Ronaldo and Lukaku’s FPL Gameweek 5 hauls assessed as Wilson ‘could miss month’
We continue our Scout Notes of the weekend’s Fantasy Premier League (FPL) matches with analysis of Manchester United v Newcastle United and Chelsea v Aston Villa.
For a briefer recap of all of Saturday’s action, check out our Scoreboard summary here.
MANCHESTER UNITED 4-1 NEWCASTLE UNITED
- Goals: Cristiano Ronaldo (£12.5m) x2, Bruno Fernandes (£12.0m), Jesse Lingard (£6.9m) | Javier Manquillo (£4.0m)
- Assists: Mason Greenwood (£7.7m), Luke Shaw (£5.5m), Paul Pogba (£7.7m) x2 | Allan Saint-Maximin (£6.5m)
- Bonus: Ronaldo x3, Pogba x2, Fernandes x1
RONALDO AT THE DOUBLE
Cristiano Ronaldo (£12.5m) scored twice and bagged 13 FPL points on his return to Manchester United as the hosts beat Newcastle United 4-1 at Old Trafford.
After going close with a couple of efforts, United’s new no. 7 opened the scoring just before half-time when he tapped in after Freddie Woodman (£4.5m) spilled Mason Greenwood’s (£7.7m) shot, and added a second on 62 minutes, as he drilled home a Luke Shaw (£5.5m) pass.
As you can see below, he did drop deep at times to link play, often drifting to the left, but lead the line well and racked up six goal attempts, five shots in the box and two big chances.
Above: Cristiano Ronaldo’s touch heatmap v Newcastle United in Gameweek 4
UNITED’S MIDFIELDERS DELIVER AGAIN
Ronaldo’s international team-mate, Bruno Fernandes (£12.0m), also got in on the act with a goal, and as a result, eight FPL points, though it is worth noting that none of his five goal attempts arrived in the box, while his expected goal involvement (xGI) total was just 0.29 against the Magpies, compared to Ronaldo’s 1.47. However, he did see more of the ball than any other player on the pitch in the final third, with 51 touches in that zone.
Paul Pogba (£7.7m) was positioned in the double pivot alongside Nemanja Matic (£4.5m), but was able to get forward and rounded off a good display with two assists, making it seven in total for the season.
Jesse Lingard (£6.9m) added a fourth in added time, having replaced Jadon Sancho (£9.2m) on 66 minutes.
After the opening four rounds, Mason Greenwood (£7.7m), Pogba and Fernandes are all tied on 31 points in FPL. Amongst all midfielders, only Mohamed Salah (£12.5m) has more, with 38.
SHAW’S CREATIVE NUMBERS
At the back, Shaw’s creativity again stood out, as he created four chances and attempted 11 crosses. In fact, after four Gameweeks, the England left-back’s three big chances created ranks second amongst all defenders, while his 56 successful final-third passes are only bettered by Joao Cancelo (£6.0m) and Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.5m).
Above: Defenders ranked by big chances created 2021/22
Raphael Varane (£5.5m) also impressed, winning all three of his aerial duels and all three of his attempted tackles.
DEFENSIVE ISSUES AT NEWCASTLE
The margin of victory was perhaps a little harsh on Steve Bruce’s Newcastle, who played well for periods. However, they have now conceded 12 Premier League goals, more than any other side, and rank bottom for big chances conceded (16) and expected goals conceded (xGC) with 10.53.
“We had more than one or two opportunities [to spoil the party]. We had chances, created opportunities but I am disappointed we have given away some poor goals and that has cost us. The first goal is the big one. We deserved to be 0-0 at half time. That is the instinct, he [Cristiano Ronaldo] follows it in and my two defenders don’t and that gets him the first [goal].” – Steve Bruce
The loss of Callum Wilson (£7.4m) was a blow, with Allan Saint-Maximin (£6.5m) leading the line in his absence, though Steve Bruce did suggest he has a chance of making Friday night’s home encounter with Leeds United in Gameweek 5.
“I cannot put a timescale on it. It’ll be touch and go whether he is ready for next week.”
However, the Athletic reported on Monday morning that the Newcastle striker may be out for a month.
Saint-Maximin grabbed the assist for Javier Manquillo’s (£4.0m) equaliser, which means the Frenchman has provided an attacking return in three of his four matches so far.
