We’ve had a very interesting set of games this weekend so lets take a quick look at what happened on the pitch and on the fantasy scoreboard.
Norwich 0 – 1 Aston Villa
The most important fantasy implication from this game was Christian Benteke leaving the game in the first half with an injury. Paul Lambert is hoping Benteke won’t be out for long but there hasn’t been any news yet on the severity of his injury. The good news is that Aston Villa is deep at striker and new signing Libor Kozak proved to be a good purchase by scoring after coming on for Benteke. Brad Guzan proved to be a top class goalkeeper once again with an early penalty save and some quality saves down the stretch.
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Liverpool 0 – 1 Southampton
Southampton goalkeeper Artur Boruc said earlier in the week that the Saints have enough to fight for a top four spot. The Saints were playing at Liverpool this week and proved that his statements may not have been too far stretched. Southampton played a strong game and looked dangerous going forward. Liverpool lacked creativity and struggled in the final third with Philippe Coutinho out with an injury. The goal came from Dejan Lovren, who has been a good fantasy option so far this season and will continue being a good pick in the future. Artur Boruc also had an impressive game, including a save to deny Steven Gerrard on a free kick.
Newcastle 2 – 3 Hull City
This game was an unexpected shootout. Loic Remy scored twice for Newcastle but goals from Robbie Brady, Ahmen Elmohamady and Sone Aluko proved too much for the Magpies. Sone Aluko was the Man of the Match; he looked dangerous all night and finished off the impressive display with a spectacular goal to win the game.
West Brom 3 – 0 Sunderland
Before this game, these two teams combined for three points from a total of eight games in the Premier League. Goals from Stephane Sessegnon, Morgan Amalfitano, and Liam Ridgewell gave West Brom a convincing win over Sunderland. This wasn’t as much a great performance from West Brom as it was a poor one from Sunderland. Paolo Di Canio is on the hot seat right now and Sunderland look bound for relegation with only one point from the first give games.
West Ham 2 – 3 Everton
In another shootout, Everton was able to edge out West Ham at Boleyn Ground. West Ham have had an impressive defense so far this season, but Leighton Baines scored on two amazing free-kicks and Romelu Lukaku was able to finish off the Hammers with a late goal in his Everton debut. Lukaku and Baines are both extremely solid fantasy plays in the future. On the other side of the ball the goals came from Ravel Morrison and Mark Noble(from a penalty). West Ham should have won this game, but a costly mistake from Mark Noble led Everton to a win. Noble gave up a free kick and was sent off in the 83rd minute. The result was a Baines free kick goal and a Lukaku goal shortly after to finish off the game.
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Chelsea 2 – 0 Fulham
Chelsea has had a very rough week so far but things changed at Stamford Bridge against a weaker Fulham side. A day after Mourinho praised Oscar as Chelsea’s best player, Oscar answered with a goal to put Chelsea ahead. Oscar seems like a sure play in the near future and I will be using him every week in fantasy. Juan Mata and David Luiz were left out of the game squad furthering rumors about Mourinho’s preferences. It seems Mourinho is not too happy with the two and they may be in the doghouse going forward.
Arsenal 3 – 1 Stoke City
Arsenal was under a lot of pressure to sign new players after a week one loss to Aston Villa, but they’ve turned things around and have won four straight since then. They are now at the top of the table, tied in points with only Tottenham. The game was not the easiest for Arsenal, but they were ultimately able to win comfortably. The goals came from Aaron Ramsey, Per Mertesacker, and Bacary Sagna with new man Mesul Ozil assisting on two of the goals and being involved in the third. Ozil and Ramsey are my favorite Arsenal players at the moment for fantasy purposes and I would play them above Walcott or Santi Cazorla.
Crystal Palace 0 – 2 Swansea
Swansea also started the season slow, mainly because their schedule was extremely tough, but have regained their form and won seven points in their last three games. They had a confortable win here at Crystal Palace with Michu opening up the scoring in the second minute. Michu has had an average start to the season and had a horrible week two where he finished with negative three points, but he seems to be improving each and every game and is once again a fantasy option. Avoid CP’s players until further notice.
Cardiff 0 – 1 Tottenham
Tottenham continued to look good with their new signings and it was one of the players who arrived this summer who won them the game. Paulinho netted a goal three minutes into overtime after an Erik Lamela cross to put Tottenham up 1-0 and win the game. The bright spot for Cardiff was keeper David Marshall, who did everything he could to keep Spurs out but was eventually beaten from close range. Feel free to use some of Tottenham’s new signings in fantasy, as their cheap price makes them attractive buys.
Manchester City 4 – 1 Manchester United
This was definitely the most anticipated and surprising game of the weekend. What was supposed to be a tight battle turned into a way one beating as Manchester City dominated neighbors Manchester United in a 4-1 win. City’s midfielders passed the ball with easy and their quick passes were too much for the United defense. Sergio Aguero scored two goals while Yaya Toure and Samir Nasri added one a piece. Wayne Rooney scored a consolation goal for the visitors in the 87th minute. The big fantasy news here was that Robin van Persie was missing from United’s squad with a groin strain, but David Moyes is hopeful he’ll be back next week.
Make sure to check RotoWorld before next week to find out van Persie’s status along with other injury and availability news.