As we headed into gameweek 8 there was the mouth-watering prospect of Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United travelling making the short trip to face Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool side at Anfield early Saturday. Chelsea would travel to Palace, who remained pointless after seven league matches of the season, surely thinking they would claim a comfortable victory. Arsenal made a short journey north to face Watford at Vicarage Road, knowing that the Hornets would be no pushovers, and were beginning to develop a habit of scoring late. Sunday would see Brighton host Everton, while Newcastle made the long journey down to Southampton. Anyway, here’s the FPL Updates Gameweek 8 FPL Review…
Joe Hart – England’s number one has had a tough couple of years, with Pep Guardiola seeming to snub Hart upon arrival, prompting a loan move to Torino last campaign. This season, with the arrival of Ederson, Hart remained in the Premier League, opting to join West Ham United for the entirety of this campaign. He was one of the star men as the Hammers as they ground out a point against Burnley at Turf Moor. Hart even picked up an assist when Michail Antonio poked past Nick Pope after a mistake by Ben Mee. The game changed when just eight minutes later Andy Carroll was sent off for picking up two yellows in 90 seconds. The Hammers nearly held on, but Chris Wood’s goal with five minutes left rescued a point for the Clarets.
Joe Gomez – Liverpool would have been looking forward to facing Manchester United, given the atmosphere they tend to generate at Anfield for big matches. What followed was certainly a disappointment from a neutral point of view. A 0-0 bore-draw was perhaps best summed up with the awarding of man of the match to Liverpool’s defensive right-back on the day, Joe Gomez. The big moment of the match was undoubtedly a magnificent save from David De Gea to deny Joel Matip an opener. Liverpool looked to push late on in proceedings, but it was to be in vain, as they found the Spanish stopper in fine form.
Per Mertesacker – Arsenal captain Per Mertesacker started his first league game for the club in some time as his side travelled to face Watford at Vicarage Road on Saturday evening. He gave his side the lead when he powered home a header five minutes before half time. The Gunners had struggled to penetrate the Hornets defence, and were wasteful in front of goal on far too many occasions. Both Mesut Ozil and Alex Iwobi missed chances to put the game to bed, with the former missing a glorious chance when one-on-one with Heurelho Gomes. Arsenal are often accused of lacking the grit to get over the line in such positions, and they’ll be facing more questions after what followed.
Kieran Trippier – It wouldn’t be a gameweek review if we didn’t mention a Spurs defender, and this week it’s the turn of right-back Kieran Trippier, who looks to have made the position his own, even despite the arrival of former PSG man Serge Aurier. His defensive capabilities combined with his tremendous technical ability going forward. He remained solid as his side recorded their first home league win of the season against AFC Bournemouth on Saturday. However, they may have their keeper to thank, as Hugo Lloris got down with a miraculous save from Jermain Defoe late on.
Raheem Sterling – Manchester City were undoubtedly team of the weekend as they hammered Stoke City 7-2 at the Etihad on Saturday. Gabriel Jesus opened the scoring for City in just over 15 minutes before they doubled their lead just 2 minutes later. After playing out from the back, Kevin De Bruyne spotted Leroy Sane before playing a magnificent ball into the German’s path. He then squared for Raheem Sterling to score. At 3-0 City were comfortable, until two goals in three minutes of play brought Stoke back into proceedings, however it wasn’t to be as City ran riot, completing the scoring ten minutes from time when Bernardo Silva netted his first for the club.
Christian Eriksen – Danish midfielder Christian Eriksen has been typically consistent so far this season, making Spurs tick from midfield. He netted the winner for his side to secure a priceless win at Wembley on Saturday. Having dominated the match, Spurs were unable to take a lead into the break, however as the team re-remerged, Eriksen struck almost immediately. He received the ball on the edge of the area, before Simon Francis failed to put in a proper challenge, and Eriksen passed into the bottom left corner. It was a good way to mark a return from international football for the Dane, whose national side will face the Republic of Ireland in a World Cup play-off next month.
Tom Cleverley – What a day it was for Tom Cleverley and Watford, as they showed class to upstage Arsenal from a goal down at Vicarage Road. The turning point may well have been when Heurelho Gomes saved from Mesut Ozil to keep the Hornets in it. Moments later Watford had levelled. Hector Bellerin was controversially adjudged to have brought down Richarlison in the area, much to the dismay of Arsene Wenger. Substitute Troy Deeney stepped up and slotted low past Petr Cech. With the match in the balance, and seemingly headed for a draw, Watford would win it. After a scramble in the penalty area, the ball fell to Tom Cleverley six yards out, and he slammed into the roof of the net to spark scenes at the Rookery end.
Nacer Chadli – West Brom played out a 1-1 draw away at Leicester City on Monday night, with Nacer Chadli the star of the show. The Belgian midfielder brought the travelling fans to their feet when he curled home a sublime free-kick from all of thirty yards. It was all too familiar for Leicester this season, as they sat in the relegation zone with just five points prior to kick off. With the match seeming to fizzle out somewhat wouldn’t it be like Riyad Mahrez to provide a moment of magic. The Algerian chested the ball down past a defender, before volleying into the bottom corner brilliantly. It’s a disappointing result for both side given how it played out.
Tammy Abraham – Swansea recorded a much-needed victory as they hosted Huddersfield Town on Saturday afternoon. The star man was undoubtedly on-loan Chelsea forward Tammy Abraham, who netted a brace to secure the win for the Swans. Huddersfield weren’t without chances, as Thomas Ince missed a great chance from six yards, while Rajiv Van La Parra saw an effort hit the bar. Abraham broke the deadlock when Jonas Lossl passed the ball straight to Tom Carroll, who squared the ball to Abraham, who slotted past the keeper. His second would come when Jordan Ayew found himself against Lossl. Having dinked the ball over the keeper, Abraham poked home to ensure the ball crossed the line.
Gabriel Jesus – Manchester City look unbeatable at the moment, as they dismantled Stoke City 7-2 on Saturday. Kevin De Bruyne took the plaudits for a fine individual display, but it’s worth mentioning the performance of forward Gabriel Jesus. He netted a brace before being substituted just after the hour by Pep Guardiola. The Brazilian has one of the best goals to game ratios for any Premier League player, and looks to be building on an impressive first six months in the Premier League, albeit hindered by one long term injury. City have now scored more goals at home in their last three matches than they did in the whole of the 2006/07 season under Stuart Pearce.
Manolo Gabbiadini – Southampton finally found their shooting boots at home as they came from behind twice to salvage a point against Newcastle at St Mary’s. They went behind after twenty minutes when Isaac Hayden drilled home from 18 yards after the ball broke on the edge of the box. Manolo Gabbiadini would equalise for Saints when he took on several players before slotting in at the near post. However, they were level less than two minutes when Ayoze Perez’s shot rebounded after Fraser Forster’s save, for the Spaniard to drill home at the second attempt. With fifteen minutes remaining, Florian Lejeune brought down Shane Long, before Gabbiadini stepped up and smashed the ball into the top right corner to level again. Both sides tried to win the match, but in the end both settled for a point.
Written by Ryan Nevin (@RNevin7)