Gameweek 34 would see a full round of Premier League action as we race towards the exciting climax of yet another brilliant season. It all kicked off on Friday night as Leicester City hosted Newcastle United. The following day there would be a couple of massive clashes at the bottom as Cardiff faced Burnley and Southampton hosting Wolves. Liverpool and Manchester City would play on Sunday, before Brighton would face Cardiff on Tuesday in the second game of both sides’ weekends. Anyway, here’s the FPL Updates gameweek review…
Neil Etheridge – Cardiff City faced a difficult test on Saturday as they made the trip to Turf Moor to face fellow strugglers Burnley. Sean Dyche’s side knew that a win against their Welsh opponents would see them all but secure survival as we head towards the end of the season. The Bluebirds would go down 2-0 to the Lancashire side, with other results leaving them five points adrift of safety with just five matches remaining. Fortunately, they would have the chance to set the record straight just three days later.
Sean Morrison – Cardiff City knew that failure to win against seventeenth placed Brighton and Hove Albion may see Neil Warnock’s side needing a miracle to secure Premier League survival. However, they got off to a brilliant start as Nathanial Mendez-Laing fired home a curling effort from range to spark scenes in the away end. They were in dreamland when they doubled their lead just minutes into the second period as Sean Morrison headed home his first goal of the season to heap the pressure on the Seagulls with just four matches remaining.
Virgil van Dijk – The first full season at Liverpool for Virgil van Dijk has been nothing short of sensational, with the imposing Dutchman undoubtedly the Reds’ star performer this season. They secured a priceless 2-0 win over Chelsea at Anfield, with Sadio Mané opening the scoring from Jordan Henderson’s delivery. Their second was nothing short of stunning, as Mo Salah drove inside before firing into the corner from 25 yards to spark wild scenes among the Anfield crowd. No slip up from the Reds this weekend.
Willy Boly – Wolverhampton Wanderers were still getting over their unfortunate FA Cup semi-final collapse at the hands of Watford as they made the journey south to face Southampton at St. Mary’s. Unfortunately for them the Saints were looking to secure safety themselves and blew the midlands side away running out 3-1 winners on the day. Nuno Santo will undoubtedly be frustrated as Wolves try to secure the title of the ‘best of the rest’. The newly-promoted side are on of four in contention for seventh place and a possible Europa League spot.
Lucas Moura – Spurs started their home clash against Huddersfield Town as strong favourites, understandably so given the away side’s form this season, which has seen them already relegated back to the Championship in juts their second top-flight season. However, take nothing away from Spurs forward Lucas Moura, who netted a brilliant hat-trick. Victor Wanyama netted the only other goal in a 4-0 rout for Spurs at their new ground. Attentions will turn to their Champions League second leg clash with Manchester City.
Ryan Fraser – With Brighton and Hove Albion in desperate need of points in the fight for survival this season, few would have expected the score line that happened when they hosted AFC Bournemouth on Saturday afternoon. In a vital clash on the south coast the Seagulls suffered a damaging 5-0 defeat at the hands of their fellow seasiders. The damage was done by Ryan Fraser, Dan Gosling, Junior Stanislas, David Brooks and Callum Wilson on a great day for the Cherries. Brighton, on the other hand, have work to do to survive.
Paul Pogba – Manchester United can focus firmly on the Premier League and the fight for fourth place after being eliminated from the Champions League at the hands of Barcelona. However, before that happened, they would need to face West Ham United at Old Trafford on Saturday evening. In a tight game the Red Devils would run out narrow victors courtesy of two penalties. Both spot kicks were converted by French midfielder Paul Pogba in confident fashion. Despite Felipe Anderson’s leveller the Hammers would fall to an unfortunate defeat on the day.
Ryan Babel – Fulham have had very little to shout about this season. After a wealth of summer arrivals many had expected a relatively comfortable season for the Cottagers, however a lack of cohesion seems to have cost Scott Parker’s side. They did however manage a 2-0 home victory over an in-form Everton side on Saturday afternoon. Tom Cairney, the man who scored Fulham’s Wembley winner a year ago, opened the scoring. Ryan Babel scored a second to kill off the game as a contest and secure the three points.
Callum Wilson – It’s been yet another successful season for AFC Bournemouth frontman Callum Wilson, who has yet again battled with injuries. He was on target for the Cherries at the weekend as they dismantled Brighton and Hove Albion at the AMEX. He managed to break into the England squad this season, and even managed to score on his debut for the Three Lions. The retirement of Jamie Vardy from international football seems to have secured Wilson’s place as a regular fixture in Gareth Southgate’s squad.
Chris Wood – Having endured a really poor season, Burnley may have their forwards to than as they seem set to secure another season of Premier League football on a modest budget under Sean Dyche. The Clarets secured a priceless 2-0 home win over relegation rivals Cardiff City. A brace from New Zealand international Chris Wood meant the three points would remain at Turf Moor on a big day for the club. Despite some injury problems along the way, Wood has a strong scoring record since signing for a big fee from Leeds United.
Written by Ryan Nevin (@RNevin7)