Chelsea loan starlets knocked off top spot...thanks to 30-year-old from Liverpool

Vitesse Arnhem drew 1-1 at home to basement Dutch side NEC Nijmegen - with Michael Higdon on the scoresheet.

As we all know Dutch side Vitesse Arnhem owe much of their success this season to Chelsea Football Club.

Some of their key players are on loan from the London club including the likes of Patrick van Aanholt, Lucas Piazon and their most recent recruit Bertrand Traore.

Indeed the club have received some rather negative press in Holland in the way they have risen to the summit of the Eredivisie - with many a team upset over the amount of players they have borrowed from the Premier League title contenders.

But today saw a dent firmly put in their title ambitions.

They dropped valuable points at home to NEC Nijmegen - who currently sit bottom of the table. It was a result which, combined with Ajax’s 1-0 win at Go Ahead Eagles, saw Vitesse lose their grip on top spot and go back to second fiddle.

And the man who did the damage - Michael Higdon from Liverpool.

The 30-year-old striker came through the youth team under Dario Gradi at Crewe Alexandra before switching England for Scotland.

He played for Falkirk and St Mirren with limited success before really catching fire at Motherwell.

It was his performances at Fir Park that caught the attention of NEC - who signed him on a free transfer in the summer of 2013.

He has gone on to score an impressive seven goals in 18 appearances for the struggling outfit - but this was one of his most important yet.

Not many teams come back smiling from the Gelredome in the Chelsea-Vitesse era. But thanks to this former Railwayman that is just what NEC did.

Guyon Fernandez equalised seven minutes later, and that was how the match stayed until the final moments, when Patrick van Aanholt snatched a late winner to send Vitesse three points clear at the top of the Eredivisie.

It was almost a hat-trick of Chelsea goal-scorers, but Lucas Piazon saw his penalty saved three minutes after Zwolle levelled.

With Jose Mourinho’s loan stars continuing to shine in Holland, he has a big decision to make at the end of the current campaign. Just who does he feel is good enough to fight for a first-team place at Stamford Bridge?

For now all they can do is prove their worth, and at Vitesse they are doing just that.

You can see Atsu and van Aanholt’s goals below:

image: © Vincent Teeuwen

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