Gameweek 17 would bring us a mouth-watering tie on Sunday afternoon, as Manchester City would host Arsenal. Both teams received their Champions League draws last week, with Arsenal yet again drawing Bayern Munich, despite winning their group. Pep Guardiola’s City would be a bit more fortunate, as they drew AS Monaco in the round of 16. On Saturday, Chelsea would look to make it eleven wins on the bounce when they met Alan Pardew’s Crystal Palace side. There would be a big clash at the bottom as well, with Middlesbrough hosting Bob Bradley’s improving Swansea side at the Riverside. So, here’s the FPL Updates gameweek 17 review.
Jordan Pickford – Sunderland hosted Watford at the Stadium of Light, after their midweek loss to Chelsea. One thing was very apparent, the Premier League’s support of Bradley Lowery, a young Sunderland suffering from terminal illness. Sunderland were looking to take a big three points against the Hornets, as they aim to stave off the threat of relegation earlier this campaign than they usually do. Despite being under pressure for most of the match, they would claim a huge win, as Jordan Pickford put in a strong display to keep Watford out. He saved late on from Troy Deeney and Odion Ighalo to ensure the Hornets would make the long trip home empty-handed.
Patrick van Aanholt – The match-winner for Sunderland was none other than Dutch full-back Patrick van Aanholt. He ran onto a slipped pass from Jermain Defoe in the area. Having been forced to turn by the Watford defence, he twisted and managed to dig out a sliced effort that would find its way into the Watford net past Heurelho Gomes off the upright. The loss was a bitter pill to swallow for Walter Mazzari’s Watford, who dominated the game in truth, but their inability to punish left them red-faced in the North-East. Miguel Britos missed the pick of the chances, nodding wide when it looked easier to score.
César Azpilicueta – Chelsea look simply unbeatable at the moment, as they recorded their 11th consecutive Premier League victory as they beat Crystal Palace 1-0 at Selhurst Park in Saturday’s early kick-off. The winner would come courtesy of a regular source, as Diego Costs got onto the end of an Azpilicueta cross to smartly direct the ball back across goal past Steve Mandanda. Chelsea always looked in control, and threatened on many occasions to add a second. Marcos Alonso came closest, as his direct free-kick had the wall and keeper beaten, only to see the ball cannon back off the cross bar before Palace cleared. Chelsea march on under Antonio Conte.
Danny Rose – Spurs had to come from behind to claim a big three points against Burnley on Sunday afternoon. As the league’s worst away side, few would have expected Burnley to cause Mauricio Pochettino’s side any issues, having taken just one point on their travels all season. However, Ashley Barnes stunned White Hart Lane, as he put the Clarets ahead much to the delight of Sean Dyche and the travelling fans. Dele Alli would equalise just five minutes later as Kyle Walker laid on for Spurs to equalise. The comeback would be completed with just 20 minutes remaining, as Danny Rose fired home late on.
Jay Rodriguez – Former Burnley man Jay Rodriguez netted a brace away at Bournemouth on Sunday to give Southampton a big win on the South Coast. Nathan Aké gave Bournemouth the lead after just five minutes before Ryan Bertrand equalised just 10 minutes later. The game slowed down a bit after that. Step forward Jay Rodriguez, who tapped in after good play from Steven Davis running at the Cherries back line. This would be his first goal since August for the Saints, but there was more to come. His second would come when he hammered home from 20 yards to seal a great 3 points for the Saints.
Marten de Roon – Middlesbrough’s summer signing Marten de Roon has impressed in recent weeks, as his box-to-box play has become a hit with the ‘Boro fans. He impressed yet again as Middlesbrough swept Swansea aside 3-0 at the Riverside. It put to bed the complaints of many who claimed that ‘Boro lacked the firepower to mount a real survival effort this season, but in recent weeks their combination of youth and experience has performed expertly. De Roon, signed by Aitor Karanka from Atalanta for £12 million, would net yet again this week. Gaston Ramirez picked out the Dutchman superbly, only for de Roon to slot home in style. A superb win for ‘Boro.
Daniel Amartey – Leicester City’s woes seemed to be continuing at the weekend, when Jamie Vardy was sent off for a two-footed tackle against Stoke at the Bet365 Stadium on Saturday. Goals from Bojan and Joe Allen just before half-time looked to have condemned the Foxes to defeat, however a big second half fightback would see Leicester travel home with a hard-earned point. Substitutes would link up for the Foxes, as Demarai Gray crossed to the back post for Leo Ulloa, whose header was found to have crossed the line courtesy of goal line technology. It would then be Daniel Amartey, who got on the end of a brilliant Christian Fuchs cross to nod home a dramatic equaliser to spark wild scenes in the away end. It was a hard-earned point for ten-man Leicester.
Mark Noble – It’s a tale on two penalties in two matches for Mark Noble, who netted from the spot to give West Ham a big three points when they faced Hull City at the London Stadium. In somewhat comical fashion, the Hammers would name the post as their man of the match, after Hull struck the upright three times prior to Noble’s winner, which would come when Tom Huddlestone brought down Michail Antonio in the middle of the penalty area. Hull will come away feeling aggrieved, as they missed a host of chances to go in front as Andy Robertson, Mbokani and Mark Noble at the wrong end, all nearly put Hull in front. West Ham take a vital three points as they look to get away from the bottom three.
Sadio Mané – It was Derby day on Merseyside on Monday night, as Goodison Park would play host to a cagey affair that would see the Reds of Liverpool win it deep into a hefty chunk of injury time. In the fourth of eight injury time minutes, Daniel Sturridge’s strike would hit the post, only for summer signing Sadio Mané to fire home from the loose ball. The victory sees Jurgen Klopp’s side rise to second in the table, albeit seven points off league leaders Chelsea. The game turned somewhat sour when Ross Barkley went into a poor tackle on Jordan Henderson, which sparked angry scenes even though Barkley wasn’t even booked. Everton were disappointed to lose Maarten Stekelenburg early in the second half, although deputy Joel Robles did make a couple of saves.
Alvaro Negredo – After going on a long run without a goal, Spaniard Alvaro Negredo has found some form in recent weeks, and was at it again as he scored a brace in ‘Boro’s 3-0 demolition of Swansea at the Riverside on Saturday. His first came just 18 minutes in when he put the ball in the back of the net on the half volley brilliantly after Adam Clayton’s cross. His second came from the spot as Jordi Amat brought down Adam Foreshaw to give Negredo the chance to extend the lead. He did so, before Marten de Roon added a third to compound the Swans misery. The victory puts ‘Boro into 14th position, with 18 points from their 17 matches this season.
Zlatan Ibrahimović – Manchester United seem to be recapturing some of the form that saw them start the season so well. The team seems to be gelling and becoming better every week, and this was evident as they took down an inform West Brom side at the Hawthorns in Saturdays late match. Zlatan Ibrahimović opened the scoring as Jesse Lingard picked out the Swede with a superb curling cross, leaving the former PSG man just to nod home from ten yards. He would double his and his side’s lead later on, when he cut inside and took a shot, only for the ball to curl into the bottom corner past Ben Foster following a deflection off of West Brom’s Craig Dawson. José Mourinho will undoubtedly be pleased to see his side scoring more goals as well as remaining solid at the back as they keep another clean sheet.
Written by Ryan Nevin (@RNevin7)