Loic Remy was absent from Crystal Palace’s match-day 18, and looks to have been ousted by Frazier Campbell, who took his place on the bench.
It just wasn’t Izzy Brown’s day in front of goal; on another day the youngster could’ve had two goals to his name but it was not to be, as Huddersfield somehow failed to pick up 3 points away to Barnsley. In doing so, they also missed an opportunity to close the gap with Newcastle United, who could only manage a 2-2 draw against Bristol City. Currently, then, Huddersfield are 5 points behind second-placed Newcastle and 6 points behind leaders, Brighton. It’s still very much possible that the Terriers sneak into the automatic promotion spots at the expense of perhaps Newcastle, with Newcastle yet to play both Huddersfield and Brighton.
Earlier in mid-week against Reading, Brown started and won his side a penalty in the 38th minute which he was due to take but began experiencing some problems with his vision due to an illness flaring up and was subbed off soon after. The penalty in question was missed by Rajiv van la Parra but a late Phillip Billing goal saw them win 1-0.
Upcoming fixtures: Manchester City (A, March 1), Newcastle (H, March 4)
Tomas Kalas and Lucas Piazon started as Fulham were frustratingly held to a 2-2 draw by Neil Warnock’s Cardiff City. Like Huddersfield, it was Fulham’s opportunity to close the gap on 6th-placed Sheffield Wednesday, who had lost 1-0 to Leeds United earlier. Nevertheless, a promotion play-off spot remains a distinct possibility for the Cottagers, who are currently five points behind Wednesday, with a game in hand.
Lucas Piazon joined Tammy Abraham, Kasey Palmer and Jordan Houghton on the recently-sustained-injury list, breaking his jaw while going in for a challenge in the 24th minute and being immediately subbed off.
After successful surgery in Cardiff, Piazon pledged to be back soon and help his team fight for a play-off spot. He's expected to be out for two months.
Thanks God the operation was fine! Will be out for a while but I am coming back, can't finish my season for the whites like that pic.twitter.com/7OY6QLNa7x— Lucas Piazon (@LucasPiazon) February 25, 2017
Earlier in midweek, against Bristol City, Kalas played the whole 90 and helped keep a clean sheet, while Piazon opened the scoring (in what ended as a 2-0 win), comfortably finishing after being put through on goal by Tom Cairney.
By the looks of it, Piazon is 100% dedicated to the Fulham cause and has repeatedly displayed his affection for the club on social media. It’s very heartening to see and is a welcome change after reports of attitude problems while on loan at Vitesse, and things not quite working out for him at Reading. Hopefully Fulham will qualify for the play-offs and he’ll be back to do his talking on the pitch then, and perhaps even sign for Fulham permanently at the end of the season.
Upcoming fixtures: Preston (H, March 4)
Christian Atsu was named in the starting XI for Newcastle, who somewhat shockingly found themselves trailing a Tammy Abraham-less Bristol City by two goals to none at half-time. This is the same Bristol City that ended up with a 3-3 draw against Leeds United after leading 3-0 though, and in similar fashion allowed Newcastle back into the game, which ended in a 2-2 draw. Atsu did play the full 90, and was one of his side’s best performers on the day. Atsu also played a paltry few minutes in Newcastle’s 2-0 win against Aston Villa on Tuesday.
Upcoming fixtures: Brighton (A, February 28), Huddersfield (A, March 4)
After his cameo worth only a few seconds last week, Fikayo Tomori had a more significant one against Reading, playing that last seven minutes in Brighton's 3-0 win.
Upcoming fixtures: Newcastle (H, February 28), Nottingham Forest (A, March 4)
Jay Dasilva was an unused substitute for Charlton in both their matches this week. What a wasted loan that one’s turning out to be..
There was no way back into the matchday squad for Fankaty Dabo and Islam Feruz but Charlie Colkett got another 90 minutes under his belt and assisted one of Swindon’s goals in a crucial 1-3 win against bottom side, Coventry.
Wycombe’s slump simply doesn’t seem to be going away, it continued this week as the Chairboys lost 1-0 to Colchester United (featuring ex-Chelsea youth keeper, Sam Walker) and then 1-2 to Crawley Town. Jamal Blackman started in goal both times.
Everyone goes through rough times but my dedication to my teammates and team will never change… https://t.co/B88JmcjiPz— Jamal Blackman (@Big_Blacks) February 25, 2017
Alex Kiwomya was brought on at half-time in an effort to try and overturn Stevenage’s two-goal lead over Crewe Alexandra but Crewe could manage only one goal in the second half, losing the game 1-2.
Nathan Baxter started in Solihull Moors’ 1-0 loss to Wrexham.
