marko Marin was a 64th minute substitute in Trabzonspor's 1-1 draw against Istanbul Buyuksehir, while Kenneth Omeruo and Kasimpasa are due to take on Ahiksar Belediyespor on Monday night.
Victorien Angban, returning from the latest of his suspensions, got a 10-minute run out in STVV's 1-1 draw against Royal Charleroi. Cristian Cuevas played the whole game.
Having made his return from injury against Juventude last Monday and picking up an assist as well, Wallace also started Gremio's following game, a 4-1 victory over Brasil de Pelotas.