Premier League Game of the Week: West Ham United 3-3 Arsenal

31 goal attempts, 12 shots on target, six goals and a point apiece this London derby between West Ham United and Arsenal had everything, and was quite possibly the most enjoyable Premier League game so far this season.

In an odd season which is still reeling from the effects of Covid-19, the missing link remains with no fans. However something’s never change. In one corner West Ham forever in the shadow of their London neighbours, the highly successful Arsenal and a team who the Hammers have a poor record against with just 1 win over the Gunners in the league in the past decade. Then there is Arsenal who player for player are a better side than West Ham, but find themselves below them in the league and trailing David Moyes side by seven points and with the same games played.

If one was to take just this season as a measure of greatness then West Ham are a few miles ahead of Arsenal, that doesn’t mean the superiority has been switched to the extent of how Chelsea have surpassed Arsenal, but it is getting there. This was underlined by the 32nd minute of this match when West Ham were leading  3-0. But Arsenal dug deep, they showed their old self and the harm they can inflict on West Ham by means of Alexlandre Lacazette and the ever impressive Martin Odegaard who reminded one of the great Dennis Bergkamp with his slick and professional timing on the ball.

Arsenal have been a poor side domestically this season, but against West Ham and indeed in the last few weeks they have showed a bright glimmer of the future under Mikel Arteta.

Jesse Lingard has been one of West Ham’s smartest moves in years, the other was the purchase of Tomas Soucek and both players influenced the game early on. Lingard scored his 5th goal in the league for the Hammers and then two minutes later assisted for the young Jarrod Bowen to add a second. There was a moment of disbelief that West Ham were 2 goals up against a side they found so hard to beat for decades. But here we were. Just past the half hour mark Soucek, arguably West Ham’s best player of the past 10 years made it 3-0. These felt like crazy times and the picture painted on Arteta’s face said it all.

But don’t let a sleeping tiger relax too much and when Arsenal got a goal back just before half time there shot a warning sign. The goal looked to have been scored by Lacazette, the player on the best form for Arsenal currently but replays showed that it took a wicked and quick deflection from Soucek who was unfortunately awarded the goal.

The next goal would win the game for West Ham or for Arsenal get them right back into the mix and it went Arsenal’s way. It happened just after the hour mark when West Ham defender Craig Dawson who has had a very good season put the ball into his own net. It was actually a great finish by Dawson, comical because of the end result, but a finish indeed. With half an hour to go this was feeling like the perfect set up for Arsenal as the game remained end to end stuff. Both teams had their gloves off and any type of managerial tactics were not going to suffice here. Also without the fans it was nice to see how an atmosphere can still be built up when there is all to play for and both sets of teams are playing well, and playing to win.

Arsenal’s third goal arrived from the creation of Nicolas Pepe and the head of Lacazette, there were just eight minutes remaining. The result started to look inevitable, that Arsenal were going to come back from 3 down and win the game 4-3. That never materialised, had it West Ham would have been crushed. Without it they were deflated but a point was a point at the end of the day. Even so Moyes’ side almost won it with what would have been one of the most spectacular goals in Premier League history.

Declan Rice, the defender, took the ball from his own half and went past a few players looking for the pass. He didn’t find it as he advanced on the Arsenal goal and within that fleeting moment decided to take a shot, why not? It would have been a goal for the ages, for the Gods and most certainly for You Tube. However it came to nothing and every neutral watching the game sighed as the dream goal became just a well worked chance, to be forgotten in time.

The match ended 3-3 and did little for Arsenal, although with that point they did move up to 9th place. The damage was more inflicted on West Ham who remain in 5th place and are 2 points behind Chelsea but now have no games in hand.

The Hammers Champions League place has been dented, but hasn’t been denied.

Challenge the best EPL Fantasy Managers at





Premier League: Best 11 Players of Week 29

Because it was FA Cup weekend only 4 of the scheduled 10 Premier League games took place over the weekend but there were still some very significant results.

