Our report of the early kick-off at St Mary’s gets our review of Sunday’s football underway, with Scout Notes on the day’s other matches to follow on Monday.
You can find a brief summary of Newcastle v Spurs, Man Utd v Brighton and Aston Villa v Fulham towards the bottom of this piece.
SOUTHAMPTON 3-2 BURNLEY
- Goals: Stuart Armstrong (£5.5m), Danny Ings (£8.4m), Nathan Redmond (£6.4m) | Chris Wood (£6.2m), Matej Vydra (£4.8m)
- Assists: Ings, Redmond, Theo Walcott (£5.8m) | Erik Pieters (£4.3m), Wood
- Bonus: Redmond x3, Ings x2, Wood x1
Ings and roundabouts
Danny Ings (£8.4m) made a blistering return to Premier League action following an injury that sidelined him in Double Gameweek 27.
Having conceded twice to Burnley inside 30 minutes, Ings’ flicked assist for Stuart Armstrong (£5.5m) saw Southampton halve the deficit.
The striker then capitalised on Ben Mee‘s (£4.9m) failure to clear a faint Nathan Redmond (£6.4m) flick-on to charge through on goal, coolly slotting past Nick Pope (£5.5m) from a tight angle.
“It was a nice goal. I was pressing Ben Mee, he was caught off balance and I managed to steal the ball and have the composure to put it through Pope’s legs.
“Every player wants to play every week and this season’s been interrupted for a lot of people but to be back out there today, I enjoyed it.” – Danny Ings
Two attacking returns matched what he had done in his previous 13 outings, so it remains to be seen if this marks the start of a purple patch or is merely a false dawn.
Shoot on sight
Southampton totalled 24 shots against the Clarets, with Sean Dyche’s side very susceptible to counter-attacks – particularly in the second half.
“A difficult start for us, and normally an opponent that is not helpful if you go two down.
“I’m very happy to see things we were working on over the last two weeks – our decision-making in the final third was fantastic.
“We could have scored five or six or more goals against a team that doesn’t normally give you many chances.” – Ralph Hasenhuttl
Ings was involved again in the Saints’ third, with his shot from the edge of the box palmed by Pope into the path of Theo Walcott (£5.8m).
His cross to the back post set up the out-of-position Redmond – who was playing up top again after a starring role in the FA Cup a fortnight ago – for a thunderous volley to put Southampton ahead for the first time in the match after 66 minutes.
On Burnley’s issues in defence, centre-back James Tarkowski reckoned:
It’s very unlike us, that. Our record of going ahead and getting a win or at least a draw is one of the best in the league, so to go 2-0 up, very comfortable, it was mental sloppiness from everyone really.
There was a minor mistake from Ben, which never happens, then it’s back to 2-2 and it could be anyone’s. Overall very disappointed to concede three goals, that’s very unlike us.
We’ve been in a good place recently. To go 2-0 up and be cruising and then lose the game, very disappointed. But we’ll bounce back. We can’t be naive enough in this league to think the game is over when we’re 2-0 up. These are very good sides with great players. It’s not something we’ve done very often but we’ll move on.
It’s now just four clean sheets in the last 18 matches for the Clarets, which is uncharacteristic of a defence that we have come to rely on for shut-outs over the past few years.
Chris Wood (£6.2m) also bagged two attacking returns at St. Mary’s, courtesy of a penalty and a headed flick-on for a Matej Vydra (£4.8m) strike.
That made it four attacking returns in three outings for the Kiwi, while his cut-price Czech strike partner himself has two goals and an assist in his last four appearances.
Vydra, the cheapest starting forward of Gameweek 30, is certainly establishing himself as a budget strike option for Fantasy managers who are playing a midfield five to consider.
Wood caused Southampton’s defence plenty of problems, though he let the Saints off the hook late on when heading a ball straight at Fraser Forster (£4.0m) from yards out.
Hasenhuttl rolls Dyche
It was only a second win in 13 matches for Southampton, whose lack of form has left their assets on the Fantasy scrapheap.
Hasenhuttl said after full-time:
It was a deserved win. We tried to keep the tempo very high and stretch them all the time and it worked. We have belief in what we are doing and I think you grab the chance when you get it.
It was important to make the equaliser before half-time. Then you are in a better position mentally to keep on going. I don’t know a lot of teams who turned it aournd like we did, so it’s a massive boost.
It was a six-pointer today. To turn the tables around is amazing for us and I think the guys did a good job today.
Southampton are still unlikely to be on the FPL transfer radar ahead of Gameweek 31, considering the Saints blank in Gameweek 33.
