Our final Scout Notes article of the season is a briefer-than-usual affair, recapping the events of Gameweek 38.
Despite all the interest in Raheem Sterling (£11.7m) and Sergio Aguero (£12.0m), it was the lesser-owned Fantasy assets who won the league for Manchester City on Sunday afternoon.
Riyad Mahrez (£8.2m) and David Silva (£8.5m) proved to be the heroes as they were the only options to record more than one attacking return.
The former Leicester City midfielder scored the goal to put the title out of Liverpool’s reach, 25 minutes after his corner was nodded in by Aymeric Laporte (£6.3m).
That strike was welcomed by the owners of the centre-back and helped compensate for a lack of a clean sheet.
Despite their incredible record of ten shut-outs in the last 12 matches and Brighton’s struggles in front of goal, it was the Seagulls who actually took the lead at the Amex.
Glenn Murray (£6.1m) was the man to break the deadlock, converting Pascal Groß‘s (£6.7m) corner after 26 minutes.
It mattered little to City in the end though, with Aguero netting an immediate equaliser and setting Pep Guardiola’s side on their way to winning a second successive title.
City’s win meant that the result at Anfield was irrelevant to the outcome of the Premier League title race.
Owners of Trent Alexander-Arnold (£5.8m) and Sadio Mane (£10.3m) had a field day, though, with both Liverpool players delivering 15-points hauls.
Mane converted two Alexander-Arnold crosses either side of half-time and Liverpool went on to record their 21st clean sheet of the season – no Premier League club registered more.
Mohamed Salah (£13.2m), passed fit to start along with Andrew Robertson (£6.7m), blanked for the first time in seven Gameweeks and never really looked like scoring, despite his obvious desperation to secure a second successive Golden Boot award.
Talking of disappointments, Manchester United signed off for the season in inglorious fashion, slumping to a 2-0 home defeat at the hands of relegated Cardiff City.
Nathaniel Mendez-Laing (£4.8m) was the unlikely hero, first converting from the penalty spot after himself being felled and then tapping in from a Josh Murphy (£4.8m) pass.
Paul Pogba (£8.6m) and Marcus Rashford (£7.3m) blanked again, while Mason Greenwood (£4.5m) was unable to deliver an attacking return on his full debut despite 15 penalty box touches and seven attempts on goal – two of which were big chances.
Luke Shaw (£5.1m) wasn’t part of the matchday squad.
The real humdinger of the day, as perhaps anticipated, was at Selhurst Park.
There were a grand total of eight goals scored between Crystal Palace and Bournemouth and naturally, despite posting really encouraging underlying statistics in the previous four away matches, Callum Wilson (£6.9m) was not involved in a single one.
Neither was Ryan Fraser (£6.3m), who seems to only ever deliver when his colleague Wilson does.
The real winners of that match were owners of Wilfried Zaha (£6.7m), who recorded three assists and was a constant menace throughout.
His haul was accompanied by a Michy Batshuayi (£6.2m) brace, while Aaron Wan-Bissaka (£4.6m), despite conceding three times, notched a rare assist.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£10.8m) clawed his way to a shared Golden Boot award with two goals at Burnley and finished as the top-scoring FPL forward of 2018/19 in doing so.
The Gabonese striker was the lucky winner of Unai Emery’s rotation roulette as the Arsenal manager shuffled the pack after European commitments – Alexandre Lacazette (£9.4m) and Sead Kolasinac (£4.9m) among the players to drop to the bench.
Ashley Barnes (£5.6m) relieved the glory days of the winter period with one last goal of the season to ensure the Gunners’ defensive record on the road finished in true form.
There was a rare goal for youngster Eddie Nketiah (£5.0m) in the closing stages.
Arsenal’s north London rivals drew 2-2 with Everton, with those who hung onto Christian Eriksen (£9.2m) rewarded when the Dane scored the game’s fourth goal from a direct free-kick.
Several lesser-owned Fantasy assets were among the points, with Theo Walcott (£5.9m) and Cenk Tosun (£6.4m) – in for the injured Richarlison (£6.4m) and Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£5.4m) – on the scoresheet for the Toffees.
Erik Lamela (£5.9m) claimed the assists for both of Spurs’ goals, the first of which was an Eric Dier (£4.7m) strike on two minutes.
Gylfi Sigurdsson (£7.4m) signed off for 2018/19 with an assist for Walcott’s goal, with this campaign being the Iceland international’s most successful season from an FPL points’ perspective.
There wasn’t to be a ninth clean sheet in 11 Gameweeks for Marco Silva’s defence, however, while Seamus Coleman (£5.2m) was absent through injury.
Perhaps the most underwhelming spectacle of the afternoon took place at the King Power Stadium.
It was the only match in Gameweek 38 to feature no goals, despite Jamie Vardy‘s (£9.0m) impressive form in recent home fixtures.
There had been suggestions that Chelsea would look sluggish after playing 120 minutes and needing penalties against Eintracht Frankfurt on Thursday night, but they were arguably the more creative team in the opening stages.
Eden Hazard (£11.0m) was left on the bench and emerged for a short display in the second half in which he contributed little.
Vardy had a few opportunities to score but could not convert and was at the very least more composed than Gonzalo Higuaín (£9.0m), who was off target with several clear chances.
An error from the recalled Angus Gunn (£4.3m) cost owners of Southampton’s backline a clean sheet, with Alex Pritchard (£4.8m) pouncing on the Saints’ goalkeeper’s loose touch to hand Huddersfield a deserved point.
Nathan Redmond (£5.5m) had earlier put the hosts ahead with a fine effort from distance – that, indeed, was his only shot of the game.
James Ward-Prowse (£5.1m) was inches from an eighth goal of the season but his 46th-minute effort was tipped onto the bar.
Newcastle made a mockery of the interest in Sergio Rico (£4.4m) at Craven Cottage as they dominated Fulham.
Two quick-fire goals for the Magpies in the first half put it beyond the Cottagers and Scott Parker’s side never really threatened Martin Dubravka‘s (£5.0m) goal, with Ryan Babel (£5.6m) only coming on as a 65th-minute substitute.
Mid-price FPL forwards Ayoze Perez (£6.1m) and Salomon Rondon (£5.9m) each bagged a goal.
The feared pre-FA Cup final rotation didn’t materialise at Vicarage Road, with Javi Gracia naming a full-strength side for the match against West Ham.
He might have wished he didn’t, as the Hornets slumped to a 4-1 defeat and saw Jose Holebas (£4.8m) shown a straight red card early in the second half.
Gerard Deulofeu (£5.7m) at least rewarded his remaining owners with a consolation goal.
Watford haven’t kept a clean sheet since Gameweek 26 and their vulnerability at the back showed, with Mark Noble (£4.8m) grabbing a brace – one goal coming from the spot – and Marko Arnautovic (£6.7m) registering his fourth attacking return in three Gameweeks.
Michail Antonio (£6.8m) delivered a hat-trick of assists while Felipe Anderson (£6.8m) recovered from illness to record what was only his fourth attacking return of 2019.
(co-written by David and Neale)
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