Tottenham bounced back after a nightmare week as they stepped up their top 4 hopes with victory over Aston Villa. The most thrilling game though involved Tottenham north London neighbours in another London derby as Arsenal came back from 3-0 down to draw 3-3 against West Ham.

Brighton won their 2nd game in a row and they have pushed 6 points clear of the bottom three as a result.

Let’s look at the players that made the team of the week.

Goalkeeper: Hugo Lloris- Tottenham 7pts

After a disappointing week for the club the captain would have been happy to have secured his 10th clean sheet of the season as Tottenham got back to winning ways to beat Aston Villa 2-0 away from home. Lloris now has 48 points.

Defender: – Sergio Reguilon Tottenham 5pts

Sergio Reguilon has been one of the best defenders in the league this season and he was alert and focused as Tottenham beat Aston Villa 2-0. He has now helped to keep six clean sheets.

Defender: Lewis Dunk- Brighton 5pts

Lewis Dunk really stood out for Brighton as they achieved a fantastic and much needed 3 points at the weekend by beating Newcastle 3-0. Dunk helped to keep a clean sheet and his value is is 7m and he is rated as the best Brighton defender.

Defender: Ben Davies- Tottenham 5pts

Ben Davies had a solid game for Tottenham when he came on for Reguilon in the 2nd half. Davies could be called upon and was so effective that Aston Villa were not able to come back into the game when he was brought on.

Defender: Joel Veltman- Brighton 7pts

Joel Veltman was at the heart of Brighton’s team performance. The defender helped to keep a clean sheet as he saw his side beat Newcastle 3-0. He also assisted in the first goal which got the ball rolling. Veltman now has 27 points and his value is 7.5m.

Midfielder: Neal Maupay- Brighton 6pts

Neal Maupay scored his 8th goal of the season as his goal helped Brighton on their way to beat Newcastle. It was a huge win for the club who with that victory have been able to move six points clear of the bottom three.

Midfielder: Jesse Lingard- West Ham 6pts

Jesse Lingard has had a very positive start to his career as a West Ham player. Lingard opened the scoring against Arsenal and then assisted two minutes later for the 2nd goal. Lingard has already since January, been involved in seven goals and scored 5 of them.

Midfielder: Lucas Moura- Tottenham 4pts

Lucas Moura assisted in Tottenham’s opening goal and that was the midfielder’s third of the season so far. Moura with 38 points is ranked as the best midfielder for the club and pulled 8 points clear of Tanguy NDombele.

Midfielder: Raphinha- Leeds United 4pts

Many expected Fulham to pull together another win as they are battling hard in relegation but Leeds pulled off a great victory by beating Fulham 2-1.Raphinha scored the winning goal and he now has six goals so far this season.

Striker: Patrick Bamford- Leeds United 5pts

Patrick Bamford scored the other goal for Leeds as they beat Fulham 2-1. That was Bamford’s 14th goal of the season and he has also assisted six times in what has been a superb season for the player so far. Bamford now has 68 points overall.

Striker: Harry Kane- Tottenham 4pts

Harry Kane was back to his best as he converted a penalty for Tottenham which secured their win and ended up being the winning goal as they bounced back to beat Aston Villa 2-1 after a miserable week for the club. That was Kane’s 17th goal of the season.

Challenge the best EPL Fantasy Managers at

Premier League: Best 11 Players from Week 25

Everton beat Liverpool for the first time in 11 years and the first time at Anfield since 1999 as they won 2-0 against a very odd looking Liverpool side who seem to have imploded and they could well struggle to finish in a top 4 place this season.

Tottenham have lost 4 out of the last five games and their latest defeat came against the impressive West Ham  who have climbed to 4th as a result. The chase for a top 4 spot is on and it’s looking very exciting, let’s see which players dazzled the league this week and made the team of the week.

Goalkeeper: Jordan Pickford- Everton 7pts

Jordan Pickford has been missing for a few weeks with a rib injury but England’s Number 1 was back to his best as he kept a clean sheet at the champion Liverpool and Everton won an historic match 2-0.