Fraser Forster (£4.0m), however, could be a viable back-up goalkeeping option for those using their Wildcard ahead of Gameweek 31 – this was his fifth start in the last six games in all competitions for the south coast side.
Hasenhuttl’s team also have a yet-to-be arranged fixture against Crystal Palace to play before the end of the season.
Southampton XI (4-2-2-2): Forster; Bertrand, Vestergaard, Bednarek, Walker-Peters; Ward-Prowse, Diallo; Walcott (Djenepo 86′) , Armstrong (Salisu 78′); Ings (Adams 85′), Redmond.
Burnley XI (4-4-2): Pope; Pieters (Taylor 32′), Mee, Tarkowski, Lowton; McNeil, Westwood, Brownhill, Gudmundsson (Richardson 89′); Wood, Vydra (Rodriguez 77′).
ELSEWHERE IN SUNDAY’S GAMEWEEK 30 ACTION…
Harry Kane (£11.6m) passed the 200-point mark in FPL for the fourth time in his career, notching his 31st and 32nd attacking returns of the season in Sunday’s two-all draw with Newcastle United.
In only one of his previous seasons as a Premier League player has he registered more goals and assists combined – and he has another eight matches in which to break his existing record of 36, set in 2016/17.
Two-goal Kane was again paired with Carlos Vinicius (£6.9m) in attack at St James’ Park, with Gareth Bale (£9.5m) and Son Heung-min (£9.4m) reduced to substitute appearances and each producing the dreaded ‘one-pointer’.
While Son, who was thrown on at half-time, was just back from injury and can surely expect a swift return to the starting XI in Gameweek 31, the prospects look bleaker for Bale, who it’s difficult to see Jose Mourinho trusting against Manchester United’s dynamic left flank.
And rather disconcertingly for FPL managers who are considering Spurs defenders in Double Gameweek 32, they allowed Newcastle over four ‘expected goals’ (xG) on Sunday – that’s the highest xG total that the Magpies have managed in a match since this data was first recorded in 2013.
Steve Bruce’s previously anaemic side even did it without the still-missing Callum Wilson (£6.5m), with Joelinton (£5.7m) and Joe Willock (£4.7m) on target and Dwight Gayle (£5.9m) spurning two sitters in quick succession.
Jack Grealish (£7.5m) was once again missing as Aston Villa fought back from a goal down to beat Fulham 3-1.
Dean Smith revealed that the Villa talisman had suffered a setback in training on Saturday and wasn’t risked, with further assessment on his niggling shin issue to follow this week.
Villa had scored only three goals in the six matches that Grealish had missed prior to Sunday and for long periods of the game they were just as limp in attack, not registering a shot on target until the 74th minute.
A three-goal salvo and a Fulham capitulation in a ten-minute spell swung the contest, with substitute Trezeguet (£5.2m) on target twice – his first goals of a profligate season – and Ollie Watkins (£6.6m) ending a seven-match goal drought with a tap-in.
Fulham’s defence, so impressive in the middle third of the campaign and offering FPL managers some budget gems, has now worryingly shipped eight goals in their last three outings.
At the other end, a cut-price Aleksandar Mitrovic (£5.5m) might be about to embark on a run of starts: he pounced on a loose Tyrone Mings (£5.4m) pass to coolly put Fulham ahead before their late collapse.
Ademola Lookman (£5.1m) will have a hamstring injury assessed this week after limping off just after half-time.
After news broke ahead of Sunday’s win over Brighton and Hove Albion that Anthony Martial (£8.6m) could be out for the season, Manchester United were left with another injury concern when Marcus Rashford (£9.5m) limped out of the encounter with Graham Potter’s Seagulls.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said only that the injury will need assessing but we should at least have a bonus update in the form of Wednesday’s pre-Europa League presser.
Rashford had stroked United level against Albion with his sixth attacking return in nine appearances, with Mason Greenwood (£7.0m) popping up with a late winner.
Bruno Fernandes (£11.6m) claimed the assist for Rashford’s strike to keep his league-leading FPL points tally ticking over but non-owners (and non-captainers, given his ‘effective ownership’) would have been fairly satisfied with the latest modest return; the Portuguese schemer hasn’t scored from open play since Gameweek 24.
Danny Welbeck (£5.5m) ruined the clean sheets of Luke Shaw (£5.3m) and co, popping up with his third attacking return in as many Gameweeks.
Despite only starting 10 league matches in 2020/21, the budget FPL forward has quietly contributed four goals and three assists to the Albion cause.
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