Gameweek 20 Summary: How was your team?
Hello FPL frens, it has been a while, I hope I reached you well and most importantly, I hope you're having a great season. We got the World cup out of the way and it already feels like a distant memory, as we're knee-deep into the new year and have a cluster of fixtures to enjoy.
Boy, I must say, as a spectator, I enjoy this time of the year because it is one game after the other. The World cup added an extra spice to the equation, with so many games having to be lumped in together to cater to the break in transmission. Can they just host world cups annually?
Anyway, Game week 20 came to an end with a list of fixtures that spanned ten days and I'll be running the rule over these pictures. So without further ado, here's a quick summary of the EPL fixtures.
Aston Villa vs Leeds
This Friday evening mid-table fixture kicked off a game week that had a total of 12 games. Out of the lot, there were double gameweeks for Spurs, Crystal Palace, Manchester United, and Manchester City.
Unai Emery continued his positive start to life at Villa with his charges racing to a two goal lead with each goal on either side of the half. Goals from Bailey and Buendia we're enough to seal the victory but that didn't come without heartache, as a goal by the substitute, Patrick Bamford, set up a tense ending to the match.
Bamford seems like an interesting option in attack, as the English striker climbs back into contention for a starting berth. Seemingly being replaced by Rodrigo, there is still a lot of expectations on his shoulder and he could be an interesting differential for your team.
Manchester United vs Manchester City
On paper, at least, this game was easily the blockbuster fixture of the game week and it did not disappoint. After the early season walloping, Manchester United was out for revenge and got their pound of flesh in dramatic fashion.
The game took a while to get going with Manchester spending most of the time trying to cancel out City's attacks. It wasn't so difficult for Manchester Red with the Citizens looking a shade off the pace.
In the second half, the game sparked to life with Grealish grabbing the opener but that happiness was shortlived. Bruno Fernandes's controversial goal cancelled out the city lead and then Rashford, the most in-form player in the league grabbed the winner in the dying minutes.
Manchester held on to win in their own turf, getting closer to City on the log and laying down the gauntlet to other top 4 rivals.
Brighton vs Liverpool
The Seagulls are one of the most improved teams of the season and that improvement was on display as they dispatched a hapless Liverpool side at the Ammex arena.
Three second half goals were enough to send Merseyside red further into a rut this season. Solly March will most likely be on a lot of FPL players' radar, as he dropped a worldie of a performance with two goals and an assist for Danny Welbeck's goal.
Another player that has looked lively is Karou Mitoma and he found his way into only 2.2% of teams. meanwhile, Trent Arnold's ownership has dropped to just 17.7% and it is not out of the question to expect more managers to start considering other options as Liverpool continue to struggle defensively.
Everton vs Southampton
Despite a fine start to the match that saw the Toffees take the lead at Goodison park, the game ended in the ignominy as defeat as the woes continue to pile up for Frank Lampard's charges.Things just refuse to click for Everton and you just wonder how much longer the hierarchy will be able to put up with the situation.
New signing, Onana grabbed the first goal after being on the end of an expertly taken setpiece by Gray and many thought that would set the tone of the match. However, The Saints had other ideas and a talisman, Ward Prowse was on hand to deliver the goods with a brace.
Nottingham Forrest vs Leicester
Two teams battling at the wrong end of the table went up against each other and it was Nottingham forest that ended the day on top. The Foxes have struggled for form this season and currently reside on the periphery of the relegation battle.
A brace of goals by Brennan Johnson thanks to a brace of assists by Morgan was enough to pile on the misery for the Foxes.
Wolves vs West Ham
One goal by Podence was enough to grant the Wolves their first victory of the new year. Despite the win, Wolves will still be looking over their shoulder while West Ham, on the hand, has found themselves plunged into a relegation scrap.
Brentford vs Bournemouth
Brentford find themselves in uncharted territory at this point of the season, battling for a chance to play in Europe. You'd hardly find anyone who could have predicted this but on the balance of play, it is easy to understand why they are where they are today.
A penalty by Ivan Toney and a goal by Jensen assisted by early season flyer, Da Silva was enough to grant Brentford a 2-0 lead over their opponents. Despite the loss, Bournemouth is still awa
from the drop zone but only just, as they're one point off West Ham in the 18th spot.
Chelsea vs Crystal Palace
Sunday's fixtures kicked off with a London derby that involved Chelsea and Crystal Palace. The game was bereft of quality for large spells and the most exciting moment came during the halftime break when Mudryk was unveiled to the fans.
Kai Havertz and Ziyech combined to grab the only goal of the match in the 64th minute and that was all there is to it. There was a tense ending to the fixture as Palace's manager, Vieria saw himself booked in the dying stages.
Newcastle vs Fulham
Thanks to Manchester United's victory over their noisy neighbours, the Toon army momentarily dropped to 4th position. However, a valiant fight back culminated in a dying-minute heartbreak for Fulham and that came at the head of returning Isak.
The Swedish striker has missed a chunk of the season through injury and he will be looking to reclaim his spot currently held by the impressive Callum Wilson.
Mitrovic owners, in particular, will not be happy with this gameweek as the Serbian striker scuffed a penalty kick in the 70th minute that would have ensured at least some points for them. Alas, an error during his spotkick took the points away from the striker.
The victory over Fulham moved Newcastle to 3rd position and their quest for European football continues.
Spurs vs Arsenal
The North London Derby is often a feisty affair and the game sparked to life in the dying stages. The scoreline largely reflected the balance of play but Ramsdale was so involved that he won the man of the match award.
An own goal assisted by Saka and long range stike by the in form Odegard was enough to confine SPurs to their first North London Derby home loss since 2014.
Despite Ramsdale's saves, Spurs never really looked like scoring on the day and Arsenal walked out with a clean sheet. Ramsdale owners would have been mighty pleased by his performance but I have a feeling there will be a lot of players licking their wounds from benching the England goalkeeper.
Crystal Palace vs Manchester United
Manchester United went into the half time break with a lead thanks to Bruno Fernandes. The Portuguese attacking midfielder is once again producing the goods and he should ideally be on your radar.
Unfortunately, 1 goal wasn't enough to stop the Eagles, and Olise converted a brilliant freekick to bring the game into a tensed ending. Rashford seemed to be trying too hard to continue his streak while there was further bad news as Casemiro's yellow card rules the Brazillian destroyer out of the important clash against Arsenal at the Emirates.
ManchesterCity vs Spurs
Te final fixture of the Game week saw City host Spurs on Thursday evening. SPurs raced into a two-goal lead before the break and it was starting to seem like it would be one of those nights for City but Pep's charges had other ideas.
A brace from Mahrez, as well as one goal each for Halaand and Alvarez was enough togive city a two goal lead and end the game 4-2. For what it's worth, this was a fair reflection of the match.
Spurs took the lead thanks to rebound from a Harry Kane shot and an expertly taken strike by Kulusevski after a devastating counter move. Sadly, Spurs were slow out of the block in the second half and were made to pay for it.
Here are the final scores for the game week.
Quite pleased with this week coming into the game today. as a Spurs fan, I wouldn't mind Kane getting a couple today :)