A few upsets and some non-performing premium assets resulted in FPL managers registering comparatively lower Gameweek scores.
It was a mixed bag of a week for most FPL managers as some teams turned up and some didn’t in what was a dramatic Gameweek. Big-hitting premiums like Romelu Lukaku (£11.5m), Harry Kane (£12.3m) and Bruno Fernandes (£12.0m) all blanked while among the Captains, Mohamed Salah (£12.6m) turned out the best pick.
Leeds United failed to pull off a win against Newcastle United, while Wolverhampton Wanderers underperformed massively against Brentford at home. Arsenal, despite having the upper hand for the majority of the game, failed to make use of their chances and won it the hard way against a resilient Burnley side.
Liverpool turned on the screw late on against Crystal Palace and put three past them, while Manchester City were rather toothless against Southampton as Pep Guardiola’s men failed to make anything of their chances.
Norwich City, on the other hand, have now lost all five of their Premier League fixtures as Watford shipped three past Tim Krul’s goal, while Aston Villa were the surprise package this weekend as they decimated Everton 3-0 at Villa Park as the final Saturday night fixture.
Brighton & Hove Albion piled on more misery on Leicester City as Brendan Rodgers’ team have now lost three of their opening five fixtures. Meanwhile, Manchester United had to do it the hard way against West Ham United as they came back from a goal down to lead 2-1 before a David de Gea penalty save earned them the three points.
And in the last game for the week, we had Tottenham Hotspur hosting Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea in what turned out to be a fairly one-sided encounter with Chelsea scoring thrice without reply.
With so much action over the weekend, let’s take a look at how the FPL assets performed for their respective sides.
Newcastle 1-1 Leeds
Goals: Allan Saint-Maximin | Raphinha
Assists: Joelinton | Patrick Bamford
Leeds United were quick off the blocks and after putting sustained pressure throughout the opening ten minutes finally got the breakthrough in the 13th minute when Patrick Bamford (£7.9m) laid off Raphinha (£6.5m) outside the box and he curled in a beautiful first-time cross that beat Karl Darlow for flight and swing as Rodrigo Moreno let it run between his legs.
Newcastle’s Allan Saint-Maximin (£6.7m) registered his fourth goal involvement in five Premier League fixtures with Joelinton (£5.8m) providing the assist for the Frenchman. Moreover, both Newcastle and Leeds tried to probe and hurry each other’s goalkeepers, but both Karl Darlow (£4.5m) and Illan Meslier (£5.0m) had great games.
Wolves 0-2 Brentford
Goals: Ivan Toney, Bryan Mbuemo
Assists: Ivan Toney
After kick-starting their campaign with a two-nil away victory at Vicarage Road, Bruno Lage’s men were expected to produce a similar performance against the Bees at home, but their performance against them turned out to be anything but solid. Ivan Toney (£6.4m) was a different beast altogether as he harassed and bullied the Wolves backline throughout the 90 minutes.
Fernando Marçal (£4.5m) brought down Ivan Toney inside the box during a set-piece routine that resulted in the Bees centre-forward opening the scoring. Things went from bad to worse when Ivan Toney exhibited his physical dominance to break away from Max Kilman (£4.5m) and had the composure to set up Bryan Mbuemo (£5.5m) to double the scoreline inside the first 45 minutes.
Wolves did create chances, and in particular, Adama Traoré (£6.0m) looked certainly in the mood, but just like the first four games, their end product – be it first-time deliveries or the final shot – left a lot to be desired. Wolves now have lost four of their opening five encounters this season.
Burnley 0-1 Arsenal
Goals: Martin Ødegaard
Assists: Bukayo Saka
Sean Dyche was coming into this encounter on the back of a respectable record of not losing once against Mikel Arteta, but that changed this past Saturday as Martin Ødegaard’s (£5.5m) wonder strike proved to be the decider in what should have been a stroll in the park for the Gunners.
