Another Gameweek 38 goal-fest saw 33 goals plundered on the final day, that rate of 3.3 goals per match once again beating the season average.
Leicester City and Leeds United dropped down to the Championship as Everton’s win over Bournemouth ensured top-flight survival for the Toffees.
Aston Villa secured seventh place and a UEFA Europa Conference League spot with victory over Brighton and Hove Albion, meanwhile.
There’s no Gameweek beyond this one so the usual Scout Notes will be of little practical use now but, for the completists, here’s a round-up of what happened on the final weekend of Fantasy Premier League 2022/23.
Neale rounds up the first five matches below, with Tom summarising the other five.
LEEDS UNITED 1-4 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR
Harry Kane‘s (£11.5m) best-ever FPL campaign hit new heights as he not only top-scored on the final day with a 16-point haul but also hit the 30-goal mark for the first time in his Premier League career.
In the end, his Gameweek 38 brace helped him finish only nine points beyond Erling Haaland (£12.4m) in the overall standings, having returned in 30 of his 38 appearances this season.
An ‘out of position’ Pedro Porro (£4.8m) returned to the Spurs line-up and hauled from a right-wing role, just as he had done in Gameweek 35.
Ryan Mason likely won’t be taking charge of the Lilywhites going forward but he extolled the defender’s attacking credentials after the game, and it’ll be interesting to see how the new Spurs boss – whoever it is – utilises Porro in 2023/24 given his likely mid-price starting cost.
“Possibly [his future does lie further forward] because he affects games of football. He scores and creates goals. I thought today his performance was excellent going forward and also he had the discipline in helping the team from a defensive point of view also. We’re very pleased with his impact.” – Ryan Mason on Pedro Porro
Spurs won’t have European football next season, something that may be a blessing in FPL given that the focus will be on domestic matters from the outset. But much of their appeal will be dictated by whether Kane stays and by the calibre of the incoming head coach.
We won’t be seeing any of Leeds, of course, following their drop to the second tier. They ended 2021/22 by conceding more goals than any other side (78).
SOUTHAMPTON 4-4 LIVERPOOL
The token final-day humdinger came at St Mary’s, eight goals unexpectedly being shared between the hosts and Liverpool.
Jurgen Klopp made seven alterations to his starting XI, handing farewell starts to James Milner (£4.4m) and Roberto Firmino (£8.0m), so any Fantasy takeaways have to be taken with a pinch of salt given the second-string nature of his line-up.
But it was perhaps fitting that after a season of defensive vulnerability, in which the Reds allowed over twice as many ‘big chances’ as they did in 2021/22, the campaign should end up in a free-for-all.
Game-time being shared across five attackers also highlighted the problem we’ll continue to have up top in 2023/24, with four of them among the attacking returns. Diogo Jota (£8.6m) hauled on the south coast after a brace, with his total of seven goals from Gameweek 31 onwards only beaten by one other Premier League player.
Mohamed Salah (£13.1m) somehow emerged from the game without a goal, registering eight shots in all, his sole contribution being an assist for the eighth and final strike of the match.
Three shots and four chances created from Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.8m) in his more advanced central midfield role underscored why he’ll likely be among the first names on the FPL teamsheet come August.
“We played a bad season and we came fifth, that is a message as well. Imagine we are more our normal self, which we absolutely will be again next season, then we will be a contender again. The last 10, 11 games helped us to realise that again because before then from a consistency point of view [it was] a season very difficult to understand.” – Jurgen Klopp
MANCHESTER UNITED 2-1 FULHAM
There were rests for some players ahead of Manchester United’s FA Cup final appearance at Wembley but this match was just the latest example of why Erik ten Hag remains the Fantasy manager’s friend, as he once again was reluctant to rotate United’s key FPL assets despite the game being a glorified dead rubber.
