New Year, new Gameweek. What hungover FPL managers definitely want is to go through another emotional rollercoaster of postponements, rotations, Covid and underperforming players. New Year’s Eve brought the announcement of an immediate mini Double Gameweek and a rush towards signing West Ham and Everton assets – Brentford, not so much.
2022 began with two big hitters facing off in north London – Arsenal vs Man City. Team news brought the reveal of Phil Foden’s Covid but the headline soon became Arsenal’s impressive first half display, leading 1-0 at the break without giving Man City a single shot on target.
Those who sold Aaron Ramsdale before their Gameweek 20 blank would’ve been nervous at the prospect of a clean sheet. But ultimately it didn’t happen. The combination of a Riyad Mahrez penalty (Bernardo assist), a red card for Gabriel and a late winner for Rodri ensured the champions somehow pulled a win out of this.
The sole 3pm kick-off was Watford v Tottenham. Plenty of FPL interest here but the main success came from Tottenham defenders, as a dull encounter was won in stoppage time when Davinson Sanchez headed home a free kick from Son Heung-min. Nothing from Harry Kane, with Emmanuel Dennis replaced at half-time.
Last up, Selhurst Park. The aforementioned West Ham situation meant a lot of interest in this match, even without Conor Gallagher’s inclusion for Crystal Palace. Eyes were on Jarrod Bowen, Michail Antonio, Vladimir Coufal, Craig Dawson and more.
Somehow, Palace managed to not score in the early stages and it was West Ham who flew into a 3-0 half-time lead, thanks to Antonio and a brace for Manuel Lanzini. The lucky assist for Lanzini’s penalty brought much joy to Bowen’s owners. Eventually, just when the improbable clean sheet looked set to happen, Palace scored. And then again.
West Ham held on to win 3-2. And that completed a quiet Saturday.