Gameweek 32 Fantasy Reviews – FPL Fantasy Football Premier League
Manchester United 4-1 Aston Villa
Goals: Rooney (2) Hernandez, Mata, Westwood
Assists: Mata, Kagawa, Januzaj, Agbonlahor
Bonus Points: Rooney (3), Mata (2), Westwood (2)
Manchester United: Apparently this one kicked off with some plane flying over Old Trafford which is quite distasteful I think so ignore all that. United should thank Villa for getting their confidence up in this one, they need all the positive energy they can get before they play Bayern Munich. Rooney broke his Old Trafford hoodoo as he netted two in this one, one being a penalty. Frustrating for a few managers I would think as with United’s blank coming up I think many stayed away from the United forward. Juan Mata got his first goal in a red top and chipped in with an assist as well. Any team with Kagawa in it and not Tom Cleverly is going to be decent, any person with half a brain would know that and he as well chipped in with an assist. Hernandez came on late on and produceda goal off the bench, nothing to get excited about. When the United double does come up and you really are desperate then perhaps you can load up on them, I would stay away from their defence though.
Aston Villa: Well they started brightly in this one taking the lead and for a moment people would have thought that the decent Villa side had rocked up. That was short lived however. To be fair, Christian Benteke could have had a hat-trick but his finishing was poor. Let’s await to see if Villa can at least win two in a row then maybe we could consider their players for the upcoming double.
Crystal palace 1-0 Chelsea
Goals: Terry (og)
Bonus Points: Ward (3) Delaney (2) Speron, Jedinak
Crystal Palace: What an absolutely fantastic result here for the Eagles and one that saw the rest of the title chasers overjoyed. A fantastic game for the palace defence and well worth a think as they really are quite difficult to break down at home. Joel Ward finally took advantage of his advanced role in the midfield as the defender produced an assist and along with his clean sheet points and bonus points he amassed a decent 12 points. Although not prolific in front of goal, one has to consider players from the defence, especially when they have a double coming up.
Chelsea: A dreadful result for fantasy managers especially with those doubling up on their defence. Insult to injury was added as one of the more popular fantasy choices in John Terry was the one who scored the own goal, although I think it could not have happened to a nicer bloke. If Chelsea do not go on to win the title then the only reason is that it is because they do not have a forward, and yes Fernando Torres did start but that is my point proven. We cannot expect Hazard to do something week in and week out, he is not Gareth Bale just yet. Just chalk this one down to an off day and keep the faith.
Southampton 4-0 Newcastle
Goals: Lallana, Lambert, Rodriguez (2)
Assists: Cork, Lallana, Ramirez, Lambert
Bonus Points: Rodriguez (3) Lambert (2) Lallana
Southampton: Lallana, Lambert, Rodriguez. That is all you need to know in this one! Absolutely fantastic from these lads and they really do run the show for this Southampton team. If not all three, then at least the first two should not only be on a plane to Brazil, but perhaps start for England as well. They might not have much more to play for in the league but these guys are keen to show off what they have got and so carry on producing each week. Also great to see a clean sheet from Boruc, it has been a while.
Newcastle: Pardew was back in the stands, Newcastle have nothing more to play for this season, most of their players are already in holiday mode, that is all.
Stoke 1-0 Hull
Bonus Points: Odemwingie (3), Wilson (2) Shawcross (2) Begovic (2)
Stoke: Peter Odemwingie is turning out to be one of the buys of the transfer window as yet again he notched up another goal, and the goal scoring machine that is Stoke keeps marching on! Ok well they only got one goal here, but it was enough to get the three points. A clean sheet saw a lot of bonus points dispersed amongst the defenders. Stoke are attempting to finish the season with their highest points tally ever and so they are still playing for something.
Hull: Perhaps with their minds on the FA Cup semi final already, they did not look that great in this one. With a blank gameweek coming up soon I would not rush to get any of their players in. They are still capable of keeping the odd clean sheet here and there and so their defence is possibly still worth a punt. On the attacking front nothing really stands out.
Swansea 3-0 Norwich
Goals: De Guzman (2) Routledge
Assists: Shelvey, Michu, Bony
Bonus Points: De Guzman (3) Chico (2) Michu
Swansea: De Guzman came up with two very well worked goals and deservedly walked away with all the bonus points. There were also good efforts from Routledge who grabbed a goal, Shelvey with an assist and Bony who showed some finesse in the box to put the ball through for De Guzman to finish. Special note must be made of Michu who was very productive in this one, and although not the finished product of last year, he did have his eye for goal back and was a tad unlucky no to score. Once again I would not rush to get any of them in unless you really need to take a gamble.
Norwich: As was stated last, really a different machine away from home. Snodgrass seems to still be the only decent attacking option, but if you have any of their defenders then I urge you to only play them when at home.
