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Chelsea Loan Round-up: Disaster for Kane; disappointment for Ake; Vitesse in disarray; others

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ENGLAND:

Nathan Ake was rested in midweek as a hugely rotated Watford side lost 3-1 at Upton Park. The rotation was due to the Hornets' FA Cup semi-final on Saturday, which Ake started. Not in the best form for a while now, Watford were yet again toothless in attack and failed to fashion many chances of note, losing 2-1 to Crystal Palace. It wasn't a performance Ake would like to remember: he was beaten in the air for Palace's winning goal, that that's hardly a surprise seeing as he was up against Connor Wickham.

Although Michail Antonio was deployed at right-back yet again, there was no place in the West Ham starting XI for Victor Moses, who was a 78th minute substitute in the aforementioned game against Watford.

John Swift wasn't fit enough for a place in the Brentford squad for their midweek victory against Cardiff City. He returned to the side on the weekend, but spent their 4-1 victory against MK Dons on the bench as well. Brentford have won five of six, but it's all come too late for serious push for promotion.  A play-off spot does remain a mathematical, albeit very slim possibility.

With Burnley claiming a 1-1 draw against Middlesbrough via a last-minute equaliser from Michael Keane, Boro squandered a golden chance to go three points clear at the top. Tomas Kalas was brought on to help Boro see out the remaining seconds following the goal. He was then an unused substitute in their goalless draw against Ipswich on Saturday.

It's incredibly tight at the top of the Championship table, with Burnley, Middlesbrough and Brighton all level on 87 points (!), and within a goal difference of two from each other. Boro's last two fixtures of the season are against Birmingham City and in what is an absolutely massive promotion six-pointer, against Brighton on the final day.

Michael Hector played the whole of Reading's 2-1 loss to Hull City in midweek and was a 71st minute substitute in their 1-1 draw against QPR.  Lucas Piazon was an unused substitute for both games.

Jordan Houghton started and finished Plymouth's 3-1 win over Leyton Orient, as well as their 3-2 loss to Dagenham and Redbridge.  Three losses in their last five have dropped Plymouth out of the automatic promotion spots in League Two; they will now probably have to look to secure that via the play-offs.

THE NETHERLANDS:

There was a round of midweek games in the Eredivisie, including a loanee derby as Vitesse visited title-chasing PSV.  Former Vitesse midfielder Marco van Ginkel played the whole game for PSV, while Lewis Baker played ten minutes for Chelsea B.  Dominic Solanke went the distance, but failed to find the back of the net as the hosts ran out comfortable 2-0 winners.

With two games left to play, there's still nothing but goal difference that sets Ajax and PSV apart at the top of the table, with the Amsterdam side currently ahead by 6. The two sides are clearly a cut above the rest in the league. Meanwhile, Vitesse still have a mathematical chance of securing a Europa League Qualification Round playoff spot, but given the way they've been playing in this calendar year (just four wins since the start of January), that seems highly unlikely.

NEC Nijmegen are a point adrift the playoff spots and stand a better chance at securing one, but they'll have to do it without Todd Kane, who suffered a heartbreaking ACL injury in NEC's 2-0 loss against PEC Zwolle.

GERMANY:

Werder Bremen's valiant DFB Pokal run came to a halt, too, with a 2-0 loss to Bayern Munich thanks to a Thomas Muller double whammy. Papy Djilobodji, having served the entirety of his ban, was brought back into the side, but couldn't prevent his band of merry #cupfighters from cup-crashing out of the cup-cup. Djilobodji started their following match, a 2-1 loss versus Hamburger SV, as well. This defeat means that Werder Bremen now sit third from last, in 16th. Should Werder end the season there, they'll have to sweat it out against the third-placed team in the 2. Bundesliga to retain their status as a top-flight club for next season.

Andreas Christensen and Borussia Monchengladbach returned to winning ways, easily disposing of Hoffenheim with a 3-1 victory. A mere point separates them and fourth-placed Hertha Berlin for the final Champions League spot in the Bundesliga.

SPAIN:

For the first time in his loan spell, Charly Musonda was named on the bench instead of the starting XI as Real Betis hosted Las Palmas. He was, however, brought on in the 53rd minute and provided the penultimate pass that helped create the only goal of the game.

Musonda started, but was brought off, strangely enough, in the 51st minute of Betis' local derby against Sevilla after picking up a booking in the first half. Soon after, Betis conceded two goals and lost the derby 2-0. No, of course I'm not making any veiled implications here!

Christian Atsu was a 72nd minute substitute for Malaga in midweek; they played out a 1-1 draw against Rayo Vallecano. He wasn't called upon on the weekend though, as Malaga lost 1-0 to Atletico, in Madrid.

FRANCE:

Mario Pasalic is still out with a back injury and sat out of Monaco's 1-1 draw against Rennes. Jeremie Boga was a 73rd minute substitute and helped set up Rennes' equaliser, with a shot that fell kindly for Giovanni Sio, who slotted the ball in the back of the net. Rennes are now seven points adrift of the last Champions League place, and it's safe to say their hopes of securing qualification have all but ended.

ITALY:

Nathaniel Chalobah and Stipe Perica were unused substitutes as usual, and so was Juan Cuadrado in midweek.  He was a late substitute in Juventus' 2-1 victory against his former club, Fiorentina, in the weekend.  Chalobah, meanwhile, didn't even make the bench on Sunday.

Following Monday's Roma win over Napoli, Juventus have been confirmed Serie A champions, again, for the fifth straight year.  Congrats to them and Cuadrado as well.

SCANDINAVIA:

Alex Davey wasn't present in Stabaek's match-day squad for their midweek defeat, which comes off as a bit abrupt after being a mainstay in their starting XI so far. He'll hope to make a return to the side when Stabaek take on Haugesund on Monday night.  (UPDATE: he went as an unused sub as Stabaek lost again, 3-1.)

Jamal Blackman, meanwhile, started and kept the first clean sheet of his senior career with the clash between Ostersunds FK and Gefle IF ending in a goalless stalemate.

TURKEY:

Marko Marin was absent for Trabzonspor, as was Kenneth Omeruo for Kasimpasa. Omeruo, who is 22, was omitted from the provisional Nigeria U-23 side for the upcoming Olympic games despite his exploits with the Turkish club this season.

OTHERS:

Victorien Angban and Cristian Cuevas both started in STVV's 2-2 draw against Sporting Lokeren, with Angban being brought off in the 79th minute for the intensely-spelled Gaetan Hendrickx.

Wallace had to sit out of Gremio's game against Toluca after picking up one yellow too many, but returned for their following match against Juventude.

Matej Delac, still returning to full fitness, was not available for selection for FK Sarajevo.