Chelsea 2-1 Leicester City
- Goals: Antonio Rudiger (£4.7m), Jorginho (£4.7m) | Kelechi Iheanacho (£6.2m)
- Assists: Ben Chilwell (£5.9m), Timo Werner (£9.2m) | Wilfred Ndidi (£4.8m)
- Bonus Points: Jorginho x3, Ndidi x2, Rudiger, Iheanacho x1
Chelsea gained control of their Champions League destiny with a deserved win over Leicester that, from a Fantasy perspective, was the best-case scenario.
The result means that, should Liverpool get at least a draw tonight, all three sides will still be in contention for a top-four finish on the final day, meaning strong and motivated teams put out by their managers for Sunday’s Gameweek 38.
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel was clear about that following last night’s win:
It’s a big step, but it’s only a step. It’s not done yet, we have to push it over the line on Sunday. We absolutely need to refocus on Sunday. This is not the time for celebration.
Hamstring problems for both Kai Havertz (£8.3m), who didn’t make the squad, and N’Golo Kante (£4.9m), who was taken off after 31 minutes as a precaution, dampened Tuchel’s mood further.
He gave an update on them both post-match:
I don’t know yet (their conditions). We will check them tomorrow. I have a good feeling with N’Golo. He said he felt something, he didn’t want to risk a muscle injury. I hope he will be fit for Sunday, Kai the same.
Neither are that well-owned in FPL, with Chelsea’s most popular asset, Mason Mount (£7.3m), blanking again – he’s now produced just two assists in six starts for his 16.8% ownership.
The 14%-owned Ben Chilwell (£5.9m) was awarded the assist for Antonio Rudiger‘s (£4.7m) opener when his corner skimmed off a Leicester head before being bundled home by the centre-half.
But the defenders failed to keep a clean sheet for the third straight match.
At the other end, Timo Werner (£9.2m and 10.4%) was all action and no goals, as so often seems the case.
He was denied two strikes, rightly, by VAR and the same system somehow failed to award a first-half penalty when he was kicked by Youri Tielemans (£6.4m).
The forward was then involved in another incident after the break which VAR found to be inside the area and Jorginho (£4.7m) did the rest from the spot.
Werner led the way for attempts on the night, with four, produced returns for a fourth straight start and his 12th assist of the season puts him third among forwards in that particular table.
Whatever else you think about the Germany international, he’s not idle.
One striker who hasn’t struggled for goals recently is Kelechi Iheanacho (£6.2m).
A rare recent blank last time out at Old Trafford and a poor FA Cup final had persuaded nearly 50,000 managers to get rid for Gameweek 37 and Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers’ decision to bench the forward looked to have justified that move.
But Iheanacho rewarded the loyalty of his remaining 18.9% base with a goal from a lively 30-minute cameo that should cement his starting place for Sunday’s visit by Spurs.
Rodgers will have to go for broke in that game and it would be a major surprise if he again used Jamie Vardy (£10.2m) in a lone striker role that he really struggled with against Chelsea.
The centre-forward managed just two (off-target) attempts, three penalty area touches (five players bettered that) and zero chances created.
The Foxes look set to be without Jonny Evans (£5.6m) this weekend, however:
He’s still sore. He’s highly unlikely for the weekend, so he’s probably played his last game [of the season].
Chelsea XI (3-4-2-1): E Mendy; Rüdiger, T Silva, Azpilicueta (Zouma 88); Chilwell, Jorginho, Kanté (Kovacic 32), R James; Pulisic, Mount; Werner (Giroud 90+1).
Leicester XI (3-4-2-1): Schmeichel; Söyüncü, Fofana, Castagne; Thomas, Tielemans, Ndidi, Albrighton (Pereira 67); Maddison (Iheanacho 60), Pérez; Vardy.
Brighton and Hove Albion 3-2 Manchester City
- Goals: Leandro Trossard (£5.5m), Adam Webster (£4.3m), Dan Burn (£4.2m) | llkay Gundogan (£5.6m), Phil Foden (£6.1m)
- Assists: Pascal Gross (£5.8m) | Riyad Mahrez (£8.1m)
- Bonus Points: Foden x3 Trossard x2 Gundogan x1
Brighton produced a stunning comeback to beat ten-man Manchester City as llkay Gundogan (£5.6m) scored and then limped off to toy with the emotions of his 18.2% FPL ownership.
The Germany international took just two minutes to notch his 13th goal of the season, albeit his first since Gameweek 27, when he headed home Riyad Mahrez‘s (£8.1m) cross.
That proved to be the high point for Gundogan, however, as he succumbed to a knock after the break.
The City boss Pep Guardiola was relatively upbeat about the German’s prospects:
Tomorrow we are going to check it, the doctor is quite optimistic. The problem is he had a kick and he was running in the second half with a disturbance. I didn’t want to take a risk, that’s why we did the substitution.
With a Champions League final now just a week and a half away, the manager is unlikely to rush his man back for Sunday’s dead rubber at home to Everton.
Then again, this is Guardiola we’re talking about, so expect the unexpected remains the wisest tactic, especially in light of his pre-match comments about who will start next Saturday’s European final against Chelsea:
Here I rotate a lot and everyone can play. Still right now I am not clear about the way we are going to play and who we are going to play. I have to take a look in the next 10 days and after I will take a decision.
At Brighton, he went for Ferran Torres (£7.0m) as, nominally at least, a striker.
Some 167,629 managers would have been congratulating themselves as they’d brought the midfielder in on the back of the his Gameweek 36 hat-trick at Newcastle.
But Joao Cancelo‘s (£5.8m) early season-ending red card meant a Guardiola re-shuffle, with Torres sacrificed so Eric Garcia (£4.7m) could bolster City’s defence.
At least Torres got some minutes. The 12%-owned Kevin De Bruyne (£11.8m) was fit enough for the bench, but stayed there throughout, although that does increase the likelihood of some kind of involvement for the Belgian on Sunday.
Brighton boss Graham Potter likes a bit of rotation himself, and he could well bring back Lewis Dunk (£4.8m) for the final-day trip to Arsenal now that the centre-half has served a two-match suspension.
Welbeck, however, is a doubt for that game after a hamstring problem meant he played just 28 minutes against City.
Potter was not hopeful about his forward’s prospects:
I have not had an update from the medical team. But he just felt his hamstring, so it is disappointing for him. It looks like he will miss Arsenal, but we will see how bad it is.
Brighton XI (3-4-2-1): R Sánchez; Burn, Webster, White; Moder, Bissouma, Alzate (Zeqiri 65), Groß; Mac Allister, Jahanbakhsh (Lallana 49); Welbeck (Trossard 29).
Man City XI (4-3-3): Ederson; Zinchenko, Stones, Dias, Cancelo; Gundogan (Fernandinho 56), Rodrigo, B Silva (Jesus 77); Foden, Mahrez, Torres (Garcia 15).