Gameweek 30 would see Premier League sides entering the final straight of this ever-competitive Premier League season. As Liverpool and Manchester City battle it out for the title the former would host Burnley while the latter would face Watford. Elsewhere at the bottom Cardiff City had a massive match against West Ham in Wales. Meanwhile, Southampton hosted Spurs at St. Mary’s with Newcastle facing Everton at St. James’ Park. Arsenal faced Manchester United in the race for fourth spot. Anyway, here’s the FPL Updates gameweek review…
Bernd Leno – Arsenal had a massive game against Manchester United as we get ever closer to finding out who will take that fourth Champions League place come May. The neutral may well have made the Red Devils slight favourites given their unbeaten start t life under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in the league. However, Arsenal are formidable at home, and stunned United by recording a 2-0 victory. An error from David De Gea saw Granit Xhaka’s bending shot find the net, before Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang kept his cool from the spot in the second half.
Lee Peltier – Cardiff know that they face a fight to retain their Premier League status upon their return under Neil Warnock. However, one thing that they don’t lack is fight, and they may count themselves slightly unlucky to have lost many of the matches they have this season. Warnock may lament the lack of quality they were able to bring in during the two transfer windows this season. The loss of Sol Bamba will be sure to hit the Bluebirds hard as they will have to finish this campaign without their formidable skipper.
Yan Valery – Just a week after netting his first professional goal Southampton wing-back Yan Valery was at it again as his side took on Spurs at St. Mary’s on Saturday. Harry Kane gave the North London side the lead in the first half, however the Saints hit back late to take a vital three points. A Danny Rose error saw Valery pounce to level the scores as the game entered the final stages. Up stepped James Ward-Prowse with a stunner of a freekick to send the home fans into raptures. Given Cardiff’s result it could be massive come the end of the season.
Charlie Daniels – Huddersfield Town know that they are all but relegated with just eight matches remaining this season. They would have needed a miracle regardless of whether they were able to secure victory against AFC Bournemouth on Saturday. They were unable to stop the Cherries recording a 2-0 away victory, and the Town fans are most likely turning their attentions to next season aiming to secure an immediate return to the big time. They’ll be hoping to keep hold of some of their stars over the summer.
Raheem Sterling – One of the most improved players in Europe over the past year is undoubtedly England international Raheem Sterling. The former Liverpool man has scored goals all season for Manchester City as they find themselves at the league summit. He opened the scoring controversially against Watford on Saturday evening. His second saw Riyad Mahrez cross for a simple finish before he danced inside and clipped the ball over Ben Foster to complete the treble. Watford did pull a goal back through Gerard Deulofeu, but City won’t care as they ran out 3-1 winners.
Sadio Mané – Having fallen behind in the title race Liverpool know there’s very little margin for error now as we get to the business end of the season. They hosted Burnley on Sunday and fell behind very early after Ashley Westwood’s corner found its way into the net over Alisson. However, a quick double from Sadio Mané and Roberto Firmino saw the Reds turn the game on its head. This was where the test of Jurgen Klopp’s men’s title credentials came in as they looked to kill off a game that was there for the taking…
Ryan Fraser – AFC Bournemouth have had a strange season and they may be disappointed with large parts of it after a very bright start. They did, however, secure a 2-0 win away at a doomed Huddersfield Town on Saturday. On his return from injury Callum Wilson fired the Cherries in front after just twenty minutes, chesting the ball home at the back post. They would wait until past the hour to kill the game when Wilson crossed for Ryan Fraser to sweep into the bottom corner to seal the three points.
Junior Hoilett – Regardless of whether they manage to survive this season nobody will deny that Cardiff City gave it a go. They are still in contention as we near the end of the season and recorded a massive win over West Ham United in Wales on Saturday. They opened the scoring after just four minutes when Junior Hoilett finished off a fine move. They would strike the second early in the second period when Victor Camarasa scrambled the ball home. It could have been more for the Bluebirds, but the three points will be enough for the home fans.
Ayoze Perez – Newcastle have been in great form of late but would have feared their result against Everton when Dominic Calvert-Lewin glanced home early. They were then denied from the spot as Jordan Pickford atoned for a horrible error, which led to Richarlison doubling the Toffees lead almost immediately. However, Newcastle hit back to win it from two down. Salomon Rondon and Ayoze Perez struck to leave the scores level with ten minutes remaining, before Perez slammed home his second to win it late on.
Jamie Vardy – Leicester City were strong favourites for their home clash with Fulham, with the away side all but relegated with eight matches remaining. The Foxes opened the scoring when Jamie Vardy unselfishly squared for Youri Tielemans to slide home his first Leicester goal. However, Fulham stunned the home crowd as they equalised through Floyd Ayité early in the second half. However, a late Jamie Vardy brace would see the Foxes secure three points that were perhaps made more difficult than it needed to be.
Roberto Firmino – Liverpool found themselves ahead 2-1 against Burnley at Anfield on Sunday and didn’t let any nerves get in the way of the Reds racing away to an excellent victory. Roberto Firmino netted a third with twenty-five minutes remaining before the Clarets scored early in stoppage time to give Sean Dyche’s side hope. However, Sadio Mané was on hand to net his second even latter in the day to secure a result. Jurgen Klopp won’t care how his side get the wins if it means securing a first Premier League title for the Reds.
Written by Ryan Nevin (@RNevin7)