Tottenham Hotspur returned to the top of the Premier League after beating Fulham 2-0, with the key Fantasy Premier League (FPL) talking points addressed below.
SON AND MADDISON SHINE
It has been quite the start to the season for Tottenham and Ange Postecoglou.
Following Monday’s 2-0 win over Fulham, they remain unbeaten and are top of the Premier League. Another victory in Friday’s Gameweek 10 opener at Selhurst Park would take them five points clear.
Against Fulham, Son Heung-min (£9.5m) was the star of the show, at least from a Fantasy perspective, putting his side ahead with his seventh goal of the season. He later played in James Maddison (£8.1m) to calmly slot home.
The goals were almost identical, with Calvin Bassey (£4.4m) at fault for both.
Having claimed maximum bonus, Son is now averaging 9.5 points per match since moving up front in Gameweek 4.
As for Maddison, he was always trying to make things happen as he pulled the strings in the final-third. He finished top or joint-top for shots in the box (three), big chances (two), chances created (four) and penalty box touches (nine).
His goal, meanwhile, was his first at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, with all seven of his previous attacking returns coming on the road.
Maddison and Son were both withdrawn on 81 minutes, with one eye on Friday’s trip to Crystal Palace.
“[The early stages] felt a little disjointed. Fulham didn’t really press us and our centre-backs were able to walk up the pitch with the ball. But I managed to drop a little deeper and was more involved in the build up, and then we got a bit more success that way and we broke through a couple of times.
The gaffer likes freedom and he’s happy for me to do that and rotate with the full-backs…as long as there’s a structure to it and there are players in the right areas, whoever that is.” – James Maddison
WHY UDOGIE WAS SUBBED OFF
Tottenham made their first change of the match on 55 minutes, as Destiny Udogie (£4.9m) was replaced by Emerson Royal (£4.4m).
Much to the annoyance of his owners, he was just moments away from claiming a clean sheet.
Discussing his withdrawal and if there was an issue, Postecoglou said:
“Destiny just felt a bit of tightness at half-time. We said we’d give it 10-15 minutes so with a short turn-around, once we got the second goal, it made sense to take him off.” – Ange Postecoglou on Destiny Udogie
Up until that point, Udogie was excellent.
His starting position was left-back but he caused Fulham a lot of problems with his runs into the centre of the pitch, even popping up in and around the box, which is captured below.
Above: Destiny Udogie’s touch heatmap v Fulham in Gameweek 9
Fellow full-back Pedro Porro (£5.1m) also impressed.
While his stats aren’t anything to shout about (one shot, no key passes), the Spaniard offered a real threat down the right flank and one of his runs saw him almost get on the end of a Richarlison (£6.7m) cross just before half-time.
FULHAM’S ATTACK PROBLEMS
Fulham played well at times and did cause Tottenham some problems on the counter-attack, but two Calvin Bassey errors cost them. They also lacked composure in the attacking third.
Marco Silva’s men went closest when Joao Palhinha (£5.0m) forced Guglielmo Vicario (£5.2m) into an excellent save with a header from a corner.
Substitutes Raul Jimenez (£5.3m), Tom Cairney (£4.9m) and Harry Wilson (£5.3m) also had late chances but were unable to convert.
Overall, Fulham’s play was encouraging enough, but they’ve now failed to score in three of their last four matches and face a tricky upcoming run.
In the next five Gameweeks, they play Brighton and Hove Albion, Manchester United, Aston Villa, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Liverpool.
“We matched them in some moments of the game. We were punished by some mistakes we made. We had some dangerous moments in the counter and we should have punished them. We encourage our players to build from the back it is our way and it can happen [mistakes leading to a goal]. We have to understand the moments of course. After the second goal we had enough chances to make it 2-1 and go at them again but unfortunately, we didn’t score. I hope the goals will come but the good thing is we have been creating more in recent games. The way we created against Tottenham is a good sign.” – Marco Silva