Bruno Fernandes (£9.5m) still hasn’t been benched in the league under his new boss, while illness and an internal disciplinary measure were the only reasons why Marcus Rashford (£7.2m) was among the substitutes in Gameweeks 37 and 18. Both players started against Fulham, their underlying numbers summing up the difference in their Fantasy appeal in a nutshell: Rashford with six shots, Fernandes with six chances created.
It was the Portuguese playmaker, however, who was on the scoresheet here.
Luke Shaw (£5.3m) wasn’t risked as United failed to record another home clean sheet but David de Gea (£5.1m) still finished with the Golden Glove, his penalty save meaning that he ended 2022/23 as FPL’s third-highest-scoring goalkeeper and just five points off top spot.
Aleksandar Mitrovic‘s (£6.6m) latest miss from 12 yards was his fourth in eight attempts this season, so it’ll be interesting to see if Marco Silva strips him of penalty-taking responsibility in the new campaign.
“It’s up to us to keep working with him in this situation. If another one he has to take, he is going to take for sure.” – Marco Silva on Aleksandar Mitrovic’s penalty miss
“You are talking about two or three months, I have enough time to think about all the situations and prepare with the players.” – Marco Silva on whether Aleksandar Mitrovic will remain on penalties
EVERTON 1-0 BOURNEMOUTH
Everton’s decent home record under Sean Dyche saw them over the line in the three-way battle for Premier League safety, a deflected Abdoulaye Doucoure (£5.3m) strike – his fifth goal in 10 games – securing the three points needed.
This was the fourth 1-0 win at Goodison Park since Dyche took over, their only away success under their current boss coming in that anomalous thrashing of Brighton and Hove Albion.
James Tarkowski’s (£4.1m) total of nine bonus points (two of which were added on Sunday) in that period has only been beaten by four other FPL defenders.
There wasn’t a massive amount of quality on show on Merseyside and there’s every reason to believe these two teams will be among the relegation favourites next season.
The Cherries – point-less since their safety was assured – finished with the third-worst defensive record in the top flight, the Toffees with the second-lowest goals tally.
LEICESTER CITY 2-1 WEST HAM UNITED
Leicester City dropped down to the Championship despite beating West Ham United, so expect the likes of James Maddison (£7.8m) to be on the move to pastures new over the summer.
Harvey Barnes (£6.6m) might also be departing, the winger signing off with his 13th league strike of the season: only five FPL midfielders, Salah, Rashford and the Arsenal trio, scored more.
One oddity with Barnes is that he has managed to hit a baker’s dozen of goals without gaining a single bonus point, his occasional wastefulness often costing him supplementary points.
One clean sheet in the last 23 matches was a big reason why the Foxes are now a second-tier club.
West Ham’s focus was and is on the UEFA Europa Conference League final in June, this match seeing the likes of Jarrod Bowen (£8.0m) and Kurt Zouma (£4.4m) rested.
ASTON VILLA 2-1 BRIGHTON AND HOVE ALBION
Aston Villa will play European football next season after a 2-1 win over Brighton on the final day. The Villans were 17th in the Premier League and only out of the bottom three on goal difference when they sacked Steven Gerrard in October, but Unai Emery inspired a stunning turnaround, with 15 wins from 25 matches.
With a few decent acquisitions and full pre-season under their belt, they will be ones to watch next year, although how they juggle those European commitments will be key, with more matches and travel.
Douglas Luiz (£4.8m) put Villa in front, before Ollie Watkins (£7.3m) ended his six-game drought with his 15th Premier League goal of the season. A dozen of those have been scored since Emery took over. Elsewhere, Jacob Ramsey (£5.1m) was unplayable at times, supplying the assist for both goals.
For Brighton, Pervis Estupinan (£5.0m) and Kaoru Mitoma (£5.7m) were benched, with Deniz Undav (£5.0m) scoring their only goal. It was a deserved defeat for Albion, but still, it’s been an incredible season, and it will be interesting to see how they recruit in the summer, with Alexis Mac Allister (£5.6m) and Moises Caicedo (£5.0m) both expected to leave.
