For the second week in a row and the fourth time this season, Miroslav Stoch found the net for FC Twente in a win which keeps Steve McClaren’s charges at the top of the Eredivisie. As usual, however, it wasn’t exactly a tale of positivity for other Chelsea loanees.
Stoch continues to shine as a beacon of Chelsea’s future and as a key starter for Twente has been an ever-growing important reason for their consistent performances. After a stunning goal against Groningen last week he helped put his team ahead away to Roda on Saturday with a slide-rule pass in behind for Bryan Ruiz to finish ten minutes before half time, before adding one of his own five minutes later. Picking the ball up in space on the left he drove towards the edge of the area, cut inside and with the aid of a slight deflection thrashed an effort into the back of the net. You can see highlights here. He was substituted with three minutes remaining as McClaren sought to secure the 2-1 win. Teammate Slobodan Rajkovic continues to recover from a hernia operation, and has been back in England training at Cobham.
In Premier League news, Scott Sinclair finally started and completed his first 90 minutes for Wigan but it was in a game to forget for the Latics as they crashed 4-0 at Portsmouth. Sinclair lost the ball for the first goal, having overrun an attempt to beat Michael Brown. At Old Trafford, Franco Di Santo started his biggest career game to date and played 75 minutes in an exercise in loneliness. He received virtually no supply all game in Blackburn’s 2-0 defeat and looked pleased to be replaced with a quarter of an hour remaining. The third Premier League loanee, Michael Mancienne, was missing for the third straight game, the third successive time Wolves have achieved a draw, this time a 2-2 at Stoke. Defender Jody Craddock scored both goals and even though Mancienne’s absence is reportedly due to an illness, it doesn’t bode well for an immediate return to the team.
Championship action saw all three of the division’s loanees face off against eachother as Ryan Bertrand’s Reading visited Coventry, who started Jack Cork and Patrick van Aanholt. Brendan Rodgers’ team picked up a rare win, running out 3-1 victors in a very disappointing result for Chris Coleman’s team. Cork impressed and was unlucky not to score in hitting the crossbar, but van Aanholt had a disappointing game on the left wing and was withdrawn with fifteen minutes left. You can read further Coventry views at GMK Online. For Reading, Bertrand had a solid game going forward, and was close to a goal himself.
League One’s representation is a man down from now on as Lee Sawyer’s spell at Southend came to an unpleasant end earlier this week. For the remaining three midfielders, it was as mixed a bag as ever. Tom Taiwo and Carlisle upset promotion-chasing Charlton at Brunton Park 3-1 with two goals from veteran Graham Kavanagh, and Tom had another impressive and hard-working outing in the middle of the park. A firm fan favourite now, he spoke with BBC Radio Cumbria after the win. For Liam Bridcutt and Stockport though, they suffered a 3-1 reverse at home to Norwich in a poor, mistake-ridden outing which leaves them in the relegation zone, whilst Jacob Mellis remained an unused sub again for Southampton, as he has since returning from Under-19 duty. During his absence Southampton solidified what is now a six-match unbeaten run and they appear to be loathe to change their midfield arrangement.
To finish as usual with Matej Delac, he continues to recover from glandular fever. Inter Zapresic beat Istra 1961 by a single goal.