Arsenal’s prodigious duo of Emile Smith Rowe (£5.4m) and Bukayo Saka (£6.3m) had a game to forget as their final delivery and finishing let the team down on a couple of occasions and could have easily sealed the game with a 2-0 or 3-0 victory. For Burnley, James Tarkowski (£5.0m) and Dwight McNeil (£4.5m) both had decent games but anything Sean Dyche’s team threw at Arsenal was comfortably dealt with by the new defence.
Liverpool 3-0 Crystal Palace
Goals: Sadio Mané, Mohamed Salah, Naby Keita
Assists: Virgil Van Dijk, Mohamed Salah
Sadio Mané (£11.9m) joined Liverpool’s elite club of goalscorers as the Senegalese forward registered his 100th goal for the Reds. Crystal Palace tried everything they could to hold back an attack of Liverpool’s quality, but were only successful in doing so until the 75th minute.
With 15 minutes to go and a goal down, Patrick Vieira urged his players to push higher up the pitch and that resulted in more opportunities for Jürgen Klopp’s men. A set-piece in the 78th minute led to Mohamed Salah doubling the score and inevitably sealing the match while Naby Keita (£5.0m) came late on to put the icing on the cake and make it 3-nil for the hosts. However, the absence of Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.5m) certainly hurt a lot of FPL managers, although the scouser is expected to be available for Gameweek 6.
Manchester City 0-0 Southampton
Ralph Hassenhütl’s men came out of the Etihad with a crucial point and taking points off both Manchester clubs will certainly help them in their fight for survival later on in the season. Manchester City had 64% possession and 16 shots but only one was on target, which is really uncharacteristic from Pep Guardiola’s men.
Rúben Dias (£6.0m) and Jan Bednarek (£5.0m) were immense for their teams as they dealt with everything thrown towards them. Adam Armstrong (£6.5m) earned a spot-kick just past the hour-mark, but a VAR check eventually ruled that out and half an hour later, two minutes into added time, Raheem Sterling thought he had scored the winner but again VAR intervened and chalked off the goal as it ended a goalless draw at the Etihad Stadium.
Norwich 1-3 Watford
Goals: Teemu Pukki | Ismaïla Sarr (2), Emmanuel Dennis
Assists: Mathias Normann | Joshua King (2), Kiko Femenía
It was really an entertaining watch from a neutral perspective at Carrow Road where Xisco Muñoz’s Watford registered their first away win as Norwich lost their fifth Premier League fixture.
Kiko Femenía (£4.4m) put in a delicious cross from the right flank as Emmanuel Dennis (£5.2m) positioned himself between the two centre-backs and slotted home a neat powerful header to give Watford the lead.
Norwich pegged them back soon from nothing as the 50-50 situation led to Mathias Normann (£4.5m) getting the ball and playing a through ball for Teemu Pukki (£5.9m) to score the equaliser.
Watford always had the ascendency during the second half and scored twice to seal the game. Joshua King (£5.5m) beat his man and dashed to the byline before pulling in a low cross for Ismaïla Sarr (£6.1m), who beat Tim Krul (£4.5m) with a cute finish. King again turned provider as his shot was initially stopped by Krul who could only parry it to Sarr who slotted home Watford’s third for the night and his third for the season to cap off a wonderful afternoon for the Hornets.
Aston Villa 3-0 Everton
Goals: Matty Cash, Leon Bailey | Lucas Digne (OG)
Assists: Douglas Luiz, Danny Ings, Leon Bailey
This was really a shocker for Everton. Without their talismanic centre-forward Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£8.2m) Rafael Benítez’s Everton did produce chances and should have been a goal or two up before Aston Villa turned on the screw.
In a beautiful passage of play, Villa broke the lines when Douglas Luiz (£4.5m) found some space and played in Matthew Cash (£5.0m) from the right flank as he tore through the Toffees defence and thumped a left-footed shot in the top corner.
