Brace yourself — pardon the pun — but a remarkable five players in GW30 couldn’t stop at scoring just once while falling short of netting a hattrick. I’m a Spurs fan, so breaking the tie, I’m unabashedly going with Tottenham’s magical winger, Son Heung-Min, who led a vital comeback victory in the race to finish in the top four spots for automatic Champions League qualification.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK: SON HEUNG-MIN
Things sure were looking dire for Spurs after conceding to Bournemouth’s Junior Stanislas to go down 1-0, followed shortly by talisman Harry Kane departing from injury when he rolled over his ankle in the first half. But Tottenham’s Dele Alli equalized at 1-1, and then it was all Spurs in the second half. Son’s deft left-footed finish bounced over a helpless Asmir Begovic to put the away side ahead, then Christian Eriksen set up the breakaway wherein Son secured the three points, putting Spurs up 3-1 by using Erik Lamela as a decoy and weaving around Begovic. Serge Aurier finished things off with a header for the fourth goal.
Son ended up with impressive tallies for his fantasy managers:
- 15 points in Official, including all three Player of the Match bonus points
- 34 points in Fantrax, with six shots (four SOT), four corners forced, two tackles won, and two interceptions
- 32.5 points in Togga
Counting the mid-week Champions League defeat to Juventus, Son has now scored five times in the past three games. The South Korean international now boasts 12 goals in Premier League play thus far this season, but he has still done most of his damage home at Wembley; the brace amazingly tripled his road component from one up to three.
Burnley Forward Chris Wood
It has been a tough year for Chris Wood, as he has missed plenty of time with injury. But the Leeds United transfer may just now finally be showing why Burnley parted with Andre Gay and splashed the cash for the New Zealand international. In the Clarets’ visit to West Ham, much of the talk surrounded a pitch invasion by fans, thanks to the latest painful defeat coming from Wood and company.
Shortly after coming on at 61’, Wood assisted fellow strike partner Ashley Barnes to open the scoring. Left alone, Wood tapped in an Aaron Lennon pass to make things comfortable at 2-0. Wood then sealed the victory by following up the rebound from a Johann Gudmundsson strike that Aargh Joe Hart Aargh spilled calamitously.
Fantasy owners rejoiced to the tune of:
- 15 points in Official, including the three POTM bonus
- 24 points in Fantrax
- 31.5 points in Togga, with two chances created
With three goals and one assist in only 74 minutes across the past two games following his return to fitness, it’s safe to say that Wood has mastered the super sub role. Now he is definitely pushing Sean Dyche for a start. Fans of offensive-minded play certainly wouldn’t mind seeing Barnes and Wood paired together from the get-go.
Manchester United Forward Marcus Rashford
Going in, fireworks were probably expected more from the likes of teammate Romelu Lukaku, or of course by Liverpool’s star trio Mo Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane. But who grabbed the brace? None other than forgotten man Marcus Rashford, who had not scored since GW16 and hadn’t played more than 45 minutes since GW21.
Rashford started the scoring at 14’ by taking a Lukaku flick-on of a David De Gea long ball, turning defender Trent Alexander-Arnold around and lashing the ball from the left side of the penalty box, past a diving Loris Karius, and into the right side netting. The second goal was a carbon copy of many of the elements — De Gea long ball, Lukaku hold-up and flick on, Rashford strike from the left past a sprawling Karius into the right netting as Alexander-Arnold watched on — only with Lukaku’s pass going to Juan Mata, whose shot was blocked into the waiting foot of Rashford.
Holding on for a 2-1 victory, the Red Devils cemented second place position in the table, leaving Rashford as the undisputed hero. Fantasy managers felt likewise as he returned:
- 12 points in Official, including the three bonus but also a yellow card
- 20 points in Fantrax
- 22.5 points in Togga, with two clearances, one aerial won, one interception and one tackle won
Newcastle United Forward Kenedy
The Chelsea loan had been active in his first five games with Newcastle, averaging 6.8 ppg in Fantrax and 6.3 ppg in Togga, but since he only had one assist and no goals yet to his credit, he was not particularly useful in Official. Enter Southampton, and yes indeed, another brace. It took only two minutes to get started, as Kenedy controlled a Jonjo Shelvey pass deftly with his chest, turned and shot with his left foot past an onrushing Alex McCarthy. The brace came not too long after — At 29’ Kenedy was left with an easy tap-in following a breakneck counterattack spearheaded by Ayoze Perez and assisted by Dwight Gayle. A second-half strike from Matt Ritchie sealed the deal at 3-0, easing Newcastle’s relegation fears and piling more misery on the Saints.
Those brave enough to bank on the young Brazilian were rewarded with gaudy totals of:
- 16 points in Official, including the three POTM bonus as well as one point for the clean sheet (unlike Togga or Fantrax, Official FPL lists Kenedy as a midfielder rather than as a forward.)
- 21 points in Fantrax, with two passes intercepted
- 27 points in Togga, with one chance created, one aerial won and one clearance
Manchester City Midfielder David Silva
In yet another run of the mill, breathtakingly beautiful Manchester City romp, the Citizens came out 2-0 victors at Stoke City thanks to a brace from midfield maestro David Silva. For the first goal 10 minutes into the affair, Gabriel Jesus made a nice flick on to Raheem Sterling up the right wing, and the England sensation whipped in a perfect cross. Doing his best Sergio Aguero impression by surging into the open space in the center of the box, Silva finished with a clinical one-timer using his left foot.
Continuing the scoring-early-in-the-half theme, The Spaniard capped his brace five minutes into the second period, again using his left foot to finish a wondrous team goal. This time he volleyed a looping Jesus pass before an onrushing Jack Butland could get there, slotting it past the desperately flailing keeper.
In all, Silva put up:
- 16 points in Official, including the three POTM bonus plus the extra CS point
- 23 points in Fantrax, with two fouls suffered and one tackle won
- 33.5 points in Togga, with three chances created and one aerial won
Did you have Son Heung-Min or any of the other brace scorers in your fantasy teams? Who was your personal POTW and who disappointed for your squads over the long weekend? Let us know in the comments below!