Joe Hart palms away a spot-kick to leave it to Yaya Toure and Carlos Tevez to seal the points at the other end, as City see off Chelsea at the Etihad. Up in the North East meanwhile, Newcastle power past the Saints with Moussa Sissoko and Papiss Cisse delivering on their promise. Here’s the Stock Check from Sunday’s league action…
On the Up
The Frenchman pulled the Magpies level to return his third goal in just four league appearances since his arrival on Tyneside. Indeed, Sissoko has returned points in every one of this league starts – form and consistency that now push him well into the reckoning for a spot in our midfield five.
Another of our differentials who delivered, Cisse’s sublime strike earned the Senegal striker his sixth of the season, his fourth goal in his last nine league outings. While that kind of output is hardly a cause for scramble to acquire the Magpies hitman, there’s no doubt that he is set to benefit from Newcastle’s improved form and, for those who are overlooking Sissoko in midfield, Cisse is presenting a worthy option up top over a decent run-in for Alan Pardew’s men.
On the losing side but, once again, Lambert’s form impressed as he came away with goal and assist returns. Incredibly, Lambert has now scored in six of his last seven away games with the Saints. Such form has seen his budget price edge ever higher but, even at 6.8, Lambert is providing strong value for his investors. With QPR and Norwich up next, his popularity is surely set to increase further.
A pair of assists brought the City playmaker back on the Fantasy radar – although these were his first in his last five league outings. While Sergio Aguero struggles to justify his price tag up front, Silva is at least ticking away as a midfield asset but has still not yet done enough to lift him beyond the status of a differential.
Could Yaya emerge as a viable alternative to cover City’s attacking potential? The move to a 4-5-1 system offered some encouragement that the Ivorian could yet be given the freedom to join the attack; his well taken opener serving as a reminder of his qualities.
Introduced early in the second half, the Argentine’s industry earned him a late opening which he took with familiar aplomb to seal the points for City. It remains to be seen if Tevez can force his way back into the City lineup given today’s experiment with 4-5-1 but it certainly seems as though he has shifted ahead of Edin Dzeko in the pecking order.
Rested to the bench at Newcastle, dropped to the bench again today, it seems that the Spaniard’s status in the Chelsea lineup is now very much in question. After showing strong form, he had looked assured for the right-back role with Branislav Ivanovic left to compete for one of the centre-back roles. However, today’s teamsheeet confirmed the worst: that Ivanovic will also compete for the right-back role, denting Azpilicueta’s security of start.
Surprisingly dropped to the bench to make way for the return of skipper Adam Lallana, after offering good value for his budget price tag as a fifth midfielder, Puncheon is another to come out of the is weekend suddenly looking at risk.
Despite scoring in five of his last seven league outings, Dzeko found himself back on the bench today, only to watch Tevez take to the field in the second half to strike a stunning second goal. Dzeko’s chances of a recall look bleak and, if Mancini works more with the 4-5-1, his role looks set to be reduced to a mere cameo once again.