Things just went from bad to worse for Toffees from there. Leon Bailey’s (£6.4m) corner to the near post found Lucas Digne’s (5.4m) head, whose attempted clearance resulted in the ball finding the back of the net. To put the nail in the coffin, Danny Ings (£8.0m) played a delightful outside of the boot pass to Leon Bailey who ran one-on-one towards the keeper before wrapping his left foot around the ball to thump it past Asmir Begović (£4.5m).
Brighton 2-1 Leicester
Goals: Neal Maupay, Danny Welbeck | Jamie Vardy
Assists: Shane Duffy, Leandro Trossard | Youri Tielemans
Brighton & Hove Albion piled on further misery on Brendan Rodgers and Leicester City as the Seagulls emerged victorious in what was a tightly contested affair at the Amex Stadium. Neal Maupay (£6.5m) scored his third goal in five Gameweeks with a spot-kick conversion, which was won by Shane Duffy (£4.2m) after his header was handled inside the box by Jannik Vestergaard (£5.0m).
Five minutes into the second half, Brighton won a free-kick near the eighteen-yard box. Leandro Trossard (£6.4m) delivered a precise cross near the six-yard box which was met by the head of Danny Welbeck (£6.0m) as the Seagulls went two-nil in front.
Jamie Vardy (£10.4m) was at the end of a wonderful move by Leicester as Youri Tielemans (£6.4m) provided the final delivery. Leicester probed and questioned the Brighton defence, but they stood tall and registered another win to make it 12 points from five games, their best-ever start to a Premier League campaign.
West Ham 1-2 Manchester United
Goals: Saïd Benrahma | Cristiano Ronaldo, Jesse Lingard
Assists: Jarred Bowen | Nemanja Matić
The match between West Ham United and Manchester United had a lot of controversial calls made by the referee and the VAR officials, but in the end it was Manchester United who emerged victorious as goals from Cristiano Ronaldo (£12.6m) and Jesse Lingard (£6.9m) looked enough before a 95th-minute penalty to West Ham led to many believing Man United had blown their chance. But Mark Noble (£4.5m), who was specifically brought on for the penalty, was denied by David de Gea (£5.5m).
In the absence of Michail Antonio (£7.9m), West Ham sat deeper and looked to counter-attack in transitional plays, and they did make the Red Devils’ backline uncomfortable and finally their plan paid off, rather unconventionally, when Saïd Benrahma’s (£6.4m) on goal shot took a wicked deflection and left de Gea wrong-footed as he could only watch the ball roll into his net.
Ronaldo equalised for United with his second attempt as his initial shot was saved by Łukasz Fabiański (£4.5m) but he managed to tap in the rebound. Jesse Lingard in the 89th minute came back to haunt the team he shone for last season as he produced a wonderful finish into the top corner, leaving Fabiański rooted to his place.
Tottenham 0-3 Chelsea
Goals: Thiago Silva, Antonio Rüdiger, N’Golo Kanté
Assists: Marcos Alonso, Mateo Kovačić, Timo Werner
I said after Spurs’ Gameweek 3 win, when they went top of the Premier League table, that their bubble would soon burst, and suggested you to get rid of Spurs assets as early as you could.
And right after the international break, the Lilywhites have lost twice on the bounce, letting in six goals and scoring none.
Marcos Alonso (£5.7m) had his fifth consecutive PL start and the Spain international didn’t disappoint his FPL owners. It was Alonso’s corner delivery that found Thiago Silva’s (£5.4m) head, which opened the scoring for Chelsea in the 49th minute. And just minutes after coming on, N’Golo Kante’s (£4.9m) shot from distance took a wicked deflection off Eric Dier (£4.6m) as the Blues doubled their lead. Antonio Rüdiger (£5.5m) completed the rout with a stoppage-time goal set up by Timo Werner (£8.6m).
The Blues continue to march on and look unstoppable at the moment.