Defender: Ruben Dias- Manchester City 5pts

Ruben Dias has been superb this season and he kept yet another clean sheet his 14th of the season as Manchester City beat Arsenal 1-0 away from home. Dias now has 66 points and his 3rd in the defenders list in the fantasy points for the Premier League.

Defender: James Tarkowski- Burnley 5pts

James Tarkowski has now kept 9 clean sheets and has had a solid season especially when you consider that Burnley have struggled this season and the player earned another 5 great points at the weekend.

Defender: Michael Keane- Everton 5pts

Michael Keane was arguably the man of the match as Everton beat Liverpool 2-0. Keane has had a solid season and was rock solid in defence for Everton making numerous great tackles. Keane’s value is 6.5m.

Defender: Lucas Digne- Everton 5pts

When Lucas Digne defends like he did at the weekend v Liverpool in the classic Merseyside derby then his switch from Barcelona to Everton makes perfect sense for the Premier League side. Digne’s value is 7m.

Midfielder: Raheem Sterling- Manchester City 6pts

Raheem Sterling scored the only goal of the game as Manchester City beat Arsenal 1-0. Sterling scored early on and that was 9th goal of the season. The player seems to get better every season and is having a solid campaign.

Midfielder: James Rodriguez- Everton 4pts

James Rodriguez earned another 4 points in midfield and he has a total of 29 points and is ranked as Everton’s best midfielder of the season so far. His value is 9.5m.

Midfielder: Bruno Fernandes- Manchester United 5pts

Manchester United were given a scare by Newcastle by eventually powered through and Bruno Fernandes sealed the winner as the Red Devils won 3-1. That was Fernandes 15th goal of the season and he has been involved in a total of 25 league goals so far, in an incredible season for the Portuguese.

Midfielder: Jesse Lingard- West Ham 4pts

Jesse Lingard has been brilliant for West Ham after his switch in the winter transfer window from Manchester United. Lingard scored again for the Hammers as they surprised Tottenham to win the game 2-1.

Striker: Richarlison- Everton- 4pts

Richarlison has started the season slow but he is scoring goals for Everton now and he got one of the most important of his Everton career as he opened the scoring against Liverpool in the derby. Richarlison now has 4 goals and 17 points this season.

Striker: Takumi Minamino- Southampton 4pts

Takumi Minamino became the first player to score against Chelsea with Thomas Tuchel as manager as he put Southampton in the lead early on. The game finished 1-1 but Minamino played a very good match and his switch from Liverpool looks like a good one for the Saints.

Challenge the best EPL Fantasy Managers at

Jose Mourinho needs to choose his best attackers and stick with them

Jose Mourinho Romelu Lukaku

Anthony Martial said this week that his recent run of form is down to Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho giving him a prolonged run of games in the starting XI.

The Frenchman has scored six goals in seven league games since establishing himself as a regular starter at the end of September, having previously started just one match out of a possible seven.

“The key to it is playing games,” Martial explained. “For me, when you play in a game, that’s when you get back your enjoyment and you start to pick up your form once again.

Continue reading

How many Manchester United players have actually improved under Jose Mourinho?

Jose Mourinho

Jose Mourinho’s third-season crisis has kicked into gear extra early in 2018-19, with Manchester United currently sitting 10th in the Premier League table after losing three of their first seven games of the new campaign.

The club’s below-par start to the season, which has included defeats against Brighton, Tottenham and West Ham, as well as a League Cup exit on penalties to Derby, has led to intense speculation about Mourinho’s future at Old Trafford.

Continue reading

Jesse Lingard has shown why he is a key cog in Manchester United’s attack

It hasn’t been plain sailing for Jesse Lingard when rising through the ranks of the club he joined when he was seven-years-old. Having been on loan three times – to Leicester, Birmingham, Brighton and Derby – Lingard’s breakthrough only came in Louis van Gaal’s final season in charge.

