Man United 9-0 Southampton
- Goals: Aaron Wan-Bissaka (£5.4m), Marcus Rashford (£9.5m), Edinson Cavani (£7.9m), Anthony Martial x2 (£8.7m), Scott McTominay (£4.9m), Bruno Fernandes (£11.4m), Daniel James (£6.2m)
- Own goals: Jan Bednarek (£4.9m)
- Assists: Luke Shaw x2 (£4.8m), Mason Greenwood (£7.0m), Rashford, Fernandes x2, Martial, Wan-Bissaka
- Red cards: Alexandre Jankewitz (£4.5m), Bednarek
- Bonus points: Fernandes x3 Wan-Bissaka x2 Martial x1
Bruno Fernandes (£11.4m) left it late to equal his best Fantasy Premier League (FPL) haul of the season as Manchester United feasted on nine-man Southampton.
The midfielder scored one goal, a penalty, and set up two more – all from the 69th minute onwards – with his 17-point performance making him the highest points scorer in FPL at the time of writing.
He’s now also close to being the game’s most popular asset as Tottenham’s Son Heung-Min (£9.7m) continues to leak owners while Fernandes brings them in.
The match with Southampton effectively ended as soon as Alexandre Jankewitz (£4.5m) marked his first league start with a truly awful challenge on Scott McTominay (£4.9m) that led to his dismissal after a mere 79 seconds.
United were four up by half-time, with notable contributions from left-back Luke Shaw (£4.8m), who provided two assists, and striker Edinson Cavani (£7.9m).
So notable, in fact, that manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer subbed them both off during the interval, thus robbing Shaw’s 3.7% ownership of clean sheet points and, probably, bonus.
His switch was purely tactical, whereas Cavani’s was precautionary.
“He got a bad tackle on his ankle, so there was no point taking any risks. Hopefully it won’t swell up too much.” – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Anthony Martial (£8.7m) replaced Cavani and filled his boots, while another clean sheet for United – five of their eight for the season have come over the last eight Gameweeks – was rather lost among the carnage going on at the other end of the pitch.
Principal among that was the red card for the 11.5%-owned Jan Bednarek (£4.9m) which, when added to nine goals conceded and a first-half own goal, handed him an eye-watering -7 score on the night – the worst ever single-match FPL total as far as can be ascertained.
They also face an in-form Callum Wilson (£6.6m) next time out, which is certainly likely to encourage some investment in the Newcastle man.
Saints boss Ralph Hasenhuttl was suitably aghast post-match.
“What can I say? It is horrible. But we stood up after the first 9-0 (against Leicester) and we have to do that again.” – Ralph Hasenhüttl
As for United, their chances of such a repeat are decidedly slim, but their immediate fixtures (EVE wba NEW che) offer more clean sheet chances ahead of Gameweek 27’s Manchester derby.
Small wonder, then, that Shaw and the equally excellent Aaron Wan-Bissaka (£5.4m) are currently the top two transfers-in for Gameweek 23 at the time of writing.
Manchester United XI (4-2-3-1): De Gea; Shaw (van de Beek 45), Maguire, Lindelöf, Wan-Bissaka; McTominay, Fred; Rashford (James 60), B Fernandes, Greenwood; Cavani (Martial 45).
Southampton XI (4-4-2): A McCarthy; Bertrand, J Stephens, Bednarek, Ramsay; Djenepo (Tchaptchet 78), Jankewitz, Ward-Prowse, Armstrong; Adams, Ings (Redmond 70).
Newcastle 1-2 Crystal Palace
- Goals: Jonjo Shelvey (£5.3m) | Jairo Riedewald (£4.4m), Gary Cahill (£4.5m)
- Assists: Callum Wilson (£6.7m) | Eberechi Eze (£5.8m)
- Bonus points: Riedewald x3 Eze x2 Shelvey x1
Crystal Palace came from behind to beat Newcastle as they found more success since ditching 4-4-2 and finding in a new formation.
The victory was their second in four days, both of those wins coming since experimenting with a 4-2-3-1 system that has seen Wilfried Zaha (£7.2m), Eberechi Eze (£5.8m) and Jordan Ayew (£5.6m) take up attacking-midfield positions behind Michy Batshuayi (£5.7m).