MAN UTD XI: de Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Maguire, Shaw, Matic, Pogba, Greenwood (van de Beek 85), Fernandes (Martial 85), Sancho (Lingard 66), Ronaldo
NEWCASTLE XI: Woodman, Hayden, Lascelles, Clark (Lewis 84), Manquillo (Murphy 77), Willock (Hendrick 85), S Longstaff, Ritchie, Almiron, Joelinton, Saint-Maximin
CHELSEA 3-0 ASTON VILLA
- Goals: Romelu Lukaku (£11.6m) x2, Mateo Kovacic (£5.0m)
- Assists: Kovacic, Cesar Azpilicueta (£6.0m)
- Bonus: Lukaku x3, Kovacic x2, Edouard Mendy (£6.0m) x1
RUTHLESS LUKAKU NETS TWICE
Romelu Lukaku (£11.6m) provided his first double-digit haul since moving to Chelsea, as he matched Ronaldo’s 13 FPL points in Gameweek 4.
The Belgian forward was not too involved in the game, registering just eight final-third touches, but provided a clinical edge that the Blues were missing last season.
His shot map since joining Thomas Tuchel’s side is exactly as expected, with 11 of his 12 goal attempts arriving in the box:
Romelu Lukaku’s 2021/22 goal attempts (shots on target in green)
ANOTHER CLEAN SHEET FOR CHELSEA
Despite the scoreline, it wasn’t a completely comfortable win for Chelsea, especially in the first half, as they had Edouard Mendy (£6.0m) to thank for keeping them ahead.
The Senegalese stopper accumulated an impressive six saves during the match, and as a result, registered his second bonus point of the season. In fact, his 16 total saves in 2021/22 is just one behind Illan Meslier’s (£5.0m) league-leading 17:
It’s now three clean sheets in four for the Blues, despite being in the bottom half of our Season Ticker over the opening four Gameweeks.
With their Champions League campaign kicking off this week, Tuchel’s rotation has already begun, with the benched Mason Mount (£7.5m) and Andreas Christensen (£5.0m) two of six changes that the Chelsea manager made. N’Golo Kante (£4.9m) was injured and Reece James (£5.6m) suspended, which meant a debut for Saul Niguez (£5.5m), though the Atletico Madrid loanee struggled to find any rhythm and was replaced at half-time by Jorginho (£6.0m).
The match also saw a fourth successive Premier League start for Marcos Alonso (£5.7m), who now sits second in the defender rankings, averaging seven FPL points per game so far.
“It was absolutely not comfortable. We played against a strong Aston Villa side, who were well prepared. They looked sharp from the start and caused us a lot of problems. We had to block a lot of shots and be wary at set-pieces, because they are strong.
I thought defensively we were very strong and did what we needed to do. Then in the second half, we were better. We were in control a lot more, we were a lot more fluid and we took our chances well.
It was a perfect result for us and of course a perfect night for our striker [Lukaku] but we know we can still improve a lot.” – Thomas Tuchel
POSITIVES FOR VILLA DESPITE LOSS
Despite a 3-0 loss, there were encouraging signs for Aston Villa, especially in the first half, when they registered eight goal attempts inside the opening 35 minutes.
Villa were without goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez (£5.5m) and Emiliano Buendia (£6.4m), who were both serving a quarantine period in Croatia after performing for Argentina during the international break.
Dean Smith also sprung a tactical surprise, as he lined his troops up in a 3-5-2 formation, which is one to monitor going forward.
“… we felt that was the best way to go against Chelsea they stretch the pitch very well. We just felt matching it up might help us and we’ve certainly got the athleticism in our back three so I was quite prepared to do that in this game.
The health of the squad is better than it has been. We’ve got players back from injury and Covid. We’ve strengthened in the summer which enables us to play different systems at times when we became too rigid with the system we had before.” – Dean Smith discussing his change of system and the reasons for it after the game
Villa registered 1.36 expected goals (xG) during the match with the impressive Ollie Watkins (£7.3m) accounting for 0.73 of it. With six goal attempts, five shots in the box and one big chance, it will be interesting to see if Dean Smith sticks with a two-striker system moving forward. If he does, Watkins could perhaps then become an option for our frontlines once the fixtures ease.
Jacob Ramsey (£4.5m) also impressed alongside John McGinn (£6.0m) in Villa’s engine room, with several driving runs during his 56 minutes on the pitch, while Danny Ings (£8.0m) struggled to get involved and was replaced in the second half.
Smith claimed Villa’s performance was their best of the season so far, but with Everton (h), Manchester United (a) and Tottenham Hotspur (a) up next, FPL managers will be happy to wait and monitor from afar for a little while longer.
CHELSEA XI: Mendy, Chalobah, Thiago Silva, Rudiger, Hudson-Odoi (Werner 82), Kovacic, Saul (Jorginho 45), Alonso, Ziyech, Havertz (Azpilicueta 64), Lukaku
ASTON VILLA XI: Steer, Konsa, Tuanzebe, Mings, Cash, Luiz (Nakamba 79), McGinn, J Ramsey (Bailey 56), Targett, Watkins, Ings (Traore 69)
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