Queens Park Rangers 0-4 Bolton Wanderers- Some fantastic fantasy performers in this one, headlined by goalscoring defender Gary Cahill. Cahill’s curling shot in first half stoppage time put Owen Coyle’s on their way to an impressive 4-0 win, one which consigned QPR to a disappointing opening day loss. Further up the pitch, Ivan Klasnic scored and assisted – kudos to those of you had him in your starting XI.
At 4.5 million, Kieron Dyer was supposed to be one fantasy football’s best deals this season. Tragically though, he was stretchered off after only four minutes with a suspected broken metatarsal.
MOTM: Gary Cahill- A goal and clean sheet points – likely to be the day’s top point scorer.
FOTM: Clint Hill- Four conceded and sent off to boot, a day to forget for Mr. Hill.
Blackburn 1-2 Wolves- Not many were talking about Blackburn signing Mauro Formica pre season, but the Barcelona youngster forced his names into the papers with a goal that will help only a select few fantasy managers. On the other hand, Steven Fletcher is a player who plenty had high expectations of, and he scored on opening day for the second consecutive year.
Kevin Doyle’s missed penalty will do nothing to improve his score, but the striker should take consolation in Stephen Ward’s goal soon after.
MOTM: Stephen Ward- Goals from midfield: priceless.
FOTM: Kevin Doyle- A missed penalty, and no goal to make up for it.
Fulham 0-0 Aston Villa- A turgid affair that wasn’t particularly easy on the eye, but a game which will benefit many a fantasy manager nonetheless. Clean sheets for both of the back fours will benefit some, but upfront promising players disappointed. Johnson, Bent and Zamora all missed chances, while N’Zogbia was uninspiring on his debut.
MOTM: Shay Given- Brilliant saves, a clean sheet and likely performance points.
FOTM: Charles N’Zogbia- Much hype around him pre season, disappointed on his debut.
Liverpool 1-1 Sunderland- Liverpool will see a draw as two points very much dropped, but Sunderland should take heart from a sterling second half performance. Initial promise from Charlie Adam faded during the second half, though the Scotsman did set up Suarez’s opener. As for the Uruguayan, a goal was offset by that early penalty miss, making what could have been a decent showing very average.
Seb Larrson scored on his debut, though overall, none of Sunderland’s players stood out. Jack Colback looked particularly uncomfortable in the first half, but committed no action negative enough to warrant a point subtraction.
MOTM: Sebastian Larrson- A goal from midfield and not much else, but the only real candidate.
FOTM: Kieran Richardson- Yellow card, penalty conceded and nothing more. He wasn’t terrible, but still deserves Flop of the Match.
Wigan 1-1 Norwich- The value of penalty takers was underlined by the game’s opening goal. A conversion from twelve yards will boost Ben Watson’s point haul, and help out those (few) savvy enough to sign him up.
Wesley Hoolahan was the other goalscorer, taking advantage of an Ali Al Hasbi mistake to equalize. The Norwich striker missed several chances though, and I can’t see him becoming a useful fantasy player any time soon.
MOTM: Ben Watson- Moses was the game’s top performer, but in terms of fantasy impact, Watson ruled supreme.
FOTM: Ritchie De Laet- Gave away a penalty, didn’t keep a clean sheet, but arguably a little unlucky to be named FOTM.
Newcastle United 0-0 Arsenal- Like the Villa-Fulham match, this is a game which will mainly impact defensive scoring. For all there supposed woes at the back, Arsenal came through quite comfortably in this one, with the dirt cheap Kieran Gibbs the best value for money.
As for Newcastle, not many were willing to splash on any of their defenders, but those who did will be rewarded with a few extra clean sheet points.
MOTM: Kieran Gibbs- Value for money. Should be a really useful player for the rest of the season.
FOTM: Gervinho- No doubt about this one, Arsenal’s new signing endured a debut to forget, receiving his marching orders after seventy-five minutes.