It wasn’t the most exciting of weekends this time around and with only five games on the schedule, we don’t have too much cover. The main talking point of the weekend is that Chelsea are now seven points clear on top of the table, with Liverpool and Arsenal right behind them, having played one game less each. Manchester City are nine points back but have three less games and have the advantage in goal difference, meaning if they win all three of their games, they’d be first. Mourinho keeps claiming he would like to be in City’s position, but deep down inside, he loves being seven points clear in the most competitive league in soccer.
West Brom 0 – 3 Manchester United
United have been very unpredictable lately. One weekend they look extremely poor and you think they’d be in the bottom ten by the end of the season. Next time out they look extremely impressive and you think they can put together a strong finish and end up in the top five or six. This was one of the latter. They actually looked comfortable and dominated West Brom for the majority of the game. Marouane Fellaini had his best game in a United jersey and Rooney looked his old self. What was interesting here was that United looked better once Robin van Persie was subbed off. There is no way David Moyes benches him permanently, but a decrease in playing time is a possibility. It’s worth following the situation.
Cardiff 3 – 1 Fulham
The two worst teams in the Premier League squared off and you can imagine it wasn’t the most exciting of games. Steven Caulker was the best man on the pitch, scoring two goals and putting in a great defensive effort. He is a very good and consistent player and deserves to be on a better team. If Cardiff get relegated, Caulker should be able to move back to the Premier League. For Fulham, Kostas Mitroglou featured for the first time. The Greek international wasn’t too flashy but he is getting back to form and is Fulham’s only hope in avoiding relegation.
Crystal Palace 0 – 1 Southampton
Southampton had lost three games in a row and they really needed this one. It was a tough game, as Tony Pulis had his home side prepared for a defensive battle. Jay Rodriguez finished a weird opportunity to give the Saints a 1-0 lead in the first half and they did well enough to keep Palace out the rest of the way. Lovren was booked but did enough to finish with 6 points after the clean sheet. Boruc also did well and I plan on using the two in fantasy next week, when they’re set to face a poor Norwich side. Luke Shaw was great once again and finished with 15 points. One thing to note here is that Nathaniel Clyne started in place of Calum Chambers. Clyne is the favorite to start next week in my opinion.
Norwich 1 – 1 Stoke City
Norwich had kept four straight clean sheets at home and Stoke are poor in away matches, so I had my money on another Norwich clean sheet. I was certainly disappointed when that didn’t happen. Overall, it was a really poor match and there aren’t too many fantasy options here. Jon Walters scored the equalizer for Stoke but was also sent off and will be suspended. Stoke are much better at home and face a poor attacking side in West Ham next week.
Chelsea 4 – 0 Tottenham
This was by far the best game of the day. The first half started with a controversial call and the referees were questionable the entire game. In the first minute, Samuel Eto’o was wrongly ruled offside and he was brought down by Hugo Lloris right after. If Eto’o had been ruled onside, Lloris would have likely been sent off and the game would have been entirely different. But Lloris lived to see another day and Tottenham played really well in the first half, which ended 0-0. In the second, Chelsea started playing better and forced Jan Vertonghen to make a poor back-pass. Eto’o intercepted the pass and finished to make it 1-0. Soon after, Eto’o was brought down by Younes Kaboul. Kaboul and sent off and Chelsea were given a penalty. 2-0. The call to send Kaboul off was questionable at best and Tottenham will surely be talking about it. From then on, it was game over. Demba Ba came in to score two more goals and Chelsea dominated all aspects of the game. Chelsea’s defense has really been the difference lately and Nemanja Matic has been a big part of that. Matic’s defensive presence in midfield is controlling and he has single handedly made Chelsea title favorites. Petr Cech and the defense are premium options in fantasy and should be considered week in and week out.