Gameweek 26 would see Premier League managers accept that they would have to finish the season with the players currently at their disposal, as the transfer window came to a close on Wednesday night. The gameweek kicked off with Burnley hosting league leaders Manchester City at Turf Moor. There would be a debut for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as Arsenal hosted Everton at the Emirates on Saturday evening. Sunday would see a big match in the race for the top four as Liverpool hosted Spurs on Sunday afternoon. Antonio Conte’s Chelsea side travelled to Watford on Monday night. Anyway, here’s the FPL Updates Gameweek 26 FPL Review…
Jonas Lossl – It’s been a mixed start to the season for newly-promoted Huddersfield Town under David Wagner, with the Yorkshire side struggling somewhat in recent weeks after a very encouraging start to life in the top flight. Their only signing during the January window was that of former Spurs midfielder Alex Pritchard, who had impressed this season for Norwich City in the Championship. They faced an uphill struggle as they travelled to Old Trafford to face Manchester United for what would be Alexis Sanchez’s league debut.
Federico Fernandez – Swansea City have looked a different side under recently-appointed boss Carlos Carvalhal. They travelled to face a strong Leicester City side at the King Power on Saturday afternoon. They quickly found themselves a goal down when Jamie Vardy slotted in past Lukasz Fabianksi when set through by Kelechi Iheanacho. Despite their dominance the Foxes failed to convert their chances and would live to regret it when the Swans levelled early in the first half. Argentine defender Federico Fernandez tied the match as he headed home from a Ki corner to give his side an excellent point away from home.
Danilo – Manchester City would start as strong favourites, as per usual, as they travelled to Turf Moor to face Sean Dyche’s Burnley. They looked well on their way to yet another win when Danilo hammered in from long range 20 minutes in. They dominated the match and looked to be going yet another step closer to the title. Raheem Sterling missed a glorious chance to end the contest, and Burnley would make them pay. A ball into the box found Johann Berg Gudmundsson, who converted to snatch a point for the Clarets.
Daryl Janmaat – Antonio Conte travelled to Vicarage Road on Monday night knowing that every loss or draw may see him closer to losing his job. Just months after guiding the Blues to an impressive Premier League title, form is evading his side, and despite the wealth of talent and finances at his disposal, they look set to mount a top four challenge as opposed to a title one. After a heavy home loss to Bournemouth last weekend, they were stunned at Vicarage Road, as a Watford side in poor form dispatched the Blues with ease.
Chris Smalling – Manchester United ran out as comfortable winners as they hosted Huddersfield Town at Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon. The home crowd were undoubtedly excited to see new-signing Alexis Sanchez in action for the first time at Old Trafford, and he wouldn’t disappoint. United took the lead when Romelu Lukaku converted from close range from Juan Mata’s cross. They doubled the advantage as Alexis Sanchez was brought down in the area by Michael Hefele. Sanchez stepped up and saw his effort saved by Jonas Lossl, but the Chilean would convert on the rebound to seal the win.
Aaron Ramsey and Henrikh Mkhitaryan – Arsenal turned in one of the performances of the season as they beat Everton 5-1 at the Emirates. The star of the show was undoubtedly Welshman Aaron Ramsey, as he netted a brilliant hat-trick in front of a jubilant home crowd. Henrikh Mkhitaryan would make his home debut for the Gunners, and was on form, picking up 3 assists. One of those would come for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who on his Arsenal debut got in behind and dinked past Jordan Pickford. A late consolation through Dominic Calvert-Lewin would not prevent Sam Allardyce from making his feelings about his side’s performance clear.
Mo Salah – Liverpool and Spurs played out one of the games of the season at Anfield on Sunday afternoon. Liverpool started brilliantly, and after a mix-up at the back, Mo Salah capitalised on a mistake by Eric Dier to slot home after two minutes. Despite their first half dominance, Liverpool started the second period slowly, and Victor Wanyama levelled from 25 yards as he met Loris Karius punch clear to level. Harry Kane would have a chance to surely win it from the spot, however Karius made amends for giving it away by saving. A piece of brilliance in injury time from Salah looked to have won it before Harry Kane made sure this time from the spot that Spurs would return to North-London with a point.
Pascal Gross – Brighton & Hove Albion welcomed a West Ham side down to bare bones, in terms of the number of players out injured for the Hammers. The Seagulls smelled blood and went in front when Pascal Gross threaded through Glenn Murray to open the scoring. However, West Ham levelled when Javier Hernandez danced round three defenders in the penalty area, before hammering into the top corner. Jose Izquierdo restored the lead when he curled in superbly from outside the area. German midfielders Gross made the points safe as he drilled in from 20 yards late on.
Gerard Deulofeu – Late on in the transfer window Watford completed the signing of former Everton winger Gerard Deulofeu from Barcelona. He was in fine form on his home debut as Watford hammered Chelsea. A Troy Deeney penalty saw the Hornets in front before half time. With 10 minutes remaining Eden Hazard levelled brilliantly. However, a final five-minute blitz saw Watford net three goals to seal a famous victory, through Daryl Janmaat, Deulofeu and Roberto Pereyra. It was a good way for new boss Javi Gracia to mark his first home match with the Hertfordshire side.
Lys Mousset – Bournemouth recorded yet another Premier League win on their way to safety after they beat Stoke City 2-1 at Dean Court on Saturday afternoon. However, they didn’t make it easy as they found themselves behind after just 5 minutes as Xherdan Shaqiri headed in a cross from Badou Ndiaye on his Potters debut. Bournemouth levelled through Josh King as he fired in low into the bottom corner. They weren’t done there, as French youngster Lys Mousset netted his first Premier League goal to win it, as he headed in from Jordan Ibe’s freekick.
Written by Ryan Nevin (@RNevin7)