In a week of few runaway individual performances, some less typical players stepped up as the best on offer in the fantasy game – great news for the managers out there with an eye for a bargain. As it happens, both were Austrian.
As Stoke City dropped the relegation hammer on Fulham, midfielder Marko Arnautovic (6) was the standout. In his first season in the Premier League, the dynamic winger is nearly at 100 points in our game, having added another 10 thanks to a goal and an assist at the Britannia Stadium.
Aston Villa needed a win to ease fears of relegation and they got it, dispatching Hull City thanks in no small part to the efforts of Andreas Weimann (5.5). The young forward matched his countryman’s double-figure weekend by putting away two of his side’s three goals.
It was a great weekend for Manchester City, not just for seeing off Everton but also for Liverpool’s result handing them a huge opportunity in the title race. Chief among the reasons why they saw off the Toffees was Edin Dzeko (7.5). The Bosnian broke the century barrier for individual points with his double at Goodison Park, despite picking up a booking.
The most drama arguably came at Selhurst Park, where Dwight Gayle (4.5) made a huge impact off the bench for Crystal Palace, scoring twice despite only being on the pitch for 25 minutes. But, while he was celebrating, Steven Gerrard (8) was commiserating – at least the Reds captain picked up eight points of his own for making two assists, the best-performing of the fantasy game’s leading players.
|GAMEWEEK 37 DREAM TEAM
It was a week of few disasters – at least on an individual basis – but there were still some notable names who let down their fantasy bosses with under-par performances.
The highest-profile defensive trouble came at Selhurst Park, where Liverpool were exposed in the second half by Palace, and Martin Skrtel (5) was as guilty as anyone. The Reds defender has earned 124 points this season but left London no better off than when he arrived, having been yellow-carded as well as letting in three goals.
Title rivals Manchester City had some worries of their own at the back, with Martin Demichelis (5) similarly devoid of points after Roberto Martinez’s Everton put two past the Argentine and his colleagues. It leaves him just eight short of 100 for his first season in the Premier League.
On the midfield front, it was a testing day for West Brom captain Chris Brunt (5). The Northern Irishman was forced to play out of position at left-back due to injuries and failed to contain Arsenal enough to prevent a 1-0 defeat, a yellow card restricting him to only one point.
There were plenty of disappointments at Old Trafford as the Ryan Giggs feelgood factor evaporated thanks to a shock 1-0 defeat to Sunderland. Among the culprits for a poor day on home turf was Michael Carrick (5.5), who has struggled to reach his former heights all season and limped to a solitary point on Saturday.
Up front, there was a letdown from Wilfried Bony (7.5) at Swansea City. The Ivorian has been in fine form of late and would have been optimistic before facing Southampton but he found no purchase at the Liberty Stadium and picked up points only for attendance.
The worst points performance this gameweek came from a red card, as Tottenham defender Younes Kaboul (4.5) cut even more time out of an abbreviated personal season by bundling over West Ham’s Stewart Downing at Upton Park.
It prompted a calamitous capitulation from Tim Sherwood’s men, who will be without the Frenchman once again for their final test of the season. The 0.92 per cent of fantasy managers who brought Kaboul back into the fold after his return from injury may be feeling sheepish as they take in his -2 points and change things around for the last gameweek.
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