Aston Villa 1-0 Arsenal
- Goals: Trézéguet (£5.2m)
- Assists: Tyrone Mings (£4.4m)
- Bonus Points: Mings x3, Trézéguet x2, Jack Grealish x1 (£5.9m), Ezri Konsa x1 (£4.3m)
Aston Villa put the club’s Premier League destiny in their own hands with a massive 1-0 win over Arsenal on Tuesday evening.
It was a result that took Dean Smith’s men above Watford, whose goal difference had taken a battering at the hands of Manchester City, setting up a relegation showdown on the final day of the season.
Villa will travel to West Ham knowing that a win will keep them up, as will bettering the results of Watford and Bournemouth.
The Hornets have perhaps drawn the short straw in that they travel to face an Arsenal side that might want to produce a reaction to their Gameweek 37+ defeat at Villa Park, while Bournemouth face an out-of-sorts Everton side.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£10.9m) is sure to have felt Tuesday’s loss most keenly, especially as it left him three goals short of Jamie Vardy‘s (£9.7m) tally in the Premier League Golden Boot race.
With Watford managerless and conceding a minimum of three goals in four of their last six outings, the Arsenal striker could be a force to be reckoned with on Sunday… We know Aubameyang is capable of man-of-the-match displays, as he showed in the recent FA Cup win over Manchester City.
“We need to transmit this enthusiasm and passion. There’s going to be some ups and downs but it’s good sometimes to see the reality and improve.” – Mikel Arteta
It was their continually improving defence that secured the win for Aston Villa against Arsenal, although they did ride their luck as Eddie Nketiah (£4.3m) struck the inside the post late on.
Villa have now kept two clean sheets in the last three matches, each one leading to a massive three points for the team. Without the changes Smith made at the back, they would not be in the position they are ahead of the final weekend of the season.
And now that goal difference is set to play such a key factor in the Premier League relegation battle, the Villans could play conservatively, opting to utilise the pace and guile of Jack Grealish (£5.9m) on the counter-attack as they did on Tuesday evening.
“We have to make sure we win at West Ham. We knew we had to show a lot of courage and work rate. It was a real team performance today. We defended the box very well, I don’t remember Pepe Reina making a save. The players all grew in stature tonight. Jack had his best game since the restart, Ezri has gone onto another level. It was a real team performance and it had to be.” – Dean Smith
If Villa were to execute their Gameweek 37+ gameplan at West Ham on Sunday, it could make life harder for assets such as Michail Antonio (£7.1m) and Jarrod Bowen (£6.4m), who have been in decent form of late.
However, relying on Villa for goals themselves might not be the smartest move for Fantasy managers in Gameweek 38+. After all, they have scored more than one goal just once since the return of Premier League football.
As much as Smith’s men managed the win over Arsenal well, there were few moments of real danger posed by their attackers.
Trézéguet‘s (£5.2m) winning goal was a stunning effort although it might be hard to replicate at the London Stadium.
Outside of that strike, Villa and their Arsenal counterparts were mostly feeding on scraps.
The home side came closest to pressing home their advantage in the 74th minute when Grealish went on a powerful counter-attacking drive. His pass into substitute Keinan Davis (£4.3m) was perfectly weighted to allow the striker to get one-on-one with Emi Martínez (£4.4m), only to pull his effort wide of the far post.
John McGinn (£5.2m) then had a powerful shot saved in the 77th minute, the Arsenal goalkeeper able to stand up to the effort.
Aston Villa XI (4-3-3): Reina; Targett, Mings, Konsa, Elmohamady (Guilbert 25′); Hourihane (Nakamba 73′), D Luiz, McGinn (Lansbury 90+3′); Grealish, Samatta (Davis 72′), Trézéguet.
Arsenal XI (3-4-3): Martínez; Kolasinac, D Luiz (Pépé 60′), Holding; Saka (Tierney 60′), Torreira (Xhaka 46′), Ceballos, Cédric (Willock 79′); Aubameyang, Lacazette, Nketiah.
FPL Lessons Learned From Gameweek 37+
- Norwich City 0-2 Burnley
- Bournemouth 0-2 Southampton
- Tottenham Hotspur 3-0 Leicester City
- Brighton and Hove Albion 0-0 Newcastle United
- Sheffield United 0-1 Everton
- Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-0 Crystal Palace
- Watford 0-4 Manchester City
- Aston Villa 1-0 Arsenal
- Manchester United 1-1 West Ham United
- Liverpool 5-3 Chelsea
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