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The Biggest EPL Winners and Losers from Matchday 7, 2020

| November 4, 2020 6:04 am PDT
EPL Winners and Losers Matchday 7, 2020

Following a chaotic start to the 2020/21 season, there is finally a familiar name at the top of the Premier League table. Defending champions Liverpool moved to the summit following a victory over West Ham on Matchday 7, with Leicester and Tottenham making up the top three.

However, Manchester United remains in the bottom half after losing to Arsenal, while Manchester City is 10th. Southampton, Wolves, and Chelsea also climbed with wins at the weekend.

Burnley, Sheffield United, and West Brom remain winless, although Fulham picked up their first victory of the campaign.

In this post, I look at the biggest EPL winners and losers from Matchday 7.

Winner: James Ward-Prowse

Is there a better set-piece taker in the Premier League right now?

James Ward-Prowse delivered a free-kick masterclass against Aston Villa on Sunday.

The Southampton midfielder started by whipping in an inch-perfect assist for Jannik Vestergaard to open the scoring. He then became only the ninth player in EPL history to net two direct free-kicks in a single game.

Ward-Prowse has always been known for his ability from dead-ball situations, but it felt like everything came together for the 26-year-old on Matchday 7.

Saints raced into a 4-0 lead before the hour mark but survived a late scare to eventually win 4-3. It was a spirited comeback from Villa, but the game will always be remembered for Ward-Prowse’s remarkable free-kick double.

Loser: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

In my opinion, time is running out for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Old Trafford. The Norwegian appears to be bereft of ideas, and I can’t see how he is going to turn things around.

It is no secret that Manchester United was dreadful against Arsenal on Sunday. The Red Devils only managed two shots on target throughout the entire 90 minutes, with Paul Pogba conceding a sloppy penalty.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang converted the spot-kick to score the only goal of the game, but it could have been so much worse for United. The Gunners dominated and always appeared in control.

There is no denying that Man Utd possesses a host of top-quality players. However, it is clear that Solskjaer doesn’t know how to get the best out of his stars.

Having taken just seven points from their opening six EPL games this term, the Red Devils find themselves all the way down in 15th. This is their lowest tally at this stage of the season for seven years, and I believe Solskjaer is largely to blame.

Winner: Fulham

Following six failed attempts, Fulham finally picked up their first Premier League win of the season on Matchday 7.

Two first-half goals in the space of four minutes were enough to earn Scott Parker’s men their first three-point haul of the campaign, and it’s safe to say they thoroughly deserved the victory.

Bobby Reid opened the scoring with a close-range header before right-back Ola Aina netted a screamer from just outside the penalty area. Aleksandar Mitrovic assisted both goals.

Fulham lost their opening four games before securing a draw with Sheffield United on Matchday 5. The Cottagers then returned to losing ways against Crystal Palace, but they now have their first win on the board.

Of course, it is still early days. But Parker’s men will surely take confidence from the fact they moved out of the relegation zone on Monday.

Loser: West Brom

Unfortunately for the Baggies, they were on the receiving end of Fulham’s first win, with manager Slaven Bilic admitting that his side’s performance was nowhere near good enough.

Despite edging the possession, West Brom only managed one shot on target at Craven Cottage. Bilic’s men found themselves 2-0 down inside 30 minutes, but they failed to make a comeback.

Not only do the Baggies remain winless this term (three wins, four defeats), they also now have the poorest defensive record in the division. West Brom has conceded 16 goals already this season, and it feels like the club is destined to be involved in the relegation battle.

Following Monday’s below-par performance, Bilic’s side dropped into the bottom three. With just three points from their first seven EPL games this term, West Brom has made their worst start to a league campaign since 1985.

Winner: Hakim Ziyech

It could be argued that Hakim Ziyech’s transfer from Ajax to Chelsea went somewhat under the radar. With Kai Havertz arriving at Stamford Bridge for £72m and Timo Werner joining for £47m, Ziyech’s £36m move was one of the club’s less high-profile transfers this summer.

However, following a brief spell on the sidelines due to injury, the Moroccan is slowly starting to show everyone what he is capable of.

After opening his Chelsea account with a Champions League goal against Krasnodar last week, Ziyech made his first EPL start on Matchday 7. And the 27-year-old wasted no time in making an impact.

Ziyech gave his side the lead midway through the first half, slotting a neat finish past Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope. He then capped off a superb display by assisting Werner for Chelsea’s third and final goal of the game.

The versatile forward racked up an astonishing 48 goals and 82 assists in 165 appearances for Ajax. If he can get anywhere near those numbers for the Blues, he will write his name into Chelsea folklore.

Loser: Burnley

While Ziyech and Chelsea cruised to a comfortable 3-0 victory at Turf Moor, Burnley looked lost.

Sean Dyche’s side was limited to just 36% possession on Saturday and failed to register a single shot on target in their own backyard. Granted, Chelsea was on fire. But the Clarets offered very little resistance.

It is hardly surprising that Burnley sits bottom of the table right now. A record of one point from a possible 18 speaks for itself, but the team has also managed to score just three goals across the opening six outings.

Year after year, Dyche defies the odds and keeps Burnley in the Premier League. But could the fairytale story be coming to an end this season?

After the start that Dyche’s men have made this term, even the most loyal Burnley supporters will have their doubts.

Winner: Diogo Jota

When Liverpool signed Diogo Jota in September, many believed the former Wolves forward would be nothing more than a fringe player at Anfield.

But having made such a promising start to his Reds career, Jota is already pushing for a spot in Jurgen Klopp’s starting eleven.

The Portuguese has now scored in three straight games in all competitions for his new club and has netted the winning goal in each of Liverpool’s last two Premier League encounters.

After starting and scoring in the victory over Sheff Utd, Jota came off the bench to bag the winner against West Ham on Matchday 7.

With Roberto Firmino continuing to underperform, there is a strong case for Jota moving ahead of the Brazilian in the pecking order. Liverpool’s front three has been untouchable over the past couple of years, but Jota has given Klopp plenty to think about.

Loser: Leeds

As expected, Leeds United has been a welcome addition to the EPL. Marcelo Bielsa’s men have caught the eye with their courageous approach, but they were completely undone by Leicester City on Monday.

Leeds went behind after just three minutes, with Robin Koch at fault for the Foxes’ opener. Stuart Dallas pulled a goal back for the Whites just after half-time, but a Youri Tielemans brace and a Jamie Vardy strike saw Leicester claim a comfortable 4-1 victory.

Following victories over Fulham, Sheff Utd, and Aston Villa, along with a spirited draw against Manchester City, Bielsa’s side was expected to put up more of a fight against Leicester. But the gulf between the teams was clear for all to see.

I don’t think anyone is expecting Leeds to be involved in the relegation battle this season, but Monday’s defeat proved the team still has a lot to learn.

Wrap-Up

I think Arsenal deserves a mention after finally ending their barren away run against big six opponents. Wolves were also impressive on Matchday 7, extending their unbeaten streak to four games with a win over Crystal Palace.

On the flip side, Everton has now lost back-to-back games, while Brighton has failed to register a victory since Matchday 2.

Make sure you keep an eye out for the biggest EPL winners and losers from Matchday 8 next week. Also, keep up to date with all the latest Premier League predictions and betting tips 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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