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The Biggest EPL Winners and Losers from Matchday 4, 2020

| October 5, 2020 8:46 am PDT
Biggest EPL Winners and Losers from Matchday 4, 2020

Just as we thought the 2020/21 Premier League season couldn’t get any crazier, Matchday 4 happened.

Aston Villa’s 7-2 thrashing of Liverpool is undoubtedly the biggest headline of the weekend, although Tottenham’s 6-1 rout at Old Trafford will also go down as one of the standout results of the year.

Everton made it four wins from four with victory over Brighton, while Fulham, Sheffield United, and Fulham all head into the international break without a point following defeats.

Join me as I take a look at the biggest winners and losers from Matchday 4 of the 2020/21 EPL season. I’m sure you can already guess a few teams and players who feature in this post, but I have also included a couple of surprises.

Winner: Aston Villa

Wow!

Records tumbled on Sunday as Aston Villa thrashed Liverpool 7-2. Yes, that’s right, 7-2!

Ollie Watkins netted a first-half hat-trick, becoming the first player to score an EPL treble against Liverpool since Dimitar Berbatov for Manchester United back in 2010, while goals from John McGinn and Mohamed Salah handed Villa a 4-1 lead at the break.

Ross Barkley scored on his debut before Salah pulled one back for the Reds, but a Jack Grealish double saw Liverpool concede seven goals in a single game for the first time since 1963.

Granted, the Jurgen Klopp’s men were woeful, and Villa did get lucky with a number of fortunate deflected goals. But it wouldn’t be fair to take anything away from the Villains’ performance.

As we head into the international break, Dean Smith’s side sits second in the table with a 100% record.

Loser: Liverpool

It’s difficult criticize a team that only lost four league games across the previous two campaigns. Liverpool has been near perfect over the past couple of years, but the team’s performance against Villa has to be the worst since Jurgen Klopp arrived at Anfield in 2015.

The defending champions were sloppy from start to finish, with deputy goalkeeper Adrian gifting Villa the opening goal. But Adrian’s mistake was the first of many.

The Reds made countless errors throughout the game. The rate at which Liverpool was making stray passes was almost unbelievable, while the defensive structure of the team was pretty much nonexistent at times.

Ultimately, it was a completely uncharacteristic performance from Klopp’s men, and I’m confident the 7-2 loss is simply a freak result.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Liverpool doesn’t feature in the “loser” section of this post for the rest of the season. However, the reigning champs were nowhere near good enough on Matchday 4.

Winner: Jose Mourinho

Tottenham’s 6-1 crushing of Manchester United will have pleased a lot of people. But I don’t think anyone will be as happy as Jose Mourinho.

The Spurs boss – who managed Man Utd between 2016 and 2018 – got the better of his former club in style, and although the Portuguese remained relatively subdued on the sidelines, he will no doubt be over the moon with the result.

Tottenham went behind early on to a Bruno Fernandes penalty, but goals from Tanguy Ndombele and Son Heung-min gave Spurs the lead inside 7 minutes.

Son scored a second to notch up a first-half brace before Harry Kane got in on the action with a double of his own. Serge Aurier completed the scoring for Spurs.

Mourinho always seems to rise to the big occasions. But even by his standards, Sunday’s victory was extraordinary.

Loser: Manchester United

Man Utd was on the receiving end of Mourinho’s masterclass, and it could be argued that the Red Devils have now hit a new low under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

The game could not have started better for United, as Bruno Fernandes converted a spot-kick with less than two minutes on the clock. But after that, it was one-way traffic.

Anthony Martial was sent off following a scuffle with Erik Lamela just before the 30-minute mark, although the red card had very little bearing on the outcome of the game. It felt like the Red Devils could have been playing with 15 men on the pitch, and they still would’ve lost.

United conceded four goals in the first half of a Premier League game for the very first time, leaving Solskjaer with plenty of questions to answer regarding his team’s dismal performance.

Is time running out for the Man Utd manager? I think so.

Winner: James Rodriguez

James Rodriquez to Everton has to be one of the strangest EPL transfers this year, right?

The Colombian superstar has played for some of the biggest clubs in Europe, with Real Madrid and Bayern Munich among the teams on his impressive resumé.

So, what is James doing at Everton? Well, he’s scoring goals. That’s what he’s doing.

The 29-year-old netted a double and contributed an assist as Everton beat Brighton 4-2 on Saturday, taking his tally to three goals and two assists in four Premier League appearances.

Everyone expected a team from Liverpool to be leading the way after four games, but I don’t think anyone could have predicted that it would be Everton. The Toffees find themselves three points clear at the top of the table, thanks in large part to James Rodriguez.

Loser: Sheffield United

Sheffield United took the Premier League by storm last term, finishing ninth in their comeback campaign. However, it already looks as though the Blades are suffering from a bad case of “second-season syndrome”.

Chris Wilder’s side has lost each of their four EPL games in 2020/21, scoring just one goal along the way. Sheff Utd’s first league goal of the season came against Arsenal on Sunday, but David McGoldrick wasn’t able to prevent his side from losing 2-1.

Wilder will be hoping the arrival of Rhian Brewster can solve the team’s attacking problems. The highly-rated youngster joined from Liverpool for a club-record fee last week and will add a different dimension to the Blades’ forward line.

But as things stand, Sheff Utd heads into the international lay-off second from bottom in the table having failed to take a single point from their opening four outings.

Winner: Alan Irvine

I don’t think the majority of soccer fans would have heard of Alan Irvine before this season. In fact, many EPL followers probably still don’t know who he is.

But with David Moyes being forced to stay at home due to illness, Irvine – West Ham’s assistant manager – has been thrust into the spotlight. And he’s doing an excellent job!

After seeing over the Hammers’ 4-0 win over Wolves last weekend, Irvine guided the London club to another eye-catching victory on Matchday 4. West Ham ended Leicester’s 100% record with a hugely impressive 3-0 away win the King Power Stadium.

Moyes is expected to be back in the dugout after the international break, but I’m sure we can all agree that Irvine has deputized admirably in the manager’s absence.

Loser: Mamadou Sakho

To say that Mamadou Sakho had a game to forget on Saturday would be a massive understatement.

The Crystal Palace defender’s mistake led to Chelsea opening the scoring at Stamford Bridge before he was beaten in the air by Kurt Zouma for the Blues’ second goal. And to cap off a disastrous afternoon, Sakho conceded a penalty late on.

Palace eventually lost 4-0, with the entire team underperforming. But it’s difficult not to single out Sakho following such a calamitous display.

Wrap-Up

Leeds United definitely deserves a mention after holding Manchester City to a 1-1 draw on Saturday. The Whites put in yet another spirited performance to snatch a point against Pep Guardiola’s side.

There were also victories for Newcastle, Southampton, and Wolves on Matchday 4, with Callum Wilson bagging a brace in the Magpies’ 3-1 win over Burnley.

The international break brings about a two-week lay-off for the EPL. In the meantime, you can keep up to date with all the latest action in our soccer 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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