Carling Cup action dominated the midweek football calendar, with fixtures for six of Chelsea’s domestic loanees, plus a Europa League Qualifier for Miroslav Stoch. Tom Taiwo and Shaun Cummings were part of winning teams, as Carlisle and West Brom progressed to the next round.
Taiwo started in central midfield again for Carlisle’s visit to Bristol City, and the Cumbrians pulled off one of the upsets of the round in coming away from Ashton Gate with a 2-0 win. Tom had an outstanding game, bossing the middle of the park, being involved in both goals, and hitting the crossbar with an effort. He was an integral part of the win and impressed many:
“Tom Taiwo had a brilliant match commanding the midfield and showed his quality, hopefully we can extend this loan deal and get him for the rest of the season.”
“Taiwo and Thirlwell togetther were fantastic, Taiwo a real star.”
“Taiwo’s fantastic workrate had given the back 4 great protection.”
Cummings was equally impressive in West Brom’s 4-3 extra time win over League Two side Rotherham United. He had a big hand in Craig Beattie’s goal to make it 3-3, nutmegging his man and whipping a dangerous cross in which eventually made its way to the striker at the far post. The Hammersmith-born full-back has impressed since going to the Hawthorns and looks set to turn his short-term stay into a season-long feature.
Elsewhere, the tales weren’t of great success. Jacob Mellis had a fine outing against Premier League Birmingham, and had a good run and shot saved at the near post, but despite taking the lead, the Saints were eliminated by goals from Lee Bowyer and Lee Carsley. Lee Sawyer got himself back into the action for Southend as a late sub, but they were already 3-1 down away to Hull and on their way out too. He still found time to be booked though.
Michael Mancienne was unavailable for Wolves’ penalty shootout victory over Swindon Town at Chelsea’s request, whilst Franco Di Santo missed Blackburn’s win at Gillingham with a hamstring injury. Scott Sinclair did start his first game for Wigan away to Blackpool, but it was a night to forget for the Latics as they crashed to a 4-1 defeat. For Scott’s part, he had a lively first half, skipping past two defenders and forcing a fine save from Matthew Gilkes, but was more disappointing in the second half, only forcing another low save from a free kick which may have hit the post.
Thursday night saw the second legs of the Europa League Qualifiers, and Miroslav Stoch’s FC Twente drew 0-0 away to FC Qarabag to seal their place in the competition proper with a 3-1 aggregate victory. Stoch, however, went off with an injury on 68 minutes, with no information as to the severity of it yet available. Slobodan Rajkovic missed his third straight game injured too, and full information on their condition will be provided in the weekend update.
One final note, which isn’t loan related. Josh McEachran and Nathaniel Chalobah both featured from the start in England’s first FA Under-17 International Tournament match against Italy. The match, played at Burton’s Pirelli Stadium, finished 1-1 and it was Josh’s corner which forced the own goal from the Italian keeper to earn England a point. He had a creative and impressive match before being withdrawn just before the end, whilst Chalobah had a comfortable 90 minutes at centre-back.