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Biggest EPL Winners and Losers from Matchday 14, 2020
Liverpool moved four points clear at the top of the Premier League table following a record-breaking win over Crystal Palace on Matchday 14.
Manchester United resumed their rivalry with Leeds in style, while Arsenal slipped to a fourth defeat in five games against Everton.
Sam Allardyce’s reign as West Brom boss did not get off to a good start, Sheffield United failed to win again, and Chelsea got the better of London rivals West Ham.
Let’s take a look at the biggest EPL winners and losers from Matchday 14.
Records tumbled as Liverpool crushed Crystal Palace 7-0 at Selhurst Park in the opening game of the weekend.
The Reds secured a top-flight away win by a seven-goal margin for the first time in their history, while it was also the first time that the Eagles had conceded seven goals in a home match.
Takumi Manamino opened the scoring after just three minutes, before goals from Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino saw Jurgen Klopp’s side go into the break with a comfortable 3-0 lead.
Jordan Henderson made it 4-0 early in the second half, curling a beautiful long-range strike past Vicente Guaita. Firmino completed his double by netting Liverpool’s fifth goal, before Mohamed Salah came off the bench to bag a quick-fire brace.
It was a ruthless performance from Klopp’s men, who head into Christmas with a four-point lead at the top of the Premier League table.
127 – This was Jürgen Klopp’s 127th league victory in charge of Liverpool, overtaking Rafael Benítez (126) as the Reds boss with the most wins in Premier League history. Icon. pic.twitter.com/NR7AM7o51N— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 19, 2020
It’s official – the Gunners have now made their worst start to a season for 46 years!
Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Everton means that Arsenal has failed to win any of their last seven EPL outings, with five defeats and two draws coming across November and December.
A Rob Holding own goal gave the Toffees the lead at Goodison Park, although Nicolas Pepe equalized for Arsenal from the penalty spot soon after. But Yerry Mina’s header on the stroke of half-time ultimately proved to be the winning goal.
Whichever way you look at it – there is no denying that Mikel Arteta’s men are slowly getting dragged into a relegation battle.
With four wins from their opening 14 games, the Gunners find themselves just four points clear of the bottom three. They are also now 12 points behind the top four.
It’s certainly worrying times for Arsenal.
Winner: Scott McTominay
Eyebrows were raised when Scott McTominay’s name was on the team sheet for Leeds United’s trip to Old Trafford on Sunday.
With big-name midfielders Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic, and Donny van de Beek among the substitutes for Manchester United, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team selection was immediately called into question.
But McTominay proved his doubters wrong in style.
With just over a minute on the clock, the Scotland international unleashed a powerful low drive to put his side ahead. Seconds later, he doubled Man Utd’s lead with a calm close-range effort.
Everywhere you looked, McTominay was there. His relentless work-rate helped the Red Devils to counter-attack Leeds on countless occasions, with United eventually winning 6-2.
Bruno Fernandes also scored twice on Sunday, yet it cannot be denied that McTominay deserved the Man of the Match award.
Loser: Sheffield United
After failing to win any of their opening 13 games, it finally looked as though Sheffield United would pick up their first EPL victory of the season against Brighton on Matchday 14.
Despite being reduced to ten men following John Lundstram’s red card late in the first half, the Blades continued to battle and were rewarded with a goal midway through the second 45.
20-year-old right-back Jayden Bogle came off the bench to score on his Premier League debut, albeit with the help of a fortunate deflection.
However, with less than three minutes of normal time remaining, Danny Welbeck equalized for the Seagulls – breaking Blades hearts in the process.
Chris Wilder’s men finished the game with 26% possession, while Brighton racked up 21 shots. But having held on for so long, Sheff Utd will no doubt feel extremely aggrieved.
Granted, Arsenal was poor on Saturday. But let’s not forget that Everton momentarily moved up to second after beating the Gunners.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side heads into the busy festive period on the back of three straight wins and is now unbeaten in their previous four EPL outings.
After picking up 13 points from a possible 15 at the start of the campaign, the Toffees went on to lose four of their next five matches. But their recent upturn in form has thrust the club back into the hunt for a Champions League spot.
With Leicester and Man Utd both winning on Sunday, Everton eventually finished Matchday 14 in fourth place. But I’m sure that every Toffees supporter will be more than happy with where their club is at right now.
Loser: Serge Aurier
Just a couple of weeks ago, everyone was talking about Spurs as genuine title contenders. But two weeks is a long time in soccer, especially when it comes to the EPL.
Tottenham headed into Matchday 14 having picked up just a single point from their previous two games. However, following a 2-0 loss to Leicester, Jose Mourinho’s men have now won just one of their last five league matches.
Following a relatively uneventful first 45 minutes, the teams were preparing to go into half-time with the score at 0-0. But when Serge Aurier barged into the back of Wesley Fofana in first-half stoppage-time, the referee was left with little choice but to award Leicester a penalty.
4 – Since joining Spurs for the 2017-18 season, Serge Aurier has given away four penalties in the Premier League, second only to David Luiz in this period (five). Lapse.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 20, 2020
Jamie Vardy converted the spot-kick before the Foxes secured all three points midway through the second half thanks to an unfortunate own goal from Toby Alderweireld.
Tottenham had managed to resist Leicester’s attacks until Aurier’s moment of madness. It could be argued that the erratic right-back cost his team the game.
It is no secret that Burnley endured a difficult start to the 2020/21 campaign. One win from their opening nine games left the Clarets stuck in the relegation zone, with six defeats coming during that period.
But all of a sudden, Sean Dyche’s side is now enjoying a four-match unbeaten streak.
Following draws with Everton and Aston Villa and a victory over Arsenal, Burnley put in a spirited performance to beat Wolves 2-1 on Monday.
Ashely Barnes netted his first EPL goal of the season to give Dyche’s men the lead at Turf Moor, heading home Charlie Taylor’s cross. Six minutes into the second half, Chris Wood doubled the Clarets’ advantage by smashing the ball past Rui Patricio from close range.
Fabio Silva snatched a late consolation penalty for Wolves, although Burnley seemed to be in complete control throughout the match.
With all four teams below them failing to win on Matchday 14, the Clarets are now three points clear of the bottom three.
Loser: Sam Allardyce
When Sam Allardyce replaced Slaven Bilic as West Brom boss last week, many believed that the veteran manager would make an immediate impact at the Hawthorns.
Unfortunately for the Baggies – that didn’t happen.
West Brom went behind just six minutes into Allardyce’s reign, with Anwar El Ghazi giving Aston Villa the lead. Jake Livermore was then sent off for a wild lunge on Jack Grealish, giving his side even more work to do in the second half.
But after seeing just 32% possession and only managing one shot across the entire 90 minutes, two late goals eventually saw West Brom lose 3-0.
We all know that Allardyce is renowned for getting teams out of trouble. But with the Baggies sitting second-bottom in the table with just a single to their name, even Big Sam could struggle to rescue West Brom this time around.
Matchday 14 Wrap-Up
With Matchdays 15, 16, and 17 crammed into the space of just ten days, there is no shortage of Premier League action to sink our teeth into over the festive period.
The customary Boxing Day and New Year’s Day matches always produce drama, so we are set for a hugely exciting fortnight of English soccer.
Make sure you join me after Christmas as I discuss the biggest EPL winners and losers from the period.
If you’re planning to bet any of the upcoming Premier League games, you can find free tips and predictions over in our EPL picks section.