Not all Manchester United fans warmed to Lingard straight away. Having come from the academy, there is always a great sense of pride from the travelling supporters that want to see their youth products prevail; but some of the more global audience that United have built over the past decade did not give their full backing to the Englishman.

When Lingard finally got a run of games and minutes in mid-January of 2015, he didn’t look back. From having featured in six matches in the Premier League before January, to finishing the season with 19 more, Lingard stamped down his authority in that United team that won the FA Cup. In fact, the youth graduate was the player to score the decisive goal to win the Red Devils their first FA Cup since 2004 – an achievement that rounded off the careers for the likes of Michael Carrick and Wayne Rooney.

Under José Mourinho, who succeeded van Gaal in the United dugout, Lingard has become a pivotal figure in United’s team, taking responsibility when others have backed away and always providing the performances needed in the bigger matches. Wembley is associated with Lingard due to the fact he has had some of his best games for Manchester United at the daunting stadium, in front of a pack 90,000 crowd.

Lingard might not be the most orthodox attacker the world has ever seen, but that sense of unpredictability and expressiveness allows the England international to cause havoc on the pitch. Brought up on the right wing, Lingard has actually found better fortunes playing through the middle in a number 10 role.

Against Burnley, in United’s most recent Premier League fixture, Lingard managed to cause unease for Sean Dyche’s defenders by picking up a position in behind the midfield and just ahead of the two central defenders – a space in which he is afforded time on the ball and the ability to pick out his options.

In the opening 15 minutes at Turf Moor, Lingard had three opportunities to put the ball into the back of the net. Due to poor execution, he failed to do so, but the areas of the pitch he found himself in were the ones that cause mayhem for the opposition.

While only playing for 75 minutes, Lingard had the most amount of touches in United’s forward line with 58, while also having four shots throughout the match, only one behind centre forward Romelu Lukaku. The Englishman has a tendency to take on the chance and go for goal, but his finishing must be improved on in order to make the opportunities truly count.

One of the more pleasing aspects to Lingard’s game is his confidence. While he has tenacity and skill in abundance, he is a player that does not shrink in size when the challenge is big, nor does he when he goes on a barren spell in front of goal. Lingard could have stopped going for goal when things weren’t going his way against Burnley, but he kept his head high and took more attempts when the opportunities arose.

Throughout Lingard’s first three appearances this season, he has been averaging 2.7 shots per-game, ranking 18th from all of the players in the Premier League, no matter how many minutes they have played. Lingard has shown that he is a key orchestrator in United’s attack and will play a big part in this season under Mourinho.

Now, at 25-years-old, Lingard is entering his prime years at the club. He has been at Manchester United since the age of seven and is an emblem of the club’s youth policy for all to see. The Englishman is a wonderful example of where hard work, dedication and persistence can get you, as well as the obvious traits of innate talent and skill.

Recording 13 goals and seven assists in all competitions last season, Lingard will want to make sure he improves on the 20 goal contributions this year. Given the major part he is set to play under Mourinho yet again, as well as having come off the back of a fantastic World Cup with England, Lingard is not better placed to go on and make this season his own.

Do you have what it takes to challenge the best Premier League Fantasy Managers? If you’re up to challenging the best then play now!

Burnley 0-2 Manchester United: The talking points

man utd

Manchester United strolled past an uninspiring Burnley side on Sunday evening. The Red Devils were in dire need of a response and most importantly, a win. So was Burnley. The Clarets were winless coming into this fixture. But, United displayed their class and went home with the three points, even with a man down.

United started off on the front foot, as they did against Spurs. Jesse Lingard came close to scoring, twice, before Romelu Lukaku scored a towering header to put United into the lead. It was a lead that United deserved, because of their attacking threat and the number of chances that they had created. Sanchez and Lingard were at the heart of everything United did, even the second goal. Lingard’s shot was deflected and Lukaku pounced upon the ball to slot it past Joe Hart, just before the break.

