Jurgen Locadia gained Fantasy Premier League ground on his Brighton & Hove Albion team-mates with two goals in December, but Glenn Murray remains comfortably ahead of the chasing pack after his brace against Fulham.
After eight games without a goal, Murray (77pts) found the back of the net twice against the Cottagers to extend his lead to 15 points, ahead of Shane Duffy (74 pts) and Solly March (73 pts).
The Seagulls continued their busy December schedule with the visit of Chelsea to the Amex Stadium, and although Chris Hughton’s side were narrowly beaten 2-1, there were season firsts for two Albion players.
With the visitors leading 2-0, thanks to goals from Pedro and Eden Hazard, Bernardo arrived at the back post to head back across goal for March, who confidently stroked the ball him for his first goal of the season.
The winger also received a bonus point on top of his goal to receive eight points against the Blues, while Bernardo’s first assist of the season took him to four points.
A 2-0 defeat to AFC Bournemouth followed, which meant few FPL points for Albion’s players, as David Brooks stole the show for the hosts, bagging two goals to seal victory for the Cherries.
But the Seagulls returned to action on Boxing Day against Arsenal on the south coast, and Locadia collected his first notable FPL total of the season, after firing the equalising goal against the Gunners.
The Dutchman also received three points for his eye-catching performance, taking him to nine points overall, but his fellow countryman Davy Propper was unfortunate to only score two points.
Propper delivered a searching pass over the top of Arsenal’s defence to find Locadia, but a touch from an Arsenal defender cancelled out the midfielder’s potential assist.
Everton were next to visit the Amex and it proved a positive afternoon for the Seagulls, as they won the game 1-0 and took all six of the bonus points on offer.
It was Locadia who scored the most points for a second game in a row, earning another nine points for his 59th-minute strike against the Toffees, as he started his third Premier League match in a row.
There were also two bonus points for David Button on his Premier League debut, and a solo point for Martin Montoya, who collected clean sheet points alongside Bernardo, Duffy and Lewis Dunk.
Albion opened 2019 with a trip to the London Stadium and found themselves 2-0 up against West Ham United inside 58 minutes, thanks to Duffy’s fourth goal of the season and Dale Stephens’s first.
Both goalscorers collected bonus points for their efforts, two for Stephens and one for Duffy, but Marko Arnautovic scored a quick-fire brace to cancel out their second-half strikes.
Pascal Gross picked up his first assist of the season, taking him to five points against the Hammers, but the German remains a long way off his FPL total (163 pts) from the 2017/18 season.
The Premier League leaders - Liverpool - then travelled south midway through January, and FPL points were few and far between for Albion’s players, as Mohamed Salah’s penalty won the contest.
Hughton’s men held the Reds for 50 minutes, but the Egyptian’s spot-kick cancelled out any chance of Albion’s players collecting points for a fifth clean sheet of the season.
By the time Albion visited Old Trafford, Manchester United had become the Premier League’s in-form side, winning their previous six matches under temporary manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
The Norwegian’s team looked to be heading towards a comfortable victory, after taking a 2-0 lead through Paul Pogba’s penalty and Marcus Rashford’s angled strike, but the Seagulls managed to hit back.
Gross, who scored in the reverse fixture back in August, found the back of the net against the Red Devils again, which took the German to ten points for the afternoon, thanks to also collecting three bonus points.
The midfielder leapfrogged team-mates Locadia and Propper, with the latter delivering his first assist of the season to claim five points — but the Seagulls were unable to find an equalising goal.
January ended with a disappointing 4-2 defeat against Fulham at Craven Cottage, as four second-half goals cancelled out Albion's 2-0 lead that was registered thanks to Murray's brace, which claimed the forward 12 points.
Gross added to his goal at Old Trafford with an acrobatic assist for Murray's second goal, while Martin Montoya claimed his first assist of the season after just three minutes.
Apart from Montoya, the Spaniard's three defensive partners and returning goalkeeper Ryan all ended the game in minus figures.