Gameweek 27 would see the first double gameweek of the season for both Manchester City and Stoke City, with the two facing one another in the second of their matches. Elsewhere, there was a massive game at the bottom for Swansea, who would host Burnley. Potentially an even bigger clash would take place at the King Power stadium, where recently resurgent Leicester City would play host to fellow strugglers Hull City. In a big match in the race for top four, Arsenal would travel north to face a Liverpool side that have failed to hit their stride in 2017 thus far. Anyway, here’s the FPL Gameweek 27 Review…
Lee Grant – It’s been a superb season for Lee Grant in the Stoke net. Having struggled to hold down a place in the Derby first team ahead of former Liverpool man Scott Carson, Grant managed to secure a six-month loan move to Stoke City following a major injury to Jack Butland. Come January, the form of the 34-year-old prompted a loan extension. It is widely thought that Stoke will make his purchase a permanent on in the summer, although with the afore mentioned Butland having just been cleared to play, it remains to be seen who will take the number one shirt for the Potteries on a permanent basis. He enjoyed a superb few days as he and his side secured two superb clean sheets.
Erik Pieters – Another Stoke defender to feature in this week’s eleven is Dutch left-back Erik Pieters, who has enjoyed some strong form this season, as Mark Hughes continues to build his strong defensive unit. They first held firm at the back to secure a solid 2-0 win at the hands of Middlesbrough at the Bet365 stadium. They’re Wednesday night match at the Eithad was hardly a classic, but they came away with what will be looked back on as a superb point away from home. Despite several chances for City, they failed to take any of them. Potentially the best fell to Spaniard David Silva, off the bench, when he squirmed into the penalty area, but he dragged his effort wide from twelve yards. It’s a very disappointing result for City, who had looked to close the gap on leaders Chelsea.
Clichy, Kolarov and Sagna – It’s a City trio in this week’s defence, as two shutouts saw four points from a possible six for Pep Guardiola’s side. They faced Sunderland on Sunday afternoon, running out 2-0 winners in a relatively comfortable win. City hit the front when Sergio Aguero flicked the ball in at the near post after a fantastic cross from Raheem Sterling on the right flank. They doubled their lead when Leroy Sané latched onto a superb pass from Kevin De Bruyne before slotting into the net off the upright, past Jordan Pickford in the Sunderland net. Jermain Defoe had the ball in the net late on, but saw his header ruled out for offside late on. It was disappointing for Sunderland, and they head into the run-in fearing that they may not be able to pull off their seemingly annual escape.
Dusan Tadic and Nathan Redmond – There was a thriller at Vicarage Road on Saturday, with Southampton coming from behind to win 4-3 against Watford. Watford took a fourth minute lead a bouncing ball in the area fell to Troy Deeney, who placed a volley into the corner superbly. However, quickfire goals from Redmond and Tadic saw Southampton turn the match around in the space 20 first half minutes. The second half began slowly, but just 10 minutes from time, Stefano Okaka tapped home to level the score at 2-2 with it all to play for. However, with just 8 minutes remaining, a horror spill from Heurelho Gomes saw Manolo Gabbiadini tap in to likely give Sainst all three points. They weren’t done though, as Nathan Redmond netted again, drilling high past Gomes. Watford pulled a goal back with second remaining, although it wouldn’t be enough to take a point.
Marko Arnautovic – Austrian midfielder Marko Arnautovic was on form as his side ran out 2-0 winners against Middlesbrough at the Bet365 Stadium. His first goal was nothing sshort of sublime, with the winger taking the ball down brilliantly, and taking the ball past Victor Valdes before slotting home into an empty net. His second would come shortly after, as he lashed home brilliantly after a neat knock down from veteran forward Peter Crouch. It was a disappointing loss for Middlesbrough, who seem doomed as they yet again fail to find the net in the Premier League. Aitor Karanka will know that their form will have to turn around quickly if they’re to remain in the Premier League.
Sadio Mané – Liverpool’s standout man this campaign has undoubtedly been summer signing Sadio Mané, who was on top form as his side brushed Arsenal aside 3-1 at Anfield on Saturday night. They took an early lead when Mané crossed for Roberto Firmino, who neatly controlled before slotting into the roof of Petr Cech’s net. Cech would be beaten again late on in the second half, when some neat interplay would see the ball find its way to Mané, who had all the time in the world to control and drill the ball into the net. Danny Welbeck pulled a goal back with a delicate chip. However, Liverpool ended the contest late on when Divock Origi crossed for Wijanldum to slide home a third, and the three points for the Reds.
Fernando Llorente – Swansea took a huge three points as they hosted Burnley on Saturday, although the Swans never had it all their own way, with the Clarets being awarded a penalty in minutes, after Sam Vokes handled in the area, only for the referee to point to the spot. Andre Gray stepped up and score, but Swansea were level shortly, when a brilliant cross from Leroy Fer was headed home by Spanish forward Llorente. Andre Gray gave Burnley the lead yet again with a superb swivelling volley from the edge of the box. Back Swansea fought, with Martin Olsson slamming into the roof of the net after a lovely flick for Gylfi Sigurdsson. Then, deep into injury time, a delightful curling cross from Tom Carroll landed on the head of Llorente, who put the ball past Paul Robinson, and sent the Liberty into raptures.
Harry Kane – A regular at the moment in these reviews, Harry Kane was at it again as Spurs recorded a good win at home to Everton, running out 3-2 winners in an exciting contest. The England international gave his side the lead when he smashed in at Joel Robles’ near post twenty minutes in. Things would get better when he was played in again on the hour, before slotting brilliantly past the onrushing goalkeeper. Romelu Lukaku’s neat finish made it nervous, before Dele Alli flicked superbly past the afore mentioned Robles to make the points safe. Everton managed to pull another back but it wouldn’t make a difference as Spurs recorded another win to remain in second position.
Written by Ryan Nevin (@RNevin7)