The second half followed the same pattern. United earned a penalty, only for Paul Pogba to miss it. Things got heated up after that, with Marcus Rashford getting sent off after an altercation with ex-red Phil Bardsley. Burnley applied the pressure and came close through Sam Vokes, but didn’t do enough to score even one against David De Gea. United had plenty of chances on the counter too, but Lukaku still couldn’t complete his hattrick.

Romelu Lukaku

The Role of Marouanne Fellaini

When the team sheets came in, to everyone’s surprise, Marouanne Fellaini started in place of Fred. Mourinho has always trusted Fellaini, as he gets going when the going gets tough. Fellaini has always been criticised for his lack of technical ability, with fans and pundits alike saying that the Big Belgian isn’t fit to wear the United shirt. But, time and time again, Fellaini has put in match-winning performances, giving it his all for the badge and the manager. Fellaini wasn’t there to dictate tempo or build play from deep. Fellaini’s role was to protect Victor Lindelof and Chris Smalling from Burnley’s long balls to Chris Wood. And he did that to perfection, winning 100% of his tackles, seven aerial duels and made six clearances. As a result, both Lindelof and Smalling looked solid. Lindelof was assured and composed playing out from the back, because of Fellaini’s protection.

Unconvincing Burnley

Burnley’s adventure in Europe has surely taken a toll on their players. The Clarets did not at all looked energetic and did not seem to have any intention of taking away anything from the game, let alone winning it. Sure, they applied some pressure towards the end, but never looked like scoring. They could have easily lost the game by 5 or 6, had United been efficient and converted their chances. The defence was all over the place, Ben Mee struggled to keep up with Lukaku, Cork and Westwood got dominated in midfield while Jeff Hendrick couldn’t support Wood up top. Dyche’s man left all kinds of spaces in between the lines for the likes of Lingard and Pogba to drift into. The International Break will surely do them good. The Clarets need to come back refreshed and energised and focused on the Premier League following the break. There is a lack of goals and chances created and Dyche has got his hands full.

The importance of Jesse Lingard

Jesse Lingard just might be Manchester United’s most valuable player. The Englishman has gone from being taken as a joke to making United tick in the attack. His relation with Lukaku has been blossoming since last season, his friendship with Pogba always pays dividends on the fields while he is also establishing an on-field connection with Alexis Sanchez. His movement, energy and how he finds pockets of spaces in between the lines is essential for United to break down their opponents. He needed to add goals to his game, and he did that last season. He must prolong his form.

Play the newest EPL Fantasy game here!

Gareth Southgate’s management a huge contributor to England’s optimism

southgateWhen England crashed out of the 2018 World Cup at the semi-final stage, losing 2-1 to Croatia after extra time, a nation was silenced. The England fans, so vociferous in their support for the Three Lions on the shirt and the 11 heroic ones on the pitch, were left gutted. For this one glimmering summer, the optimism seemingly extinguished long ago started to flicker back into existence. Football was coming home, they thought. But it didn’t. However, instead of the usual what-ifs and why-didn’t-theys, this time the team left with their heads held high, falling against a side who, once they grew into the match, were simply the better team on the night.

Continue reading

Should Manchester United swoop in for Ronaldo?

Cristiano RonaldoThere have been many, many rumors over the past couple of weeks. Cristiano Ronaldo seems headed for Juventus. Ronaldo leaving Real Madrid seems to be a saga we’ve been following every summer for the past few seasons, so we should take these rumors with a grain of salt.

Yet, this time it seems sort of real. In the past, rumors would surface that Ronaldo was upset with Real and had decided to leave,but would always stay. So what’s the difference this time? Well, for starters, in the past there weren’t actual negotiations or numbers being discussed.

Manchester United had always been the rumored favorite to land him because of their history, but there was never any concrete talk of negotiations or a price tag.  Continue reading

Top performers from the World Cup – Matchday 2

In their latest video, Nicholas Carroll and Chloe Beresford pick their most impressive players following matchday 2 of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Continue reading