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Biggest EPL Winners and Losers from Matchday 13, 2020

| December 18, 2020 9:48 am PDT
English Premier League Winners and Losers Matchday 13, 2020

We were treated to a thrilling round of midweek matches in the EPL this week, with Liverpool beating Tottenham on Tuesday to go three points clear at the top of the table.

There were big wins for Wolves, Everton, and Leeds, while Manchester United extended Sheffield United’s winless start to the season to 13 games on Thursday.

Matchday 13 also brought about the first managerial casualty of the season. Despite West Brom’s draw with Manchester City, Slaven Bilic was sacked on Wednesday.

Join me as I discuss the biggest EPL winners and losers from Matchday 13.

Who’s hot and who’s not?

Winner: Wolves

Nuno Espirito Santo’s men headed into Matchday 13 on the back of consecutive losses to Liverpool and Aston Villa.

With star striker Raul Jimenez sidelined with a fractured skull and 18-year-old Fabio Silva leading the line, Wolves supporters would have been forgiven for fearing the worst when in-form Chelsea visited Molineux on Tuesday.

But the Wanderers put in an outstanding team performance to beat the Blues 2-1.

Wolves went behind to an Olivier Giroud goal early in the second half, but Daniel Podence equalized on 66 minutes. With seconds remaining, Pedro Neto beat Kurt Zouma and fired a low shot past Edouard Mendy to snatch all three points deep into stoppage time.

With struggling Burnley up next, Nuno’s men will now be confident of securing back-to-back wins.

Loser: Slaven Bilic

Slaven Bilic earned his best result of the season on Matchday 13, guiding his team to a hard-fought 1-1 draw against Manchester City.

However, West Brom isn’t Bilic’s team anymore.

Despite coming away from the Etihad Stadium with a point on Tuesday, Bilic was sacked the following morning.

We all know that the Baggies have made a poor start to the season. They find themselves second-bottom of the table, having picked up just one win from their opening 13 games. But following promotion from the Championship last term, Bilic will be bitterly disappointed.

San Allardyce was appointed as West Brom’s new manager just hours after Bilic’s sacking. Granted, the veteran boss has a reputation for keeping teams in the Premier League. But many believe that Bilic has not been given the respect that he deserves.

Winner: Leeds

One thing is guaranteed whenever Leeds United plays this season – goals.

Unfortunately for Marcelo Bielsa’s men, goals have regularly been going in at the wrong end of the pitch recently. In fact, Leeds has the joint-second worst defensive record in the division.

But on Matchday 13, the Whites thrashed Newcastle 5-2, proving to everyone that they have the ability to blow their opponents away.

Five different players got on the scoresheet at Elland Road on Wednesday, with Patrick Bamford taking his tally for the season to eight goals and two assists in 13 EPL outings.

Rodrigo, Stuart Dallas, and Ezgjan Alioski all netted in the second half, although Jack Harrison’s 88th-minute screamer was undoubtedly the goal of the games.

Check this out!

Loser: Gabriel

Following Granit Xhaka’s senseless sending off last weekend, I’m sure that Mikel Arteta would have asked his players to behave against Southampton on Wednesday.

The Gunners are struggling enough as it is right now, even when they have 11 players on the pitch.

Theo Walcott scored against his old club to give Southampton the lead at the Emirates Stadium before Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang ended his goal drought by equalizing just after the break.

But on 66 minutes, Gabriel was shown a second yellow card after bringing down Walcott.

I think it’s fair to say that Arsenal has a disciplinary problem. Gabriel became the third Gunners player to receive a red card in the Premier League this season, with Nicolas Pepe getting sent off for a headbutt in November.

If Arteta wants his side to move up the table, his players must stop making stupid mistakes.

Winner: Liverpool

Liverpool and Tottenham met on Wednesday for the biggest game of the season so far. The title rivals headed into Matchday 13 locked on 25 points at the top of the table – but Liverpool is now three points clear.

At the final whistle, Jose Mourinho reportedly told Jurgen Klopp that the best team lost. But you only have to look at the statistics to see the truth.

The Reds finished the match with a whopping 76% possession. Klopp’s men also racked up 17 shots – 11 on target – while Spurs only managed to record two attempts on Liverpool’s goal.

First-half goals from Mohamed Salah and Son Heung-min kept the score at 1-1 until the dying moments. But on 90 minutes, Andy Robertson whipped in a corner, with Roberto Firmino heading home the winner.

I don’t think anyone can argue that Liverpool didn’t deserve to claim all three points in midweek. Well, unless you’re Mourinho.

Loser: Man Utd’s Defense

Dean Henderson replaced David de Gea in Man Utd’s goal for Thursday’s trip to Bramall Lane. Just five minutes into the match, the young goalkeeper gifted Sheff Utd the opening goal.

Oliver Burke chased down Henderson and stole the ball from the goalkeeper, leaving David McGoldrick to fire into an empty net. McGoldrick went on to score a second goal for the Blades.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side has only kept two clean sheets in their last 11 outings in all competitions, while only six EPL teams have conceded more goals than Man Utd this season.

The Red Devils managed to turn things around and eventually won 3-2, but there are so many question marks over their backline.

Solskjaer now has a goalkeeper dilemma on his hands. Does he recall de Gea back to the starting line-up for Sunday’s match against Leeds? Or does he stick with Henderson?

Winner: Man Utd’s Attack

By contrast, Man Utd’s prolific forward line continues to look ruthless.

Marcus Rashford netted a stunning equalizer against Sheff Utd – the first of his two goals on Thursday – before Anthony Martial got on the scoresheet.

With Bruno Fernandes wreaking havoc and Mason Greenwood rediscovering some form, opposition defenses have been humiliated by Solskjaer’s attacking players in recent weeks.

Fernandes has already racked up seven goals and four assists in 12 EPL appearances this term, while Rashford has 12 goals and five assists in all competitions.

But until Solskjaer sorts out his team’s defensive issues, Man Utd won’t be taken seriously.

Loser: Blunt Blades

I keep thinking that Sheff Utd will turn things around. But as the season unfolds, their chances of avoiding relegation are getting slimmer by the week.

The Blades showed plenty of intent against Man Utd on Thursday, yet they were unable to avoid defeat. The club now sits six points adrift at the bottom of the table – and nine points from safety.

Having taken just a single point from their opening 13 matches, Chris Wilder’s men have now made the worst start to a season in Premier League history.

Not only have they scored just seven goals this term, but they have also conceded 24. This means the Blades have the second-worst scoring record and the second-worst defensive record in the division.

Following Bilic’s sacking, will Wilder be the next to go?

Matchday 13 Wrap-Up

That’s it for Matchday 13.

It was only a matter of time before we saw the first sacking of the season, wasn’t it?

Unfortunately, Bilic didn’t make it past Christmas. But I wouldn’t be surprised if Wilder joins him on the managerial merry-go-round soon.

At the other end of the table, it’s still painfully tight. Liverpool may have a three-point lead for now. But with just eight points separating the top ten teams, anything could happen over the busy festive period.

Join me next week as I look at the biggest EPL winners and losers from Matchday 14.

If you’re thinking about betting on this weekend’s Premier League games, make sure you head over to our EPL picks section.

Ben Morris
Ben Morris

Ben is a sportswriter and tipster who specializes in soccer. Currently based in the UK, he has traveled all around the world watching – and betting on – his beloved sport.

Alongside his regular soccer content, Ben publishes blogs and picks for cricket, Formula 1, Aussie rules, darts, and various other sports.

Ben is a diehard fan of Nottingham Forest and England, so he hasn’t had much to cheer about in recent years!

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