Gameweek 28 would see a full programme of midweek Premier League action. It all kicked off on Tuesday night with Cardiff hosting Everton while Wolves travelled to Huddersfield. Leicester faced Brighton and Newcastle welcomed Burnley. On Wednesday we would see the title race heat up as both Manchester City and Liverpool faced home tests against sides pushing for strong finishes to the season. Elsewhere Arsenal looked to keep the pace with Manchester United as they faced Bournemouth at the Emirates. Anyway, here’s the FPL Updates gameweek review…
Angus Gunn – Southampton had a massive chance to climb out of the drop zone on Wednesday night as they faced Fulham at St. Mary’s. They started strongly and took the lead early on when a half-cleared corner fell to Oriol Romeu, whose drive flew through legs and into the empty net. Despite a host of chances to level the scores, Fulham fell further behind when Nathan Redmond’s low effort was parried into the path of James Ward-Prowse, who tapped home. The defeat would see the end for Claudio Ranieri at Fulham after just three months in charge.
Virgil van Dijk, Trent Alexander-Arnold & Andrew Robertson – The major difference this season for Liverpool has undoubtedly been their defensive solidity. The addition of Dutchman Virgil van Dijk has really steeled up a defence that was infamous for leaking goals. However, the real star of the show for the Reds in their triumph over Watford on Wednesday night was Trent Alexander-Arnold, who picked up three assists. Jurgen Klopp will undoubtedly be delighted with a wonderful display from his backline against a side that have proved to be no pushovers this season.
Fabian Schar – Newcastle look to have improved greatly in recent weeks. One real standout performer for the Magpies has been Swiss international Fabian Schar. Able to operate in defensive as well as midfield positions, the former Basel man has been in fine form, and strode forward from defence to thunder home a brilliant effort from twenty-five yards against Burnley on Tuesday. Sean Longstaff drilled home a first league goal for the club to double the advantage and see off the challenge of Dyche’s Burnley, who were lacklustre at best.
Cesar Azpilicueta – In a tough week for Chelsea they probably didn’t need to be faced with the task of facing a Spurs side that had been mentioned in the title race until last week. However, the Blues silenced their critics in a dominant performance. They opened the scoring when Pedro showed great skill to cut inside before slotting through the legs of Hugo Lloris. The game was killed off when Kieran Trippier scored a horror own goal, passing the ball into his own net as Lloris came to claim. Mauricio Sarri needed a big performance and got it.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan & Mesut Ozil – Arsenal knew that a win was vital against Bournemouth on Wednesday as they looked to keep up hopes of a top four place. They were in front through Mesut Ozil just minutes in, and Henrikh Mkhitaryan doubled the lead not long after. They suffered a scare as a mix up at the back saw Lys Mousset grab a consolation. However, after Laurent Koscielny netted a third both Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette would find the net to round off the 5-1 rout.
Gylfi Sigurdsson – Everton knew that they wouldn’t have an easy game as they travelled to Cardiff on Tuesday night, and under-fire boss Marco Silva really needed a big performance from his players. It’s fair to say he got it as the Toffees ran out 3-0 winners on the night. Gylfi Sigurdsson broke the deadlock shortly before half time, and doubled both his own and his side’s tally not long after the hour. Dominic Calvert-Lewin netted a third deep into injury time to add gloss to the score line. It’s back to the drawing board for Neil Warnock and his Bluebirds.
Sadio Mané – Liverpool weren’t messing around as they faced Watford at Anfield and were ahead within ten minutes when Sadio Mané headed home. The Senegal international doubled his tally shortly after, backheeling brilliantly over Ben Foster after a poor first touch. Divock Origi cut in and fired home a third before Virgil van Dijk netted a brace in the space of three minutes to really run salt in the Hornets wound. The Reds and manager Jurgen Klopp know there’s little margin for error between now and the end of the season if they are to claim a first Premier League crown.
Romelu Lukaku – Manchester United knew a win at Crystal Palace was vital to keep alive hopes of a top four place. In a tight match they took the lead after half an hour when Romelu Lukaku curled home the opener for the Red Devils. He picked up his brace when he acrobatically flicked beyond Vicente Guaita shortly into the second half. Palace were back in it when Joel Ward stooped to head home at the back post. However, United sealed the victory when Ashley Young drilled home from the angle late on.
Written by Ryan Nevin (@RNevin7)