Gameweek 17 would see the penultimate set of Premier League fixtures before Christmas, and it didn’t disappoint. Manchester City kicked off the weekend as they hosted Everton at Eastlands on Saturday. Crystal Palace faced Leicester City at Selhurst Park while Burnley travelled to Wembley to face Spurs. The late kick off would see Fulham face West Ham United at Craven Cottage. On Sunday, Chelsea travelled to face Brighton, while Southampton welcomed Arsenal. The weekend ended on Manchester United travelling to Anfield. Anyway, here’s the FPL Updates gameweek review…
Lukasz Fabianski – West Ham United endured a horrendous start to the Premier League season under Manuel Pellegrini, and spectators began to wonder whether they would find themselves at the wrong end of the table come may. However, they seem to have gelled since then, and have been in fantastic form of late in the Premier League. One of their standout performers this season has been summer signing Lukasz Fabianski, who was once again in fine form as the Hammers ran out 2-0 victors over Fulham at Craven Cottage.
Javier Manquillo – Newcastle travelled to Yorkshire to face Huddersfield Town in a match that both sides would want to win, especially the Terriers, who have struggled so far in their second Premier League season. In a tight game there few chances, however Newcastle managed to take one to net the only goal of the game. After an excellent run, Javier Manquillo squared to Salomon Rondon, who drilled home at the far post to score what turned out to be the winner ten minutes into the second period.
Conor Coady – Wolverhampton Wanderers have had a mixed start to this Premier League season, but managed an excellent home win over high-flying AFC Bournemouth on their own patch. They opened the scoring just twelve minutes in when Raul Jimenez struck his fifth goal of an already successful season for the former Atletico Madrid man. They would have to wait until second half injury time to finish the match, with Ivan Cavaleiro breaking through on goal before calmly slotting beyond the onrushing Asmir Begovic.
Toby Alderweireld – Spurs have started well in the Premier League this season and were strong favourites for the visit of a Burnley side that may well be embroiled in a relegation battle at the end of the season. However, despite the best efforts of the home side they failed to convert their chances and heading into second half stoppage time it looked like the Clarets would escape with an unlikely point. That was until Harry Kane fed substitute Christian Eriksen to slot home into the top corner to spark wild celebrations among the home crowd.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan – Arsenal were 22 matches unbeaten as they made the trip to struggling Southampton at St. Mary’s on Sunday afternoon, and were favourites to keep that run going. However, Unai Emery’s side would be stunned as Saints rallied late on for Charlie Austin to head home an unlikely winner much to the delight of the home crowd. It’s a big win for South coast side who will be looking to be well clear of the drop zone come May. It’s a good start for Ralph Hasenhuttl in the home dugout.
Xherdan Shaqiri – Liverpool faced Manchester United in a hug clash at Anfield on Sunday afternoon, with the Reds looking to stay at the top of the table. They made a strong start and took the lead when a brilliant Fabinho pass found Sadio Mané to slide home past David De Gea. However, the Reds were pegged back when an Alisson mistake allowed Jesse Lingard to pass home a leveller. Xherdan Shaqiri was introduced from the bench, and it was a brace from the former Stoke City man that would see the Reds take a 3-1 win on the day.
Gerard Deulofeu – Watford hosted Cardiff City at Vicarage Road on Saturday afternoon, and took the lead early when former Barcelona winger Gerard Deulofeu danced into the box before slotting home. They netted twice more early in the second period when José Holebas and Domingos Quina both curled efforts home from range. However, a stunner from Junior Hoilett before a toe-poke from Bobby Reid made it a nervy final few minutes for the Hornets, who continue to achieve under the guidance of Javi Gracia.
Eden Hazard – After a lengthy run without a goal, Belgian playmaker Eden Hazard seemed to be back to his best for Chelsea as he masterminded their 2-1 victory over Brighton and Hove Albion at the AMEX Stadium on Sunday. He opened the scoring when he slotted home past the onrushing Mat Ryan, before his teasing low cross was converted by Pedro at the back post, who tapped home to double the advantage. A Solly March goal not long after the hour would prove to be mere consolation for the Seagulls.
Robert Snodgrass – One of the standout performers for West Ham United in recent weeks has been Scotland international midfielder Robert Snodgrass. Since returning from a loan spell at Aston Villa the former Hull and Norwich man has been excellent, and he opened the scoring as the Hammers took the lead early on against Fulham at Craven Cottage. After receiving the ball from Felipe Anderson he curled home early on, before Michail Antonio’s strike on the half hour put the game out of Fulham’s reach, much to the disappointment of Claudio Ranieri.
Danny Ings – Southampton and Arsenal played out somewhat of a thriller at St. Mary’s on Sunday, and it was former Burnley and Liverpool forward Danny Ings that headed Saints in front early on. However, Henrikh Mkhitaryan headed home a leveller. Not to be outshone, Southampton-born Ings was at it again looping a header over Bernd Leno. Mkhitaryan would equalise yet again through a deflected effort from range. However, Saints would win it when substitute Shane Long crossed for fellow sub Charlie Austin to head home with just minutes remaining.
Gabriel Jesus – Brazilian wonderkid Gabriel Jesus has struggled in front of goal this season but was back to his best as Manchester City ran out 3-1 winners over Everton at Eastlands. He opened the scoring when Leroy Sané played the Brazil international in to slot home. His second came when Sané, yet again, crossed for Jesus to power home a header. Dominic Calvert-Lewin pulled one back before Raheem Sterling, on from the bench, planted home an unlikely header to end the match as a contest. City will be looking to keep the pressure on leaders Liverpool.
Written by Ryan Nevin (@RNevin7)