West Brom 3-3 Cardiff
Goals: Dorrans, Amalfitano, Thievy, Caulker, Mutch & Daehli
Assists: Vydra, Berahino, Turner, Gunnarsson & Medel
Bonus Points: Mutch, Caulker & Thievy (3)
West Brom: The Albion have only themselves to blame for chucking away another victory and now face another huge test at Norwich next weekend. West Brom started brightly in an effort to avenge the 1-0 loss to Cardiff in December and with just 2 minutes on the clock Morgan Amalfitano caught David Marshall unaware when he lobbed the Cardiff keeper from outside the penalty box with a sensational long range effort before Graham Dorrans doubled the hosts’ advantage on just 9 minutes. The home fans into raptures, but they squandered their lead as the Bluebirds showed fight in the second-half to equalise for 2-2. Thievy Bifouma’s late goal looked to be the winner and the Baggies must have thought the three points were in the bag, Pepe Mel’s celebration dance was somewhat premature though and the West Brom head coach now needs to pick his side up again against fellow strugglers Norwich next week.
Cardiff: The Bluebirds scored a 95th-minute injury time equaliser in this absorbing match and had come back twice to salvage a crucial point yet they remain in the bottom three. Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, (who scored some important injury time winners himself) will be concerned by his side’s continued poor start but delighted with their resolve and never say die spirit and following his team’s nightmare start, Solskjaer switched to a 4-5-1 formation and was immediately rewarded when Jordon Mutch caught Foster out with a lob from a similar position to Amalfitano. Mutch, the scorer of two goals in Cardiff’s 6-3 defeat to Liverpool last weekend will know if he truly meant to go for goal, but a back-pedalling Foster was beaten as Cardiff were handed a lifeline before the interval. Captain Steven Caulker looked to have got the crucial goal 17 minutes from time but the late drama continued in a game neither side could afford to lose and Mats Daehli, a Norwegian substitute no less, added to the drama with a last-minute equaliser that was deserved.
Arsenal 1-1 Man City
Goals: Flamini, Silva
Assists: Podolski, Dzeko
Bonus points: Flamini, Silva (3), Mertesacker, Demichelis (1)
Arsenal: Arsenal fought back from a goal down to claim a 1-1 draw with Manchester City and in doing so they put a dent in City’s title aspirations. Arsenal were off the pace in the first half but they did have a call for a penalty on 12 minutes as Tomas Rosicky tumbled in the box under a challenge from Pablo Zabaleta, but the appeals were waved away by referee Mike Dean and quite rightly so. The Gunners have struggled defensively in recent weeks, leaking goals in their last 3 home league games having kept a clean sheet in the previous five and they did not help their cause by giving the ball away for City’s opener on 18 minutes. Arsenal mustered just one shot in the first half. Further sloppy play from Arsenal almost cost them on the half-hour mark, but Wojciech Szczesny was able to get down to his right and keep out a Samir Nasri effort. On 53 minutes though Citys Joe Hart had no chance with Mathieu Flamini’s leveller. The midfielder timed his run into the box to perfection to turn home Lukas Podolski’s fizzing cross to level the scores, it was the first goal the Blues had conceded in more than five-and-a-half Premier League matches. Arsenal were transformed by the goal and should have taken the lead on the hour. A slick passing move set Podolski in on goal, but he was denied by the boot of Hart and Olivier Giroud had a decent chance with 20 minutes remaining but he was unable to guide his header on target. Arsenal finished the game by far the stronger of the two sides, but City weathered the storm and were able to claim a point that could still prove vital at the end of the season.
Man City: On a day that saw Chelsea surprisingly slip up at Crystal Palace, City had the opportunity to go ahead of Jose Mourinho’s men with two games in hand. At a ground where arguably City’s epic title run-in was started in 2011, they arrived at the Emirates knowing that Chelsea had already suffered a shock defeat to Crystal Palace earlier in the day. The Blues, who lost 1-0 to the Gunners before winning the final six matches of the 2011 campaign to be crowned Premier League champions as a result, knew a win in this fixture would give them a major advantage over Chelsea and effectively all-but end Arsenal’s slender hopes. The 6-3 win for City at the Etihad Stadium earlier in the season was perhaps one of the games of the season so far and there were no surprises that Manuel Pellegrini opted to name an unchanged starting XI from the team that comprehensively won Tuesday’s Manchester Derby. City picked up where they’d left off at Old Trafford with an opening that had the hosts on the rack almost from the kick-off. Jesus Navas curled a shot a foot wide after just three minutes and then Nasri and Silva broke forward at pace but the final pass to Dzeko was scrambled clear. The midfield maestro that is David Silva started and finished a move which saw him bundle the ball home after Edin Dzeko’s shot had crashed against the woodwork. The Blues went into the break at halftime with that slim advantage but within eight minutes of the re-start the hosts were level, City had to weather the storm after Arsenals equaliser and gradually the pendulum began to swing back in their favour, their patient build-up play was almost rewarded 15 minutes from time when Nasri worked the ball to Dzeko, then to Yaya Toure who rounded Szczesny but his cross was scrambled clear. Though there were half-chances at either end this was still a useful point for the Blues.