Andreas Christensen started and played very well as Borussia Monchengladbach completed a comeback that will likely go down in club folklore in the Europa League, away to Fiorentina. Carrying a deficit of one goal from the previous leg, Gladbach found themselves with a real task on their hands after a mere 28 minutes in this fixture had elapsed; Nikola "I’m not worth China money" Kalinic had opened the scoring for Fiorentina in the 15th minute and Borja Valero had added a second in the 28th minute after a catastrophic error by Christensen’s Danish defensive partner, Jannik Vestergaard. In a matter of 14 minutes, though (spanning over both halves), the Foals scored FOUR goals and not only won the leg 2-4, but also the tie, 3-4. Three out of the four goals were scored by captain Lars Stindl and it was none other than Christensen with the icing on the cake, with a powerful, towering header in the 60th minute. Gladbach will now face Schalke 04 in the Round of 16.
Gladbach carried their momentum into the league and climbed up to 10th place with a 0-2 win against Ingolstadt on Sunday. Christensen played the whole of that one as well.
Upcoming fixtures: Hamburger SV (A, March 1), Schalke 04 (H, March 4)
With David Abraham suspended and Real Madrid’s prodigy loanee Jesus Vallejo injured, Michael Hector started in defence for Eintracht Frankfurt, who lost their third consecutive game with a 2-0 defeat against Hertha Berlin.
Upcoming fixtures: Arminia Bielefeld (H, February 28), SC Freiburg (H, March 5)
Danilo Pantic was called upon for Excelsior in the 70th minute, which was set to be his first significant contribution for the Eredivisie minnows in a long while. With a reckless and completely unnecessary lunge in injury time, however, he received his second red card of the season. Here’s a damning stat - Pantic has received as many red cards as the number of times he’s played 90 minutes in the league this season.
Bertrand Traore played the whole game as Ajax edged Legia Warsaw 1-0 in Amsterdam to progress to the Round of 16 of the Europa League, where they were draw against Denmark’s FC København. He did so again on Sunday and capped off Ajax’s 4-1 win against Heracles, adding the fourth goal (and his seventh of the season) in the 90th minute.
Here’s something to ponder.
Traore approaching half the Eredivisie goals he scored in 13-14 in just about half the mins played, out of position, yet still looks quiet.— Chelsea Youth (@chelseayouth) February 26, 2017
Understandable to some degree, he was *the* guy in Arnhem, whilst he's one of many at Ajax. Won't dominate their goalscoring charts as much.— Chelsea Youth (@chelseayouth) February 26, 2017
He turns 22 at the start of next season; whether at Chelsea or not, loan or not, he needs to be playing as a 9 for a CL-calibre club.— Chelsea Youth (@chelseayouth) February 26, 2017
And really, it looks increasingly like it'll be somewhere else, not Chelsea, like so many others. We'll see though.— Chelsea Youth (@chelseayouth) February 26, 2017
Upcoming fixtures: Groningen (A, March 5)
Lewis Baker, Nathan and Matt Miazga all played the whole of Vitesse’s 1-3 win against Go Ahead Eagles. Miazga impressed once more and while Baker was relatively quiet, he had a few attempts on goal and probably should’ve had one at the end of it. He did notch his first ‘assist’ of the season, though; Baker played a pass to Milot Rashica at the edge of the box who sprinted towards goal and finished into the top corner from an acute angle. Mukhtar Ali, like last weekend against Ajax, played the final 7-8 minutes. Up next, it’s the KNVB Beker semi-final against Sparta Rotterdam.
Upcoming fixtures: Sparta Rotterdam (A, March 1), PEC Zwolle (A, March 4)
Marco van Ginkel started as per usual for PSV, who took on Feyenoord knowing that anything less than a win would render their title hopes all but null and void. Unfortunately for Wulfert and his team, he sustained an injury in the 36th minute and had to be replaced. PSV ended up losing the game 2-1 and will now hope to at least catch and overtake Ajax, in order to qualify for next season’s Champions League.
Upcoming fixtures: Roda JC (H, March 4)
Cristian Cuevas was not involved in STVV’s 1-0 loss to Royal Charleroi SC, while Matej Delac started in goal as Mouscron lost 3-1 to Tottenham-vanquishers, KAA Gent.
Kenneth Omeruo picked up his usual 90 minutes for Alanyaspor and also scored the second goal of their 4-1 win against Adanaspor. It was also his first goal in five years!
Mario Pasalic was a 65th minute substitute in Milan’s 0-1 win against Sassuolo.
Upcoming fixtures: Chievo (H, March 4)
Jeremie Boga was a 67th minute substitute in Granada’s 3-1 loss to Bilbao. Victorien Angban was on the bench for the whole duration, however that’s more that can be said than about his recent involvements.
Upcoming fixtures: Alaves (H, March 1), Leganes (A, March 4)
Miro Muheim was not involved for FC Zurich.