As we entered Gameweek 6, fresh from a great round of Champions League matches, it was back to the bread and butter for some of the top sides, with two of them facing off against each other at White Hart Lane on Sunday, as Spurs, unbeaten this season, faced off against Manchester City, who would carry the divisions only 100% record into their seventh game. During the week they played out a thrilling 3-3 draw at Parkhead against a Celtic side managed by former Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers. Also this week, Arsenal would face a stern test at Turf Moor, while Manchester United would face second bottom of the league Stoke City at Old Trafford. Anyway, here’s the FPL Gameweek 7 Review:
Claudio Bravo – It’s rare to see a keeper in this team that can say they lost 2-0 at the weekend, but that’s the case with Chilean Claudio Bravo. The former Barcelona keeper has found his performances under the microscope since he signed for City for a hefty fee, replacing fan favourite Joe Hart in the process. However, it seems the stopper is starting to show the City faithful why Pep Guardiola was desperate to secure his signature, despite his shaky start to life at the Etihad. However, Bravo couldn’t prevent City losing their 100% record as they went down 2-0 at Spurs. However, the keeper did save an Erik Lamela penalty as Spurs remain the last unbeaten team in the Premier League.
Laurent Koscielny – Burnley were the victims of a controversial late goal from the French defender as Arsenal edged past a Burnley side that seemed good value for a point. Arsenal dominated in terms of overall play, but lacked the cutting edge to break down Sean Dyche’s resilient Clarets. Burnley looked like they may have taken the three points themselves, when Michael Keane headed against the crossbar late on, before disaster would strike in the dying seconds of second-half injury time. It was then Theo Walcott flicked on a Sanchez cross, before Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scrambled the ball into the arm of Koscielny, with the ball bobbling over the line to break Burnley hearts. Arsenal continue their fine form, while Burnley continue in their fight for survival.
Danny Rose – Spurs were in fine fettle as they dismantled a strong Manchester City side at the Lane on Sunday. It was Rose, who’s drilled cross was too much for Serbian defender Aleksandar Kolarov, who helplessly sliced at the ball, diverting it into his own net past Claudio Bravo in goal. It would get worse for City, when some nice passing play found Dele Alli, who slid the ball past the Chilean in net to make it 2-0. Spurs never really looked out of sight, though, as City applied pressure. Sergio Aguero nearly reduced the deficit on several occasions, even having Hugo Lloris tip an effort onto the post, but it wasn’t to be for the Argentine and City.
Virgil Van Dijk – Southampton continued their fine form, when they took a good point away from Champions Leicester City at the King Power. Virgil Van Dijk has been an integral part of a solid defence in the past, and Claude Puel’s side seem to be re-capturing the defensive solidity that was so evident under current Everton boss, Ronald Koeman. In truth it was the Frenchman’s side who dominated the game, taking 62% possession overall. They also had the best chances, but Charlie Austin was out of luck in front of goal, as he had two headers go close, and a shot denied by the woodwork with goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel beaten all ends up.
Roberto Firmino – Liverpool midfielders are becoming a recurring theme in these teams, and that is the case yet again this week, after they edged past a Swansea side that were fighting for their manager, who was widely reported as needing a result to keep his job. It was a spirited performance from the Swans, who really tested Jurgen Klopp’s side, but in the end just about lacked the quality to put the Reds away. It was Brazilian midfielder Roberto Firmino who headed the Reds level after he was alive to a second ball in from Jordan Henderson, when he would head past Fabianski accurately. Unfortunately for Francesco Guidolin, this would mean an end to his stint in Wales, as he was sacked and immediately replaced with former US national team manager Bob Bradley.
Nacer Chadli – The Belgian midfielder is making a big impression since his record move to the Baggies, chipping in with goals and assists, while occupying various attacking roles throughout games, and he netted once again for the midlands side this weekend, as his side were pegged back by a struggling Sunderland side. When Matt Phillips picked up the ball in midfield, Chadli came alive, racing onto the Scotland international’s pass before slotting past the onrushing Jordan Pickford. However, it wasn’t to be for the Baggies, as Patrick Van Aanholt would equalise seven minutes from time for a Sunderland side desperate for the point. West Brom, however, do continue their strong start to the season.
James Milner – The second Liverpool midfielder in the side, James Milner continued his fine form this season, slotting a penalty to win the game for Liverpool with just five minutes remaining. This came after Leroy Fer had put the Swans in front and Roberto Firmino had equalised. Even after Milner’s spot-kick Mike Van Der Hoorn missed a guilt-edged chance to level for the Welsh side in the dying moments. It would be a story of nearly, but not quite for Swansea’s manager, as he would pay the price for several instances of lacklustre finishing at the Liberty. Liverpool continue to impress under Klopp, but the test will come in their consistency as opposed to their ability, which has never been in doubt.
Willian – The Brazilian was Chelsea’s star man last season, in an underperforming side, and he seems to have retained the form that made him so popular among the Blues faithful last campaign. They faced a Hull side that are slumping after a superb start to the season, and put them to bed. Although the Blues wouldn’t have it all their own way, with Antonio Conte’s side taking just over an hour to break the deadlock, as Willian curled home a superb effort into the top corner after good work from Diego Costa. The Spaniard would them score himself sweeping into the same corner as his Brazilian teammate just six minutes later to put the game beyond Mike Phelan’s side. While Hull struggle through a patch of difficult matches, one wonders where their next points are coming from.
Dimitri Payet – The phrase ‘one-man team’ is said far too much in the modern game, although this may be the case to an extent with West Ham, who continue an abysmal start the season at the London stadium. They played out a less than impressive draw with newly-promoted Middlesbrough, as pressure continues to mount on Slaven Bilic. It was the Frenchman, Payet, who equalised for the Hammers, with a goal that may well go down as a goal of the season contender. He picked up the ball on the touch line about half-way before running past several ‘Boro players before remaining composed in the penalty area, sliding past Victor Valdes. However, the day would get worse for Hammers fans, as scenes of significant fan violence would make ugly viewing after the match.
Diego Costa – The Spaniard has recaptured the form that saw him help the Blues to a Premier League title under Jose Mourinho. Even his antics on the pitch seem to be fading away somewhat as he begins to regularly find the net for his side, while holding up the ball superbly, making him a real asset to Conte’s Chelsea side. The former Brazil international, who now represents Spain, has six league goals to his name in the league this season, with two assists as well. Chelsea have had a stop-start beginning to this season, but are beginning to show that the ability is still there. However, results such as those against Liverpool and Arsenal need to improve if they are going to finish with a Champions League place, or even challenge for yet another Premier League title.
Troy Deeney – One man who was potentially deserving of an England call-up this week was Watford forward Troy Deeney, who netted yet again as his side were fortuitous to take a point when Bournemouth made the Journey up to Vicarage Road. Callum Wilson headed past Heurelho Gomes when the Brazilian should have probably done better before Deeney equalised for the Hornets, tapping in after a cut-back. Bournemouth would then retake the lead, when Josh King scored just seconds after coming off the bench. Watford introduced Nigerian youngster Isaac Success, who would snatch a point for the Hornets, after his superb flicked header hauled Watford level yet again. Bournemouth looked the more likely to win it, but failed to convert their chances, striking the woodwork several time. The most notable of which came when Josh King squared to Jack Wilshere who hit the post with an open net to slot into. Both sides sit comfortably in mid-table, after a great contest at Vicarage Road.
Written by Ryan Nevin (@RNevin7)