Fulham 1-3 Everton
Goals: Dejagah, Stockdale (og), Mirallas & Naismith
Assists: Sidwell, Baines, McGeady & Naismith
Bonus points: Hotlby (3), Naismith (2), Sidwell (1), Dejagah (1)
Fulham: This result was harsh on Fulham, who were excellent in the first half and looked to have sealed a deserved point when Ashkan Dejagah cancelled out David Stockdale’s 50th minute own goal to bring the scores level to 1-1. Felix Magath’s men are five points from safety with just six games remaining and will reflect on a game of missed chances as their Premier League fate hangs by the merest of threads. Fulham had good cause for a penalty appeal when Sylvain Distin appeared to handle in the box and threatened in the 13th minute when Brede Hangeland flicked on Lewis Holtby’s corner but Pajtim Kasami was unable to place his header on target. Stockdale produced a fine stop to deny Gerard Deulofeu at the end of a swift Everton counter-attack, while Holtby and Moussa Dembele tested Tim Howard with headers as they increased the tempo prior to half-time. Stockdale produced a stunning save to deny Romelu Lukaku just past the hour mark as Everton looked to take the game beyond Fulham, but the hosts were not a spent force and Dejagah netted an excellent equaliser on 71 minutes, cutting in from the left before rifling past Howard at his near post. Ultimately Fulham could not capitalise and though they performed admirably they came up short and were undone by two Everton Substitutes, namely Steven Naismith and Kevin Mirallas who starred as Everton sent Fulham closer to relegation with a goal apiece in the final 11 minutes. For Fulham this may well be season over. Some players sank to their knees at the final whistle and they looked devasted.
Everton: “We’re all going on a European tour!” sung the away fans after a hard-fought victory here at Craven Cottage and it may well be true. Everton have put the pressure right back on Arsenal and Roberto Martinez can take many of the plaudits. Every one of his substitutes either scored or assisted a goal in the second half and this could prove to be a vital win come the end of the season. The one blip was the early withdrawal of teenager Ross Barkley at half-time through a calf injury, Barkley was replaced by Scotland international Steven Naismith for the second 45 minutes. And it was to trigger the change in fortunes Everton craved and needed.
Naismith made an instant impact. His lively running and neat inter-play caused Fulham no end of problems. Both Naismith and fellow substitute Kevin Mirallas were on target in the second half, while the former’s shot led to Fulham keeper David Stockdale putting through his own net as Martinez’s men boosted their hopes of securing CL qualification. Everton are four points behind fourth-placed Arsenal and they also have a game in hand on the Gunners who visit Goodison Park next Sunday. Everton’s fate is in their own hands and with Martinez at the helm they are pretty safe hands.
Liverpool 4-0 Tottenham
Goals: Kaboul (og), Suarez, Coutinho, Henderson
Assists: Johnson, Flanagan, Suarez
Bonus points: Flanagan (3), Johnson (2), Coutinho (1)
Liverpool: Liverpool were quite simply breathtaking, they produced another outstanding performance at Anfield that annihilated a Tottenham side completely lacking in sprit, ideas or belief. Brendan Rodgers surprised many by starting with both Raheem Sterling and Phillippe Coutinho and it took just 90 seconds for the Reds to take the lead, when Younas Kaboul put Glen Johnson’s cross into his own net. On 25 minutes, Luis Suarez capitalised on a defensive mix up between Michael Dawson and Kaboul to continue his great run of scoring. Johnson and Jon Flanagan were a constant threat to Spurs and it was the latter who offloaded to Coutinho who powered in a low shot from 25 yards to cap an impressive display from the Brazilian. Spurs misery was compounded when Henderson’s low free-kick went through a crowded penalty area and into the far corner of the net to seal a convincing win. ‘We’re going to win the league”, sang the Kop on the final whistle and it’s hard to argue with them on this form. Steven Gerrard, who had a quite game sitting deep, was replaced on 70mins to help him avoid the booking that would mean an automatic 2-match ban.
Tottenham: Where do you start with Spurs; poor, spineless, lethargic, predictable, spring to mind. Even manager Tim Sherwood decided to sit this one out in the Directors Box. Tottenham saw so little of the ball their chances were sporadic at best, and, when Christian Eriksen did find space in the area, Martin Skrtel threw his body in the way and Gylfi Sigurdsson’s follow-up header was saved by Simon Mignolet. Eriksen was by far and away their best player, but had little to work with around him. Spurs showed little in the way of attacking threat, but it will be their basic defensive errors that will have head coach Tim Sherwood most concerned. After glaring mistakes in recent games with Southampton and Chelsea, it was a familiar story for Spurs and Liverpool ruthlessly exposed their deficiencies.
Thanks for reading Gameweek 32 Fantasy Reviews, this article was written by Eddy and Migs.