The Biggest EPL Winners and Losers from Matchday 2, 2020
We’re still early in what will be an extraordinary English Premier League season, but we already saw some exciting games. The second week of the competition brought us plenty of goals, errors, and VAR drama that prove how entertaining the EPL will be once again.
Plenty of interesting moments from the past seven days deserve a mention. I decided to gather them all in one place in this post about the EPL winners and losers of the week.
It features the best and the worst performers over the past weekend, but also a look at the transfer action of certain clubs.
Winner: Spurs Attack
When your attacking duo produces a total of five goals away from home, it’s always a good sign for things to come. That’s exactly what the Spurs forwards did against Southampton. Son scored four times and all of the goals were assisted by Harry Kane that also added one of his own.
4 – Harry Kane has assisted all four of Son Heung-Min's goals against Southampton today – the first time in @premierleague history one player has assisted another four times in a single match. Fabulous. pic.twitter.com/EloGFWjEyE— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) September 20, 2020
And if you add the news that Gareth Bale rejoined the Spurs on loan, the offense looks formidable. There’s depth too, so Jose Mourinho got that sorted and can focus more on installing better defensive habits to his team.
Loser: Kepa Arrizabalaga
There were a lot of questions marks on whether Kepa is the right goalkeeper for Chelsea and if the team can progress with him in this crucial position. Frank Lampard supported the youngster before the start of the season, but it hasn’t taken long for the Spaniard to make his first big mistake.
Kepa gifted a goal to Liverpool on Sunday and while it probably didn’t decide the match, it showed that the goalie lacks confidence right now. That could be a big problem because Lampard is expecting him to distribute the ball instead of just kicking it. Not to mention that he had one of the lowest save percentages last year.
If the Spaniard doesn’t improve, he might cost his team far too often and the manager has a decision to make. It seems like Lampard has made his mind early on and the latest rumors suggest that Edouard Mendy will arrive on the Bridge.
I’m not surprised, to be honest, and that’s the risk with young goalkeepers. Kepa’s talent is undeniable, but he probably made the jump to the Blues too early in his career.
Winner: Wilfried Zaha
It’s slightly unfair to single out Zaha after such a tremendous team effort on Saturday, but I’m sure that the Ivorian was extra happy after his Crystal Palace beat Manchester United at Old Trafford. The forward spent some time with the Red Devils and never received a fair chance to prove his qualities.
Zaha has become a superstar since and is one of the most dangerous players in the EPL. He has been linked with top clubs on multiple occasions and I expect him to join one very soon. It might happen this summer, but staying is also an option.
What we know for sure is that Zaha is not going to Manchester United and I believe he will keep punishing the club for the harsh treatment earlier in his career.
Loser: Manchester United’s Board
We’ve heard many promises by Ed Woodward and the rest of the board throughout the years, but it seems like Manchester United is heading in the wrong direction. The managers and some of the players have been taking the blame for years since the departure of Sir Alex, but the truth is, the problems might be at the top.
Despite the solid improvement and the Champions League spot won last season, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is yet to receive the proper backing of the board. Donny van de Beek has been the only signing so far and it’s obvious that the Red Devils need more quality players.
Part of the problem is that some of the existing squad members have been overpaid in the past and the budget is tighter than expected. That’s another issue that directly leads to Woodward and the rest of the board.
The team might have lost on the pitch, but the fans are angry with the executives this time around. Manchester United has to invest in the defense at the very least or this season might get ugly.
Arsenal and Chelsea look better, and the Spurs might be improving too. Even the likes of Everton, Wolves, and Leicester are dangerous, so the club won’t be able to stay competitive without more signings.
Winner: Leeds United
It seems like Leeds United is going to be one of the most entertaining English Premier League teams this season. The club lost by 4-3 against Liverpool in its return to the competition and then won by the same result on Saturday against Fulham.
The display was far from perfect and Leeds has to improve defensively. And yet, it was a long-awaited moment for the supporters and the club fully deserved it.
I’m sure that the manager Marcelo Bielsa knows that the hard work starts now. The campaign will be long, but Leeds United certainly has what it takes to survive in the EPL.
Speaking of survival, I wonder if it’s too early to start worrying about the Saints. The team just got crushed by a Tottenham side that has been shaky recently and the defense looked completely clueless.
At least three of the goals conceded on Sunday could’ve been avoided by following basic defending rules in terms of positioning. It doesn’t look good for a team that barely made it last season. Unless Southampton improves dramatically, the team is going to struggle to keep its place in the English soccer elite.
Winner: Leicester City
Many thought that Leicester City might crumble this year after losing the Top 4 battle late in the previous season. That hasn’t been the case and the Foxes are leading the league at this point and looked comfortable in both of their games.
1 – Leicester have won their first two games of a Premier League campaign for the first time since their title-winning campaign of 2015-16, while this is the first time they will end the day top of the Premier League since the final day of that season. Rekindled. pic.twitter.com/8BoqNxOHcI— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) September 20, 2020
Brendan Rodgers is certainly working well with his team and Leicester might be a force to be reckoned with once again in 2020-21. I don’t think that the side has the resources to upset the big boys and many of the top sides improved over the summer, but who knows. It’s not like Leicester hasn’t done it before!
Loser: Kieran Gibbs
I must admit that I like Kieran Gibbs as a player since his time at Arsenal. The defender always tried hard when given the chance and certainly looked talented enough to make it at the highest levels at the early stages of his career.
Unfortunately for Gibbs, he failed to deliver and had plenty of injury problems, so he had to move away from the Gunners. The Englishman has been decent since, but the moment of madness against Everton on Saturday certainly could derail his career.
Gibbs was sent off for shoving James in the face and then was caught threatening Coleman while he was leaving the pitch. That might have cost his team the game and even his manager Slaven Bilic saw a red after arguing with the referee.
A team like West Brom can’t afford such disciplinary issues and Gibbs certainly needs to calm down or he might sit on the bench for a while.
The week was full of exciting games and I’m sure that some of you would include more teams and players on the list of EPL winners and losers. Brighton probably deserves a mention, as well as Saido Mane who scored a double against Chelsea.
If you want to highlight a specific moment, feel free to use the comments below to do it.
I also would like to remind you that our team covers most English Premier League games with betting previews that can be found in our soccer picks section.