Chelsea’s title hopes may have taken a rather large dent this afternoon at Blackburn, but for two young loanees, this weekend saw them take big strides towards the first senior title of their fledgling careers. It’s in Holland where we start a rather tame and quiet week’s loan review.
Miroslav Stoch and Slobodan Rajkovic, have, of course, spent the season on loan at FC Twente, who now sit four points clear of Ajax at the top of the Eredivisie. Saturday night saw the then top two go head to head, as Steve McClaren’s side visited PSV Eindhoven. A 1-1 draw meant that the Enschede side were able to maintain a five-point lead over their rivals, with Ajax reducing it by one with a 5-1 win over RKC Waalwijk on Sunday. It means Twente’s destiny is in their own hands for the final six games and the Chelsea duo could end the season as champions. On Saturday night however, Rajkovic was an unused substitute and Stoch continued his disappointing form with another quiet, below-par outing where impacts were minimal. He did take a bit of a kicking and reacted well, but could really do with stepping up in the run-in.
That’s really as eventful as it’s been for the past seven days. The first action came on Tuesday night when Wigan hosted Aston Villa at the DW Stadium, but as you might have expected, Scott Sinclair was tucked up in his tracksuit in the dugout and watched as the Latics fell to another defeat, losing 2-1 to a James Milner goal. On the same night down in Reading, Ryan Bertrand was contributing to the Royals’ astounding rise from relegation candidates to outside chance playoff candidates as they recorded an eighth win in nine. A 1-0 defeat of QPR came off the back of a man of the match performance from the left back, offering dangerous play down his side of the pitch throughout.
Moving into the weekend, which Franco Di Santo had off as his loanee side Blackburn played his parent club Chelsea. Michael Mancienne started as a sub for the fifth game running due to Mick McCarthy retaining the same starting eleven once again, but did get 25 minutes at left-back in their 2-2 draw at Aston Villa. For the second week running he went close to scoring a first senior goal, but failed to beat Brad Friedel. Sinclair, it goes without saying, was unused for Wigan’s late 1-0 win over Burnley. Jack Cork was back on the bench for the visitors after an achilles injury but was rested for the full match, and should hopefully be back in the starting eleven next week.
Reading remained unbeaten after Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Middlesbrough where Bertrand wasn’t man of the match, but still put in a good showing. To finish off, Matej Delač was unable to record back to back clean sheets, meaning Inter fell to a 1-0 home defeat to NK Karlovac. You can see highlights of that match here.