Aaron Ramsey grabs a goal and two assists in his first league start since December. Lukas Podolski scores twice as Arsenal remain on course for a fourth-place finish. Raheem Sterling bags a brace and produces an assist as Luis Suarez also nets against Norwich. Leighton Baines and Kevin Mirallas are both on the scoresheet as Everton ease past a disappointing United at Goodison.
Sterling the Key as Reds Edge Nearer Title
All eyes were on Luis Suarez as the league leaders rolled up to Norwich, but whilst the Uruguayan grabbed yet another goal in a 3-2 triumph, his display was overshadowed by the Merseysiders’ flying winger. Sterling played a pivotal part as Liverpool won for the eleventh time in succession, scoring twice and teeing up Suarez as Brendan Rodgers’ side overcame the loss of Daniel Sturridge and Jordan Henderson through injury and suspension.
After a run of five straight blanks, the 5.8-priced winger has now served up 25 points in the last couple of Gameweeks. Henderson’s suspension certainly cements his starting role after a couple of recent sub appearances, and whilst his form and budget-friendly price tag appeal, back-to-back games against Chelsea and Palace – two of the league’s meanest defences – may deter some from snapping up Sterling right now.
Canaries On the Offensive
Neil Adams retained his midfield diamond formation for yesterday’s showdown, with Robert Snodgrass in “the hole” behind a front two of Gary Hooper and Nathan Redmond. Both Snodgrass and Hooper grabbed a goal apiece in a stirring second-half fightback as the Canaries almost snatched a draw – the defeat leaves them two points clear of safety, but despite trips to United and Chelsea preceding a final day home encounter against Arsenal, it’s clear Adams is determined to operate with an attacking set-up as he looks to steer the Norfolk club to safety.
Ramsey the Spark as Gunners Run Riot
In his first start since Gameweek 18, the Arsenal midfielder served up his biggest haul of the season as Arsenal cruised to victory at Hull. Having provided an assist as a second-half substitute in the midweek win over West Ham, Ramsey’s runs from deep proved the difference for the Gunners, with a goal and a pair of assists accrued in the 3-0 win. A 16-point return will bring the Welshman back onto Fantasy radars ahead of a kind run of matches which sees the Arsene Wenger’s side entertain Newcastle and West Brom before travelling to Norwich, and with Mesut Ozil also back in action after months on the sidelines, the north London side look perfectly poised to see off the challenge of Everton and finish fourth yet again.
Podolski at the Double
Whilst Olivier Giroud failed to find the net against the Tigers, the German international scored twice for the second match in succession. A peripheral figure in the first few months of the campaign, Podolski has suddenly embarked on a Fantasy scoring spree which has delivered five goals, an assist and nine bonus points (or 44 points) in his last five appearances. It’s eight goals in just 898 minutes for the German now, compared to Giroud’s 14 strikes in 2,823 minutes, and with Wenger’s side looking to fire the goals to secure the Champions League spot, Podolski – at only 7.7 – is proving crucial to Arsenal’s return to form.
Baines and Coleman Serve Up the Points
The full-backs both delivered double-figure returns as Everton earned another win over their former manager with a 2-0 triumph. Baines’ converted spot-kick took his goal haul to five for the season – just one behind Coleman, though not one of the left-back’s strikes have arrived from open play. Coleman’s assist for Kevin Mirallas’ goal – incredibly, his first since Gameweek 1 – was supplemented by a couple of bonus points as the duo moved to 174 points and 158 points respectively, sitting first and third for defenders. Those who doubled up on the pair ahead of double Gameweek 34 may now decide to hold onto both for the remainder of the season – trips to Southampton and Hull bode well, given their respective toils in front of goal, leaving a testing trip to the Etihad as the only stumbling block for Martinez’ defence. Sylvain Distin owners are sweating over the Frenchman’s fitness, however, after he was forced off early on with a hamstring problem.
Mirallas in the Points Again
The Belgian struck his side’s second to continue an impressive run of form, with three goals, a trio of assists and six bonus points in his last five appearances for the Toffees. Granted, he has failed to feature at all in two of the last seven, but when handed the time, he has started to overcome the inconsistency that blighted his displays earlier in the season – indeed, Mirallas has now scored or assisted in eight of his last 12 matches for Martinez’ side and has subsequently climbed to fifth spot in the Fantasy Premier League midfielder standings after yesterday’s display.
United Fail to Impress Ahead of Kind Schedule
The likes of Wayne Rooney and Juan Mata had the perfect opportunity to catch Fantasy managers’ attention yesterday as the champions returned to action for the first time since April 5. With a home game against Norwich followed by two Old Trafford showdowns against Sunderland and Hull in double Gameweek 37, a stand-out showing from any of United’s main assets would have kick-started an early bandwagon and strengthened our faith in their potential. Instead, David Moyes’ men turned in an insipid display and registered just two shots on target against a Toffees side that were playing a third match in eight days and had just shipped three to Crystal Palace at Goodison. Unless they can return to form against Norwich next weekend, many may temper their level of investment in a side that are currently stumbling over the finishing line.
From the Community…
“My team this year has been the Fantasy Premier League equivalent of a Morecambe & Wise sketch. I've played all the right players . . . but not necessarily in the right order.”Fantacity on his 2013/14 season