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The Biggest EPL Winners and Losers from Matchday 9, 2020

| November 25, 2020 5:16 am PDT
EPL Winners and Losers from Matchday 9, 2020

Following a convincing 2-0 victory over Manchester City, the Spurs find themselves at the top of the Premier League table. But with Liverpool and Chelsea hot on their heels, Jose Mourinho’s men can’t afford to get complacent.

At the other end of the standings, Burnley finally picked up their first EPL victory of the 2020/21 campaign. However, Sheffield United and West Brom remain winless.

Let’s take a look at the biggest EPL winners and losers from Matchday 9.

Winner: Edouard Mendy

Alarm bells started ringing when the Blues conceded six goals across their opening three Premier League games this season. With Kepa Arrizabalaga continuing to make mistakes, it was clear that Frank Lampard’s side needed a new goalkeeper.

Thankfully, Edouard Mendy arrived to save the day – and possibly the season – for Chelsea.

The Senegal international has been immense since joining from Rennes in September. Not only has he kept four clean sheets in five EPL appearances, but he has also conceded just a single goal in the process.

Mendy kept another shutout as Chelsea comfortably beat Newcastle 2-0 on Saturday. The shot-stopper has brought a sense of calm to the Blues’ backline, with many believing that he was the missing piece in Lampard’s puzzle.

Only Tottenham has conceded fewer goals than Chelsea this term. Needless to say, Mendy must be given huge credit for the way he has adapted to life at Stamford Bridge.

Loser: Manchester City

If you had told me at the start of the season that Manchester City would be 13th in the Premier League table after Matchday 9, I probably would have laughed and called you crazy. But following a 2-0 defeat to Tottenham, that is exactly where Pep Guardiola’s men find themselves.

Despite controlling possession and recording 22 shots in North London, Man City was outclassed by Spurs. The statistics suggest that the Cityzens dominated match, yet they never really looked in control.

Guardiola’s side is renowned for scoring goals, but the team has only managed to net ten EPL goals this term. By contrast, top-scorer Chelsea has bagged 22 goals, while league-leader Tottenham is nine points ahead.

Of course, I am not expecting Man City to remain in the bottom half of the table for much longer. But with a quarter of the season already gone, the 2018/19 champion could be out of the title race already.

Winner: Tottenham

While Man City was poor on Saturday, Tottenham was excellent. Son Heung-min put his side ahead after just five minutes before Giovani Lo Celso came off the bench in the second half to seal the victory.

From Harry Kane in attack to Hugo Lloris between the sticks, Jose Mourinho’s side was disciplined and organized. Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg kept things ticking over in the middle of the park, while Tanguy Ndombele was everywhere.

Ultimately, Tottenham has to be in the title conversation. I don’t think many people – including myself – expected the Spurs to be challenging the top teams in the country this season. But as the campaign unfolds, it is becoming more and more difficult to ignore Mourinho’s men.

Tottenham has only lost one of their nine EPL games in 2020/21, while the win over Man City was the team’s fourth consecutive victory.

Loser: Nicolas Pepe

What is the one thing you don’t do if your team is trying to win a game? Okay, I can think of a few things. But headbutting an opponent has to be at the top of the list, right?

Following a goalless first half at Elland Road, Arsenal came out after the break-in search of three points. But less than ten minutes into the second half, Nicolas Pepe was sent off for a senseless headbutt on Leeds United’s Ezgjan Alioski.

Yes, Alioski exaggerated his fall and made the most of the situation. But with VAR now keeping an eye on every single incident, Pepe was always going to be punished for his actions.

Playing against Marcelo Bielsa’s relentless team with a full complement is difficult enough, but with ten men, the task becomes even harder. Any hope that Arsenal had of beating Leeds was quickly lost when Pepe was shown the red card.

The Ivorian will now be suspended for the Gunners’ next three Premier League games for his stupidity.

Winner: Liverpool

Liverpool’s injury problems have been well documented in recent weeks. Virgil van Dijk, Trent Alexander-Arnold, and Mohamed Salah were among nine first-team players missing for Sunday’s visit of Leicester City.

However, the Reds didn’t just cope without their injured stars; they cruised past the Foxes with ease.

There was a sense that Jurgen Klopp’s side would struggle without a host of regulars, but that could not have been further from the truth. Indeed, Liverpool completely dominated Leicester, racking up 24 shots – 13 of which were on target – on their way to an easy 3-0 victory.

The Reds went ahead thanks to a Jonny Evans own goal before Diogo Jota netted his eighth goal in 12 appearances since arriving on Merseyside. Roberto Firmino capped off the win with a brilliant header late on.

Klopp’s squad has been blighted by injuries this season, yet Liverpool remains level on 20 points with Tottenham at the top of the standings.

Loser: Conor Coady

I can’t help but feel sorry for Conor Coady.

Following Wolves’ promotion to the Premier League in 2018, the defender has been a mainstay in Nuno Espirito Santo’s team. In fact, Coady had played every second of his side’s last 84 EPL games before Matchday 9.

But due to government coronavirus guidelines, Coady was forced to sit out of the Wanderers’ match against Southampton on Monday, despite testing negative for COVID-19.

The Wolves captain was on course to break Wayne Bridge’s outfield record of 112 consecutive EPL games, but his run was cut short. He now sits third on the all-time list.

Notching up 84 straight Premier League appearances without missing a single second is no mean feat. Still, I’m sure that Coady will be disappointed that his streak was brought to an end prematurely.

Winner: Burnley

After seven failed attempts, Burnley finally secured their first EPL win of the season on Monday.

The Clarets had only scored three goals heading into Matchday 9, with two draws and five defeats leaving them in the relegation zone. But their win over Crystal Palace has lifted the club out of the bottom three.

Chris Wood netted the only goal of the game as he pounced on an early error by Cheikhou Kouyate. Sean Dyche’s men were forced to hold on for more than 80 minutes, but they managed to keep the Eagles at bay and claim a precious three-point haul.

With Man City up next for Burnley, securing back-to-back wins won’t be easy. However, the Clarets have to be classed as Matchday 9 winners.

Loser: Aston Villa

Not so long ago, Aston Villa was being touted as a potential top-six candidate. Dean Smith’s men made a flying start to the 2020/21 campaign, but they have now lost three of their last four Premier League outings.

Heavy defeats to Leeds and Southampton were followed by an impressive victory over Arsenal on Matchday 8, yet Brighton got the better of the Villains on Saturday.

Villa went behind to a well-taken goal from Danny Welbeck before Ezri Konsa headed in an equalizer early in the second half. But Solly March put the Seagulls back in front less than ten minutes later, and Smith’s side failed to respond.

The Villains will still be pleased with their current placing in the table. They are only five points behind Tottenham and have a game in hand over the six teams above them. But after thrashing Liverpool 7-2, the players have struggled to maintain their early-season form.

Wrap-Up

For the first time in a long time, it feels like the Premier League title race is wide open. Tottenham and Liverpool currently lead the way, but with just four points separating the top six teams, we are certainly set for an exciting season.

Three of the traditional big six – Man City, Arsenal, and Man Utd – already find themselves playing catch-up, with Leicester, Southampton, and Everton all bidding to buck the trend.

Make sure you join me next week as I discuss the biggest EPL winners and losers from Matchday 10. In the meantime, why not check out some of our latest soccer betting picks?

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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