Gameweek 25 would see a massive relegation six-pointer at the Liberty Stadium as struggling champions Leicester City would face the in-form Swansea City. This would come on Sunday, after we saw a huge top four clash between Spurs and Liverpool at Anfield, with both sides competing for a top-four finish, and potentially even a title for Spurs. Monday night would see a sinking Bournemouth side play host to a Manchester City side hosting a wealth of attacking riches. Title favourites Chelsea travelled to Burnley, looking to increase their lead at the top. Meanwhile, Arsenal would face Hull City at the Emirates. So, here’s the FPL Gameweek 25 Review…
Simon Mignolet – The battle for the number 1 shirt at Liverpool has been a real topic of conversation this season, with shaky form from both Simon Mignolet and new-signing Loris Karius struggling in their respective efforts. However, the former was in fine form as his side ended a dreadful run of form with a 2-0 win over rivals Spurs at Anfield on Saturday night. The result sees Jurgen Klopp’s side up to 5th place in the Premier League, just three points from second placed Manchester City. Having gone down to two quick-fire Reds goals, the best chance fell to Heung-Min Son, however he was brilliantly denied by Mignolet from a tight angle. Spurs failed to turn in the kind of performance they had been in recent weeks, and were deserved losers on the night.
Alfie Mawson, Martin Olsson and Federico Fernandez – It’s a trio of Swansea defenders this week after they faced struggling champions Leicester City at the Liberty on Sunday afternoon. Both sides were in desperate need of a big three points in order to ease their relegation fears. Swansea went for the jugular from the offset, with the Welsh side applying fairly consistent pressure on the foxes, and they would make a breakthrough just 36 minutes in. A long ball into the box was met by Federico Fernandez, who cushioned a header back towards Alfie Mawson, who hammered home on the full-volley past a helpless Kasper Schmeichel. Mawson, who has really come into his own under Paul Clement, proceeded to run the length of the pitch before celebrating in style in front of the Swans faithful. Just as the half seemed to be fizzling out to a 1-0 score line, Gylfi Sigurdsson played a superb ball into Martin Olsson, who found himself in on goal. The January signing from Norwich took a couple of touches before putting his head down and thumping low past Schmeichel to the fury of the Foxes fans. The second half would see a couple of chances for the Foxes, the best of which fell to Islam Slimani, after he was found by Riyad Mahrez.
Ryan Bertrand – Southampton breezed past David Moyes’ Sunderland side 4-0 at the Stadium of Light on Saturday afternoon. One of the stars of the show for the Saints was marauding full-back Ryan Bertrand, who assisted twice on a fine afternoon for Claude Puel’s side. Bertrand set up the Saints opener when he flew forward on the overlap, and when he was played in down the flank delivered a fantastic curling cross that was turned in by new Italian forward Manolo Gabbiadini. Bertrand would go on to assist Saints’ third as well, when Nathan Redmond played the former Chelsea man in again down the left-hand side, and when he flashed a low drive across goal, Shane Long was on hand to flick the ball beyond Vito Mannone in the Sunderland net. It’s a poor result for Moyes’ side, who now find themselves bottom of the Premier League.
Sadio Mané – It was two quick-fire goals from Senegal international Sadio Mané that gave Liverpool a priceless three points against Spurs at Anfield on Saturday night. His first came just 15 minutes in when he was played through on gaol by Roberto Firmino. He took one touch across the defender before placing high into the top corner of the net past Hugo Lloris. His second would come just moments later, when Mané himself unselfishly squared to Firmino, before Lallana’s shot rebounded to the Senegalese man, who fired home high on the volley. It was almost a hit-trick for the man who recently returned from the African Cup of Nations when he was brilliantly denied by Lloris. It would have been ironic had Mané netted one of the fastest Premier League hat-tricks ever, given that he holds the current record at just two and a half minutes, while playing for Southampton.
Alexis Sanchéz – Chilean forward Alexis Sanchéz has arguably been the best player in the Premier League this campaign, with the Arsenal man winning games on his own, and he may have done it again as his brace saw Arsenal run out 2-0 winners against a resurgent Hull City side. The Chilean’s first goal came 34 minutes in, when a goal-mouth scramble saw the ball ricochet into the net off the arm of the Arsenal man. Despite Hull’s appeals, the referee gave the goal, to the dismay of the Tigers players. Replays show that the ball did go on off the arm of Sanchez, although the referee had made up his mind. Despite putting in a decent performance, Hull couldn’t take advantage, and the match was killed off when Sam Clucas was given his marching orders for handling on the gaol line in stoppage time. Sanchéz stepped up and converted from the spot as Arsenal approached a massive game the Allianz arena against Bayern Munich.
Manuel Lanzini and Sofiane Feghouli – There’s been a remarkable change in fortunes at West Ham, after early-season form indicated they may be relegation candidates. However, they now seem set for mid-table finish, as several players have stepped forward looking to fill the void left by want-away star Dimitri Payet. Few have impressed more than Algerian summer-signing Sofiane Feghouli, who was unfortunate to see a perfectly good goal ruled out for offside at the weekend, despite replays showing he was clearly onside. However, he regained his composure, and slotted between the legs of Ben Foster to equalise at the London Stadium after Nacer Chadli had given the Baggies the lead. West Ham looked to be heading for three points against Tony Pulis’ side when Manuel Lanzini fired in from range brilliantly. However, there was to be a cruel twist when Chris Brunt’s corner was met by the head of Jonny Evans, and the faintest of touches from Gareth McAuley would give the Baggies an unlikely point.
Anthony Martial – The somewhat ‘forgotten man’ at Manchester United has been France international Anthony Martial, who signed for a massive fee last summer. However, he was the star of the show as José Mourinho’s side ran out 2-0 winners as they faced Watford at Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon. Juan Mata would open the scoring when Martial crossed low for the Spaniard after some neat build-up play. This came after Watford keeper Heurelho Gomes had twice denied Paul Pogba from range. David De Gea did make a great save at 1-0 to deny Mauro Zaraté from scoring a late equaliser. However, Martial would seal the three points when was flicked in by Zlatan Ibrahimović, before cutting back in side, and smartly sliding the ball in at the near post through the legs of Craig Cathcart. It’s a big three points for United, while Watford look like they will be safe.
Manolo Gabbiadini – The £18 million signing from Napoli has hit the ground running at Southampton and was in excellent form as they ran out 4-0 winners at the Stadium of Light against Sunderland on Saturday. His first came to open the scoring for Saints when he diverted home Ryan Bertrand’s cross, however seemingly with the use of a hand. There were no appeals from Sunderland players as the Italian wheeled away, however replays show that the goal may well have been disallowed. His second would come on the stroke of half-time, as he received the ball into feet, before smartly turning past Lamine Kone and prodding the ball past the onrushing Vito Mannone to give his side a 2-0 lead. It was a superb effort from Gabbiadini, who looks to be yet another piece of great business by the Saints.
Written by Ryan Nevin (@RNevin7)