⚽ Fitballer Match Three | MNU v LEI | 514 calories 🔥
Hello my name is Simon and I am a fat football fan. I’ve set myself the personal challenge of losing 40 pounds (3 stone) by the end of the English Premier League season, by watching football matches and working out to my Fitballer regime.
All eyes were on Romelu Lukaku for this late Saturday game on BT Sport, as he aimed to become the first Manchester United player to score in his first three league matches. More importantly, he was my FPL captain pick this weekend. Having watched Sergio Agüero start the early Saturday match on the bench. I was in desperate need of points from the big man.
So much so that I decided to add a new Fitballer exercise rule to proceedings. Using the same cross trainer set up, below are the Fitballer exercise ‘rules’ I went with for this afternoon’s match.
HOW THE TEAM’S LINED UP (FANTASY FOOTBALL THOUGHTS)
Man United made one alteration from the side that had won its opening two games 4–0, bringing in Martial for Rashford. Martial rewarded for scoring twice off the bench in those previous match-ups.
Meanwhile, Leicester City made 8 changes from their midweek League Cup game but were unchanged from their previous league win over Brighton & Hove Albion.
My FPL interest in this game was again all about the home team, with a triple-up on United assets; Jones (£5m), Mkhitaryan (£8.2m) and Lukaku (£11.7m). Despite my gut telling me Lukaku wasn’t going to score big, I decided to file in with the masses and make him my Captain pick this week.
⚽️⚽⚽️ ️ !! KICK-OFF !! ⚽️⚽️⚽️
⚽️⚽⚽ ️FIRST HALF FITBALLER REPORT ⚽️⚽⚽️
No I haven’t accidentally deleted action points from the first half — literally nothing of note from a fitballer or fantasy perspective occurred in that first 45 minutes.
Paul Pogba was United’s only positive influence on the game, taking shots at every opportunity like he had put the Captain’s armband on himself in his own FPL team. Leicester had the same counter attack game plan that led to three goals against Arsenal on the opening night of the season.
But for both sides, it was their defensive assets that looked like taking home the plaudits and FPL bonus points. Jones was having a tidy game for the home side (and my FPL team), while Harry Maguire (£5.1m) was continuing an impressive start to his Leicester City career.
Looking at the (Fitballer) positives, I had completed my first ever half of action where there was no action, which means I now know what my baseline exercise performance level is.
⚽️⚽⚽ ️SECOND HALF ⚽️⚽⚽️
- 53:00 :: !Penalty Saved! FPL disaster as my captain see’s his penalty saved by Schmeichel. United were awarded the penalty for a second dubious handball appeal within the same passage of play. Lukaku puts the ball on the spot and a delightful BT Sport graphic shows he’s put all of this recent penalties to the keeper’s right. Right on cue he goes the same way and sees it saved. That’s -4 FPL points 😱 and -2 Resistance Levels. The double penalty miss(save) meant I was working out at RL3 for the first time. 🚫
- 54:00 :: Christ, this is getting even worse!…for my FPL team. Mkhitaryan loses his cool and gets a yellow card. So moments after the penalty incident, I’m back up to RL4. 💛
- 60:00 :: United have responded well but Leicester City are defending superbly. United drew ten games at home last season and my pre-game prediction of a low scoring match looked on the cards. Both managers had players frantically warming up on the touch line. Leicester mate a double change to their midfield. While they added fresh legs, my workout was back down to RL3, as double substitutions only count as -1 Resistance Level and 2 minutes rest. ⏮😅⏭
- 67:00 :: This time it is Man Utd making the change, Mata making way for Marcus Rashford. Another drop in Resistance Level on my cross-trainer to RL2. I can barely feel any resistance at all and decide to up the pace of my workout (after taking another 2 minute rest). ⏮😅⏭
- 70:00 :: ! GOAL ! No sooner am I back on the bike (it is a bike really when you think about it) than United take the lead. Mkhitaryan chips in a corner to the penalty spot, thankfully Lukaku wasn’t near it and Rashford was able to poke the ball home unmarked. Really poor from Leicester but it was the turning point in the match my workout needed, not to mention my FPL score. A welcome temporary cross trainer resistance max (RL16) was followed by +3 Resistance, taking me up to a RL5 setting. ⚽️
- 76:00 :: Another quick-fire set of substitutions saw me facing another drop in Resistance Level. But because the second United subs and one away team change all happened during my two minute rest period, they did not count towards my workout routine. Back down I went to RL4. ⏮😅⏭
- 82:00 :: ! GOAL ! United’s two subs combine to see Felliani divert Lingard’s cross/shot into the net. Game over and almost workout over, but I knew I would be able to finish strongly with both managers having played all six of their substitutes. After my RL16 stint during the goal celebrations, I added +3 to take me to RL7 — the first time in the match I was working out higher than my starting Resistance Level. ⚽️
- 89:00 :: Matty James goes in the book for Leicester City. He will be happy not to chase around Paul Pogba again in a hurry. +1 Resistance, RL8 💛
- 95:00 :: Kasper Schmeichel caps off an eventful day by picking up a yellow card. Not sure for what exactly but prior to that he had made a smart stop to deny my Captain Lukaku from putting some points on the board in injury time. +1 Resistance, RL9 💛
⚽️⚽⚽ ️FULL TIME FITBALLER REPORT ⚽️⚽⚽️
United weren’t able to repeat their recent four star performances, but maintained their 100% start to the season. Lukaku had a game to forget, although a lot of FPL managers who captained him (or triple captained him 😭) won’t be neglecting that memory for a while. He has now missed three of his last five penalties, and it will be interesting to see if he steps up to take the next one. Hopefully he’s not my captain pick that weekend.
The clean sheet and Mkhitaryan assist (Pogba was mighty close to getting a touch on his cross and therefore, stealing his FPL three points) meant I did take 12 points from the match. Not a terrible return.
While it was definitely not the workout routine or FPL result I was looking for, at this early stage in my Fitballer challenge, it was a positive learning experience. If Lukaku had score the penalty, there would have been a six level swing from RL3 to RL9 instead. On another day I would have enjoyed a completely different workout. And it all came down to that penalty kick. I would pick that level of exercise unpredictability everytime.