A breathless day brought an avalanche of assists, two unlikely hat-tricks, a Hawthorns goal-fest and a frustrating array of missed opportunities at Anfield. With the Fantasy Premier League crown seemingly going right to the bonus point wire, the drama may not be over just yet. Here’s the Stock Check from Sunday’s season climax.
On the Up
The Welshman looked to heading for his third consecutive blank but, yet again, Bale came up with the goods to cut through the Sunderland resistance and hand Spurs a precious win. While the goal proved futile for Andre Villas-Boas’ side, Bale’s late strike was a major factor throughout the mini-leagues and in the race for the Fantasy Premier League crown.
The big Geordie has enjoyed a superb end to the season, capped today by another unplayable display which translated into a brace of assists. Carroll ended the season returning a goal or assist in eight of his last 13 league outings. It seemed unlikely at the turn of the year, but his destination next season will now be of interest in Fantasy terms.
With Carroll in form, Nolan’s output normally picks up and it was no surprise to see the former Bolton midfielder return to the scoresheet – a hat-trick was unexpected, however. Nolan ended the season having returned in five of his last seven home league matches, recreating the form that saw him become such a hot property in the early Gameweeks.
The Brazilian continued his close season run of form with a third goal of the season to justify his Scout Pick selection and delight the 100,000 managers who have drafted him in over the last two Gameweeks. Coutinho returned in three of his last four league matches. Priced at just 6.5 on his arrival in the Fantasy Premier League game, Coutinho’s starting price next season will be a key factor in our pre-season plans.
Once again, the Belgian started life on the Baggies bench to emerge and show his undoubted credentials with a stunning second half hat-trick to take him to 17 goals for the season. Like Coutinho, Lukaku’s starting price will be a key factor next term, as will his destination with the likes of Swansea and West Ham already knocking on Chelsea’s door for a loan deal.
A bit part player all season, the Mexican ended the season offering a stark reminder of his qualities by fetching goal and assist returns at the Hawthorns to add to his goal in the win over Swansea. “Little Pea” proved to be a dramatic end of season differential, it remains to be seen if he can be more than that under David Moyes.
The Spaniard has been ticking over with assists, having returned five in his last seven league starts, but chose the final day to return to the scoresheet. Today’s early strike was Mata’s first since Gameweek 25, repaying those who had kept the faith to the season climax.
The Arsenal Defence
While Theo Walcott and Santi Cazorla have dominated our thinking when it comes to Arsenal’s attacking assets, the Gunners defence ended the season having conceded just two goals in the final six league outings. The likes of Per Mertesacker and Bacary Sagna have offered strong value, then, while Laurent Koscielny’s run of form and second league goal of the season was timed to perfection.
A hat-trick at Craven Cottage last time out boosted his appeal going into the final day clash with relegated QPR. It looked set to be a blood bath and yet, in a typical final day twist, Liverpool and Sturridge failed to take their opportunities and settled for a 1-0 win to offer little but frustration to those Fantasy managers who had backed Sturridge to play a key role in a Liverpool landslide.
The Argentine looked to have the form and fixtures to offer an end of season burst but, with City faltering, Tevez ended the campaign with just a single assist from his last six league appearances. His final day was cut short on 49 minutes today, replaced by Sergio Aguero, another City player who has provided little but frustration over the season.
City’s villains aren’t limited to attacking areas. Kompany had looked to be the most secure option, outside of Joe Hart, going into the season climax and yet the Belgian failed to figure in any of the final three fixtures – the fact that City conceded a shock three goals to Norwich was at least consolation for irritated Kompany owners.