But the win did come at a cost, with their most popular regular starter, the 15.3%-owned Zaha, coming off after 57 minutes with what was reportedly a hamstring issue.
Hodgson was worried enough to talk darkly post-match about his star man not normally getting injured, before adding:
“No news on it. We’ll have to get it assessed first of all. That will take some time and I don’t think I will know the extent of the injury before Thursday.” – Roy Hodgson
Zaha had enjoyed a modest hop in ownership levels ahead of a decent schedule now involving Leeds and Brighton away and home matches with Burnley and Fulham.
Should he miss out, Eze could fill the void on the left-hand side of midfield, with an assist at St James’ Park making it back-to-back returns for the midfielder.
Meanwhile, Patrick van Aanholt (£5.4m) has started each of the last two matches, keeping Tyrick Mitchell (£3.9m) on the bench in the process, perhaps suggestion Hodgson feels the Dutch international is more suited to 4-2-3-1 than his understudy.
Newcastle out-shot their opponents 21-6 as manager Steve Bruce’s newly-found taste for attacking football, influenced by new coach Graeme Jones, went unrewarded.
But there was at least a third straight match with a return (an assist) for their most-owned asset, Wilson (24.8%), to keep Fantasy managers happyish.
The team’s short-term schedule don’t inspire confidence, however.
Facing a Southampton side drained of first-team talent could be appealing but after that, Newcastle have trips to Chelsea and Manchester United.
Newcastle United XI (4-5-1): Darlow; Lewis, Clark (Carroll 89’), Schär, Manquillo (Gayle 77’); Fraser, Hendrick (Saint-Maximin 63’), Shelvey, Hayden, Almirón; Wilson.
Crystal Palace XI (4-2-3-1): Guaita; van Aanholt, Dann, Cahill, Clyne; Milivojevic, Riedewald (Kouyaté 90+2’); Zaha (Townsend 58’), Eze, Ayew; Batshuayi (Benteke 73’).
Sheff Utd 2-1 West Brom
- Goals: Jayden Bogle (£4.3m), Billy Sharp (£5.5m) | Matt Phillips (£5.1m)
- Assists: Chris Basham (£4.6m), John Egan (£4.7m) | Mbaye Diagne (£6.0m)
- Bonus points: Sharp x3 Egan x2 Phillips x2
A third win in five matches continued Sheffield United’s painstaking climb back to Premier League relevance in a bottom-of-the-table clash that was predictably lacking in genuine quality.
Key Fantasy points were equally elusive, with the in-form West Brom midfielder Matheus Pereira (£5.7m), who had four goals and an assist to his name from the previous four outings, kept very quiet indeed.
Brought in by 99,376 FPL managers for the match, he had two shots, neither of which were on target, as boss Sam Allardyce went for a deep-lying counter-attacking team that snatched a first-half lead – with new signing Mbaye Diagne (£6.0m) producing a second straight assist – and then frittered it away after the break.
The equaliser came from cut-price defender Jayden Bogle (£4.3m), who managed to be joint-top of the attempts table on the night (with three), before Billy Sharp (£5.5m) scored his third goal of the season to win the game on 73 minutes.
Sheffield United’s most-owned FPL asset, striker Rhian Brewster (£4.5m and 7.4%) had another night to forget – even by his currently sorry standards.
He was about to be introduced for Sharp when the veteran forward scored the winner, prompting Brewster to be returned to his socially-distanced seats in the stands.
The Blades are clearly now moving in the right direction, but unless their defence can finally start keeping clean sheets – they’ve managed just the one to date – there is little to tempt Fantasy managers.
West Brom, meanwhile, are a curious mix of the utterly terrible and the faintly okay, but an immediate schedule involving Spurs away and a visit from Manchester United doesn’t exactly demand investment.
Sheffield United XI (3-5-2): Ramsdale; Ampadu, Egan, Basham; Bogle, Fleck, Norwood (McBurnie 45’), Lundstram, Baldock (Lowe 44’); Sharp (Burke 86’), McGoldrick.
West Bromwich Albion XI (4-4-1-1): Johnstone; C Townsend, Ajayi, Bartley, O’Shea; M Pereira, Snodgrass, Livermore, M Phillips (Gallagher 74’); Diagne (Robson-Kanu 68’); C Robinson (Grant 68’).
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