Academy Report: UEFA Youth League Qualification
There was limited action this week but there was still an important game to play. There was once...
There was limited action this week but there was still an important game to play. There was once again no U18's fixture this week and also no U21's fixture but the U19's (basically the U21's team anyway) were in action again in the UEFA Youth League. Until this fixture they had 3 wins out of 3 and were looking to make that 4 out of 4 and book their place in the knockout stages of the competition with 2 matches spare.
Again there were changes to side with Andreas Christensen and Isaiah Brown returning to the starting 11 following exploits with their national sides. Apart from that is was a settled side Beeney in goal Dabo, Ake, Christensen and Wright making up the back 4. Baker, Loftus-Cheek and Boga in the midfield and Kiwomya, Brown and Feruz as the forwards.
Truth be told it was not a classic match. Schalke were an incredibly hard working team and their pressing made things very difficult for us to get any sort of momentum going. Both teams were wasteful with their passing and the very few chances that did fall to either side. The game was won by a very tidy Lewis Baker free kick clipped over the wall out of the keepers reach. There were chances for both sides to grab goals but not many, Jeremie Boga will feel he probably missed the best chance of the game somehow managing to scoop over the bar rather than hit the back of the net from close range.
On the positive side we were defensively very solid with Ake and Christensen again proving to be very formidable as a pairing. There was also appearances for youngsters Dom Solanke and Ambrose Gnahore who both got decent minutes in the game but neither really managing to carry out anything of note such was the manner of the game.
Loan action this week starting in the Premier League saw Romelu Lukaku line up in front of the Sky cameras for Super Sunday as Everton hosted Tottenham. Lukaku started for Everton as was to be expected and lasted for 86 minutes before coming off. He did not manage to get on the scoresheet as the game finished goalless but was involved in the games controversy that saw him collide with Spurs keeper Loris leaving him unconscious. Victor Moses is becoming more limited with his playing time now at Liverpool and was a substitute again in their defeat to Arsenal, he did come off the bench with 22 minutes to go but was unable to make an impact.
In the Championship and Todd Kane still an ever present for Blackburn Rovers as they overcome Middlesbrough at home. Things not so cosy however for Nathaniel Chalobah who was an unused substitute for Nottingham Forest in their defeat to Blackpool and with stories circulating that he may well be recalled from this loan it may not be long before we see Nathaniel playing elsewhere this season. Former star of the Chelsea academy Josh McEachran is quietly going about his business at Watford and played the full 90 minutes in their defeat to Leicester this week.
League 1 is the final destination for loan action in England and starting with George Saville and Brentford who started their game over Crawley in which they eventually won but Saville only made it to half time before being substituted. Sam Walker this week shipped 2 goals in Colchesters game against Rotherham which finished 2 - 2. It was loanee versus loanee as MK Dons faced up against Walsall, Patrick Bamford who has been named player of the month for October played the full 90 but was unable to add to his already impressive tally of goals whilst on other side Milan Lalkovic started on the bench and came on for the last 16 minutes.
Over in Spain and La Liga Thibaut Coutois kept back to back clean for Atletico Madrid, one in the league against Bilbao and the second in the 4 - 0 win in the Champions League against Austria Vienna. Marko Marin did not feature for Sevilla at all this week. There was action this week however for Oriol Romeu, he did not make it off the bench for Valencia against Getafe but he did play the full 90 minutes in the Europa League against St Gallen which is good because his game time has been limited. In the Spanish second division Ulises Davilla was only on the bench for their game against Gijon this week but did come on for the last 22 minutes of the game.
In the rest of Europe there was no game this week for Vitesse which ruled out action for a good many Chelsea loanee's. For Thorgan Hazard there was 2 90 minutes games, one in the Belgium league and one in the Europa league and he managed to score the only goal for Waregem in the game. Over in Italy Wallace once again did not make it off the bench for Inter and with only 2 substitute appearances to his name he will really be hoping things pick up for him soon. NAC Breda was also not in action this week so Stipe Perica was denied action too.
As we head into ANOTHER international break there is once again no match action to look forward to this week so we pick up again in 2 weeks time.