Gameweek 2 would give us a better idea of the kind of seasons many sides were in for over the coming campaign. Manchester City would face Spurs at the Etihad in the clash of the weekend, after Arsenal had hosted Burnley. Elsewhere, Aston Villa hosted Burnley while Newcastle made the journey to face newly-promoted Norwich at Carrow Road. Sunday would see Sheffield United kick off their return to the Premier League at Bramall Lane before Chelsea hosted Leicester. Wolves faced Manchester United to round off the week. Anyway, here’s the FPL Updates gameweek review…
Dean Henderson – Sheffield United secured a shock promotion to the Premier League under Chris Wilder last season after over a decade away. One of their key men on their way to promotion was Manchester United loanee Dean Henderson, whose performances in goal earned massive praise and a place at the Under-21 world cup over the summer. While that tournament didn’t go to plan for Henderson, it didn’t stop Sheffield United from securing the ‘keeper on loan for a second consecutive season.
John Lundstrum & Enda Stevens – Sheffield United hosted Crystal Palace on Sunday as Premier League football returned to Bramall Lane. The home side were much the better of the two and dominated from early on. Their pressure paid off in the second period when Luke Freeman’s effort was parried out to John Lundstram, who rammed in the rebound to spark wild celebrations among the home faithful. Palace failed to mount any late pressure as the Blades held firm at the back to see the Yorkshire side sitting with four points from their first two matches.
Lucas Digne – Last season was somewhat strange for Everton, who enjoyed success in patches, but will ultimately be disappointed with their finish in the Premier League. However, someone who made a real impression was former Barcelona wing-back Lucas Digne, whose attacking prowess in up there with the best the Premier League has to offer. He was in fine form as Everton kicked off their season at home against Watford on Saturday with a 1-0 win. The Frenchman set up the winner and seems to be very popular with the Toffees fans.
Sadio Mané – Liverpool travelled to face Southampton in a match that always sees old faces return against their former clubs. It was a former Saint that broke the deadlock for Liverpool, as Sadio Mané opened his Premier League account for the season. Liverpool looked to have sealed the win when Roberto Firmino doubled the away side’s advantage, before a howler from Adrian saw Danny Ings tap into an empty net to give the home side a chance. Ings’ late miss against the side he left in summer saw the Reds fortunate to leave St. Mary’s with all three points.
Erik Lamela – Having struggled with injuries at Spurs, it seems to be a make or break time for Erik Lamela, who has caught the eye in glimpses since arriving in North London. He was in good form as Spurs secured a brilliant point away the Etihad against Spurs on Saturday afternoon. The real hero for Spurs, though, was undoubtedly Lucas Moura, who had been on a matter of seconds before he flicked a header past Ederson with his first touch on the day. Spurs may have VAR to thank for disallowing what would have been a stoppage time winner for City.
Dani Ceballos – Having arrived from Real Madrid on loan, there was a sense of intrigue surrounding the first start for Dani Ceballos against Burnley at the Emirates on Saturday. He didn’t disappoint, recording two assists and turning in a performance of the highest order. Alexandre Lacazette finished brilliantly from the floor to open the scoring, before an Ashley Barnes leveller silence the home crowd. However, as time ticked on, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang netted a winner to make it two wins from two for the Gunners.
Bernard – There always seems to be some added bite when Watford face Everton whether that be at Vicarage Road or Goodison Park. This time Everton would run out worthy winners as they secured a narrow home win against Javi Gracia’s side. A long ball from Lucas Digne found Brazilian Bernard, who cut inside before drilling low into the near post past Ben Foster, who may have hoped to do better with the effort. Marco Silva received a hard time from the away fans, as you might expect after the events that saw the former FC Porto manager leave the club.
Kevin De Bruyne – Manchester City will be greatly disappointed as they were denied an injury time winner from Gabriel Jesus against Spurs by VAR on Saturday. Raheem Sterling had opened the scoring for the home side before Erik Lamela levelled. A Sergio Aguero goal was then quickly cancelled out by Lucas Moura. As time ran out for City to find a winner Gabriel Jesus curled home in a packed penalty area, only to see the goal ruled out about 90 seconds later for a supposed handball in the build-up, leading to much debate regarding the new rules surround such infringements.
Teemu Pukki – Premier League football returned to Carrow Road on Saturday, and in some style too. Norwich City recorded a convincing victory over a Newcastle side who may be concerned about what this season holds. On the day the game would be decided by the quality of Finnish striker Teemu Pukki, who netted a brilliant hat-trick after finding the net at Anfield on the opening day. The experienced forward seems to be proving that he can do it at the top level after a brilliant season in the Championship last campaign.
Javier Hernandez – West Ham United travelled to Brighton looking to right the wrongs of their terrible performance against Manchester City on the opening day. After Brighton saw a first half strike disallowed for offside by VAR, the Hammers broke the deadlock when Javier Hernandez struck for the visitors. However, their lead would be short-lived, and Leandro Trossard would not be denied, smashing home from the edge of the penalty area past Lukas Fabianski as both sides would have to settle for a point.
Written by Ryan Nevin (@RNevin7)