Gameweek 9 began with a massive clash as Tottenham Hotspur made the journey North to face Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United side at Old Trafford in Saturday’s lunchtime kick-off. Arsenal started strong favourites as Swansea came to the Emirates, while Manchester City would face West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns. There would be a London derby taking place at Selhurst Park as Crystal Palace faced West Ham, with both sides in desperate need of points. The late game saw Chelsea travel South to face Bournemouth. Leicester City’s first match under Claude Puel would see them play host to an under-performing Everton side. Anyway, here’s the Gameweek 10 FPL Review…
Nick Pope – Burnley fans would have feared the worst when an injury to first choice ‘keeper Tom Heaton would keep him out for a significant period of time. However, Nick Pope, signed from Charlton in the summer of 2016, has been a magnificent stand-in, and was once again in strong form as Burnley recorded a 1-0 win over Newcastle on Monday night at Turf Moor. Having now taken 16 points from 10 matches in the league Burnley look set to secure another season of Premier League survival.
Sead Kolasinac – Arsenal came from behind to record what was in truth a quite comfortable win at home to Swansea City on Saturday afternoon. Having made much of the early running they were stunned when Sam Clucas rolled beyond Petr Cech to give the away side the lead. However, right after half time, summer signing Sead Kolasinac drilled into the far corner to level the match. He would then square the ball for Aaron Ramsey to slot into the bottom corner. Arsenal would have chances to make it safe, with Hector Bellerin and substitute Olivier Giroud both going close.
Christian Fuchs – Leicester City began life under the leadership of former Southampton boss Claude Puel, who returns to England just months after being dismissed from his post at St. Mary’s. His first test would be to take three points against an Everton side that has really struggled this season. They got off to a great start, when a superb run from Demarai Gray was matched by the cross of Mahrez and finish of Vardy to cap an incisive breakaway. They doubled the lead, still in the first half, when England under-21 international Jonjoe Kenny sliced into his own net. A perfect start at the King Power for Puel.
James Milner – Many a Liverpool fan may have viewed their home fixture against newly-promoted Huddersfield Town as somewhat of a banana skin, especially given Town’s start to the season. Fast forward to half-time and they may have still thought the same. Having missed a first half penalty through Mo Salah, the Reds knew they would need to raise their game to take all three points. Daniel Sturridge opened the scoring when he dinked over Lossl, before Firmino doubled the advantage. Giorginio Wijnaldum would complete the scoring when he hammered into the top corner. Overall, Jurgen Klopp left Anfield a very happy man.
Ben Mee – Burnley’s 1-0 win over Newcastle at Turf Moor was a tight affair, with both sides having chances. It began cagily, with Jeff Hendrick having a half chance on the volley just seconds in. Both Christian Atsu and James Tarkowski would also have snapshots at goal. Jonjo Shelvey’s powerful strike left the Clarets thankful it was straight at Nick Pope. The match would be decided late on when Jack Cork’s effort fell to Gudmundsson, who crossed for Hendrick to fire into an empty net at the back post. It’s another good win for Burnley at fortress Turf Moor.
Fernandinho & Leroy Sane – Manchester City had their goal scoring boots on yet again as they notched three away at West Bromwich Albion on Saturday. Sane opened the scoring when he drilled through the legs on Allan Nyom into the corner. West Brom levelled almost immediately through Jay Rodriguez, before Fernandinho’s deflected effort restored City’s advantage. Later on, Kyle Walker would drill across for Raheem Sterling to add a third. However, they were given a late scare when Matt Phillips netted a second for the Baggies. However, Pep’s side held on for yet another victory.
Darren Fletcher – Stoke City provided arguably the shock of the weekend when they travelled South to face Marco Silva’s Watford side at Vicarage Road, running out 1-0 winners in a tight affair in which both sides had chances. Mark Hughes’ side took the lead when a well-worked corner routine found Darren Fletcher unmarked on the edge of the area to side foot home from 18 yards. Richarlison missed the pick of the Hornets chances, while Charlie Adam couldn’t convert into an empty net to seal the points. Troy Deeney will face a three-match ban after grabbing Joe Allen by the throat late on.
Eden Hazard – Chelsea recorded a 1-0 win at Dean Court on Saturday evening as they continue to try and catch up the ground lost on league leaders Manchester City. Chelsea were much the dominant side during the first half, with several chances falling the way of Alvaro Morata, all with the Spaniard unable to convert. The game would be decided, as it so often is, by Eden Hazard as the Belgian drilled beyond former teammate Asmir Begovic at his near post. Eddie Howe’s side pushed for an equaliser late on, but to no avail as Antonio Conte celebrated a good win.
Steven Davis – Southampton and Brighton played out a 1-1 draw at the Amex as the Saints made the short journey East. Southampton were ahead within ten minutes as James Ward-Prowse’s brilliant freekick struck the bar before dropping to Steven Davis, who instinctively nodded into the net, showing some great reactions in the process. Brighton looked dangerous throughout, and would level when Glenn Murray got on the end of a Pascal Groβ cross to nod the Seagulls level. Murray had another chance shortly after, but it wasn’t to be on a day where the draw was probably a fair result.
Javier Hernandez – West Ham and Crystal Palace played out a dramatic match at Selhurst Park on Saturday afternoon. Javier Hernandez gave the Hammers the lead when he met Aaron Creswell’s low cross to slot home with the outside of his foot. Their second was even better, as Andre Ayew drove from the halfway line, before unleashing a thunderbolt into the top corner. However, Palace would get back into it when Luka Milivojevic pulled one back from the spot. Just as West Ham looked to be closing in on a precious three points, Wilfried Zaha twisted and turned before drilling Palace level deep into injury time to spark wild celebrations.
Written by Ryan Nevin (@RNevin7)