ARSENAL 5-0 WOLVERHAMPTON WANDERERS
Arsenal scored five goals on the final day for the second season in a row, with a thumping win against Wolves at the Emirates Stadium. Granit Xhaka (£4.8m) served up an unlikely 15-point haul, courtesy of two first-half goals, with Bukayo Saka (£8.0m), Gabriel Jesus (£8.1m) and Jakub Kiwior (£4.0m) also on the scoresheet.
Jesus set up Arsenal’s first goal for Xhaka as well, spending time on both flanks as well as upfront.
The Gunners ended the season on 14 clean sheets, a tally beaten by only Man Utd, despite a difficult period in recent months. Ben White (£5.0m) was once again charged with playing centre-back and finishes joint-second in his position for FPL points, on 156, only behind Kieran Trippier (£6.0m).
As for Wolves, they were second-best all match and offered nothing going forward.
BRENTFORD 1-0 MANCHESTER CITY
Brentford completed the league double over Man City with a 1-0 win on Sunday, courtesy of Ethan Pinnock’s (£4.4m) late winner from a Bryan Mbeumo (£5.7m) assist.
Pep Guardiola made sweeping changes to his starting line-up with two cup finals on the horizon. Erling Haaland (£12.4m) stayed rooted to the bench for the duration, while the likes of Kevin De Bruyne (£12.1m) and Jack Grealish (£7.1m) failed to even make the matchday squad.
City’s fluidity understandably suffered, with Cole Palmer (£4.2m) their most dangerous player.
Elsewhere, it was a miserable end to the season for Ederson’s (£5.4m) owners. The Brazilian was on for a 10-point haul prior to conceding on 85 minutes.
As for Brentford, they missed out on European qualification but it has been an excellent season for Thomas Frank’s troops. David Raya (£4.8m), meanwhile, finishes as the top-scoring goalkeeper, with Sunday’s clean sheet his 12th of the season. He’s also claimed more save points (39) and bonus points (20) than any other shot-stopper.
CHELSEA 1-1 NEWCASTLE UNITED
Chelsea and Newcastle played out an entertaining draw at Stamford Bridge, which concludes contrasting campaigns for both clubs.
The Magpies will be in the Champions League next season, but Chelsea finished 12th, their lowest league finish since 1993/94. The only positive from the latter’s dismal season is that their key assets will be cheaper in FPL in 2023/24. Let’s hope Mauricio Pochettino can revitalise Reece James (£5.8m) and Ben Chilwell (£5.6m), given that the Argentine’s full-backs in a 4-2-3-1 tend to provide the width, while the rest of the attack is very narrow.
On the pitch, Anthony Gordon (£5.1m), who lined up as a central midfielder, opened his account for Newcastle, before Trippier put the ball through his own net to level it up, denying him the opportunity to hit 200 FPL points. Meanwhile, Alexander Isak (£7.0m) blanked despite being deployed through the middle, with Callum Wilson (£7.3m) benched.
At Chelsea, Lewis Hall (£4.3m) had another decent attacking game, with his set-play delivery excellent.
CRYSTAL PALACE 1-1 NOTTINGHAM FOREST
Taiwo Awoniyi (£5.6m) extended his excellent late-season form with the opener at Selhurst Park, as Crystal Palace v Nottingham Forest ended in a draw. The 25-year-old striker has scored six in his last four games and both he and Forest will hope there are plenty more to come next season.
Morgan Gibbs-White (£5.5m) – Forest’s newly crowned player of the season – is certainly someone who has prospered of late, too, with his assist for Awoniyi on Sunday his eighth attacking return from Gameweek 32 onwards.
Palace were on top for much of the second half and found the equaliser after 66 minutes, when Will Hughes (£4.8m) headed in from Michael Olise’s (£5.3m) cross. However, Eberechi Eze (£5.7m), who was one of the most popular transfers in of Gameweek 38, failed to return.
It means Roy Hodgson has picked up five wins, three draws and two defeats during his time as interim manager, although the 75-year-old has given no indication either way on whether or not he will stay on.