Newcastle United 0-3 Brighton and Hove Albion
- Goals: Neal Maupay (£6.5m) x2, Aaron Connolly (£5.5m)
- Assists: Tariq Lamptey (£4.5m), Leandro Trossard (£6.0m), Maupay
- Bonus: Maupay x3, Connolly x2, Lewis Dunk (£5.0m) x1
Brighton put a sorry Newcastle to the sword with a performance full of fluency, cohesion and Tariq Lamptey (£4.5m).
Seagulls striker Neal Maupay (£6.5m) got all the points, but it was the young wing-back who drew all the praise with an eye-catching display full of pace and attacking intent.
He set up the Seagulls’ first goal, a Maupay penalty, when he was fouled by Allan Saint-Maximin (£5.5m) and had a hand in the second, releasing Leandro Trossard (£6.0m) down the flank, the Belgian then crossing for the French forward to apply a deft finish.
All of that happened in the first seven minutes, although Maupay’s day wasn’t done as he provided the assist for Brighton’s third goal, late in the game, sweetly scored by his strike partner Aaron Connolly (£5.5m) following a superb team move.
With maximum bonus awarded as well, the frontman ended up with a 16-point haul for his modest 1.7% ownership – a figure that had actually shrunk from its Gameweek 1 levels thanks to the 9,748, presumably very bitter, Fantasy Premier League (FPL) managers who had sold him.
But even then, all the talk was of Lamptey.
Of the Brighton players, only Trossard (20) had more touches in the final third than the defender. He also matched the front pair for penalty area touches (three), forced a save from Karl Darlow (£5.0m) and still had time to lead the way for interceptions, with four.
But such are the vagaries of FPL rules, Lamptey ended the match with just four points because he packed all of that into 57 minutes of action before going off with a knock, thus missing out on clean sheet and, almost certainly, bonus points as well.
Potter was keen to resist the temptation to praise Lamptey more than the team as a whole post-match:
It was a really good team performance, it’s not really fair or right to single anyone out.
But in the end, he just couldn’t help himself:
He’s got such pace, he threatens the backline of the defence so well and then he does his own defensive work as well, he’s amazing. I have spoken about his personality a lot, he just wants to improve and wants to learn, he’s so refreshing to work with.
Fantasy managers have certainly taken notice of Lamptey – he’s the only Brighton player in the top 20 for Gameweek 3 transfers in, despite that knock and the fact the Seagulls will be playing host to Manchester United.
That match-up starts a generally tough run of fixtures over the next ten Gameweeks for Potter’s side, with Everton, Spurs, Liverpool, Leicester and a derby with Crystal Palace all to come before Christmas, and a run of four games in under a fortnight, turns up to muddy the waters even further.
It remains to be seen whether Brighton can find a consistency that eluded them for large swathes of last season, but they were utterly dominant at St James’ Park on Sunday.
Trossard produced attacking returns for the second straight week and was unlucky not to score when his shot hit the post, Connolly was also denied by the woodwork and Darlow was kept busy throughout.
The same could not be said of his opposite number, and Brighton’s most owned player in FPL, the 18%-owned Mat Ryan.
Newcastle didn’t manage a single shot on target all match, with the 287,000+ new owners of striker Callum Wilson (£6.5m and 13.7%) missing their one big chance when he headed Miguel Almiron‘s (£6.0m) cross over from close range.
Magpies boss Steve Bruce didn’t spare the horses with his assessment of the team:
We gave ourselves a mountain to climb. We’ve gifted them the first two goals. When you start like that it’ll be a difficult afternoon. Since I’ve been here it’s like this. We do okay for a while, then we throw a hand grenade in. We’ve got to be better than we were today.
It was more damp squib than hand grenade for the side’s most popular FPL asset, the 18%-owned Saint-Maximin. He provided no cover for Jamal Lewis (£4.5m), leaving the left-back to be tormented by Lamptey time and again.
And when the winger did attempt to stop the rampaging defender, it ended in a penalty for Brighton and an ankle injury for the midfielder which he failed to run off, leading to his substitution after 32 wretched minutes.
Lewis was even more unfortunate, having to leave the field late on with a head injury after being caught by the high boot of Yves Bissouma (£4.5m). The challenge was clumsy rather than malicious, but it led to a VAR-influenced red card for the midfielder.
Bruce issued a ‘wait and see’ verdict on the injuries to both his players and both managers agreed that Bissouma was right to be dismissed, with Potter possibly only needing to make do without his man for one league match should they progress in the EFL Cup this week.
Not that the Brighton boss has ever been frightened to change things up, and he was at it again on Sunday, switching from three centre-halves to a flat back four to counter Bruce’s decision to ditch his floundering 4-4-2 formation at half-time.
Potter’s move worked like a charm, but he will need to curb last season’s desire to change his personnel too regularly if Brighton are going to replicate the Newcastle performance on a regular basis.
If that turns out to be the case, then their assets will warrant further Fantasy consideration.
As for Newcastle, Sunday’s debacle has prompted a rush to sell their stars, with Saint-Maximin and Wilson both in the top ten for transfers out.
Based on their tough immediate – Spurs, Burnley, Man United and Wolves over the next four Gameweeks – that looks like a wise move.
Newcastle United XI (4-4-2): Darlow; Manquillo, Fernandez, Lascelles, Lewis; Hayden, Shelvey (Joelinton 72′), Hendrick, Saint-Maximin (Fraser 33′); Carroll (Almiron 45′), Wilson.
Brighton and Hove Albion XI (3-4-3): Ryan; White, Dunk, Webster; Lamptey (Burn 58′), Bissouma, Alzate, March (Lallana 78′); Trossard, Maupay, Connolly (Jahanbakhsh 90′).
FPL Lessons Learned from Gameweek 2
- Everton 5-2 West Bromwich Albion
- Leeds United 4-3 Fulham
- Manchester United 1-3 Crystal Palace
- Arsenal 2-1 West Ham United
- Southampton 2-5 Tottenham Hotspur
- Newcastle United 0-3 Brighton and Hove Albion
- Chelsea 0-2 Liverpool
- Leicester City 4-2 Burnley
- Aston Villa 1-0 Sheffield United
- Wolves 1-3 Manchester City
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