Friday 29 January 2021

Taking turns at the top


With very little to separate the top teams, after 20 weeks nine teams have enjoyed at least a brief stay at the summit.

Week 11 – Tottenham and Liverpool remain at the top after 2-0 and 4-0 home wins over Arsenal and Wolves respectively while Chelsea overcame an early setback to beat Leeds United 3-1 at Stamford Bridge and Leicester City scored a last-minute goal to win 2-1 at Sheffield United. Manchester United came from a goal down to win with 3 second-half goals at West Ham while Manchester City put 2 past their visitors from Fulham without reply and Everton drew 1-1 at Burnley. Wilfried Zaha and Christian Benteke scored 2 apiece as Crystal Palace pummelled 10-man West Brom 5-1 at the Hawthorns while on Monday Southampton came from behind to win 2-1 at Brighton and the Friday encounter between Aston Villa and Newcastle was postponed.     

Week 12 – The weekend began on Friday when Leeds took an early lead but were beaten 2-1 at home to West Ham. On Saturday, 10-man Aston Villa broke the deadlock with a stoppage-time penalty away to Wolves who also ended the match with 10 players and Chelsea also lost to a spot-kick at Everton while West Brom lost 2-1 at Newcastle and the Manchester derby at Old Trafford finished goalless. On Sunday, table-topping Tottenham and Liverpool drew 1-1 away to Crystal Palace and Fulham respectively while James Maddison scored a brace as Leicester defeated their visitors from Brighton with 3 goals before the break and Sheffield United lost 3-0 at Southampton. Ten-man Arsenal sank to a 1-0 defeat at home to Burnley.

Week 13 – In midweek matches Liverpool scored a last-minute 2-1 winner at home to Tottenham to go top while Chelsea took the lead at Wolves but lost 2-1 to a goal deep into stoppage time and Manchester City were help to a 1-1 draw at home to West Bromwich Albion. Newcastle scored first but were outclassed 5-2 at Leeds while Everton enjoyed a 2-0 victory at Leicester and Arsenal, who were once again reduced to 10 men, ended their losing streak at home with a 1-1 draw against Southampton. David McGoldrick scored twice for Sheffield United but lost 3-2 at home to Manchester United for whom Marcus Rashford also netted a brace while 10-man Crystal Palace drew 1-1 at West Ham and there were goalless draws for Brighton at Fulham and for Burnley at Aston Villa.   

Week 14 – Mohamed Salah came off the bench to score twice as Liverpool demolished Crystal Palace 7-0 at Selhurst Park with Roberto Firmino also netting twice for the Reds while Manchester United destroyed Leeds United 6-2 at Old Trafford with Scott McTominay scoring twice in the first 3 minutes of the match and Tottenham lost 2-0 at home to Leicester. A single goal gave Manchester City a win at Southampton while Arsenal lost 2-1 at Everton and 10-man Fulham drew 1-1 at Newcastle. After the sacking of Slaven Bilic, with Sam Allardyce in charge, ten-man West Brom suffered a 3-0 home defeat to Aston Villa for whom Anwar El Ghazi netted twice while Sheffield United, who were also reduced to 10 players, drew 1-1 at Brighton. On Monday Burnley enjoyed a 2-1 home win over Wolves and Chelsea broke West Ham down 3-0 at Stamford Bridge with a late double from Tammy Abraham.  

Week 15 – Manchester United twice took the lead but came away from Leicester with a 2-2 draw while Arsenal enjoyed a 3-1 home win over Chelsea and Crystal Palace were beaten 3-0 at Aston Villa who played the second half with ten players. Sheffield United fell to a late goal at home to Everton while Manchester City put 2 past their visitors from Newcastle and Southampton drew 0-0 at Fulham. On Sunday, West Bromwich Albion earned a 1-1 draw at Liverpool while Tottenham drew 1-1 at Wolves and an early penalty gave Leeds a win at home to Burnley.  West Ham had to twice come from behind at the London Olympic Stadium to draw against Brighton.  

Week 16 – The fixtures continued without a breather and on Monday there were 1-1 draws for Leicester at Crystal Palace and Chelsea at home to Aston Villa. On Tuesday Leeds United battered West Brom 5-0 at the Hawthorns while Arsenal won 1-0 at Brighton and there were 1-0 home wins for Burnley against Sheffield United and for Manchester United over Wolves. West Ham played a goalless match at Southampton. With Manchester City’s match at Everton and Fulham’s fixture at Tottenham being postponed, the year ended with a goalless draw between Newcastle and Liverpool on Wednesday evening.

Week 17 – The year began on Friday with a late goal handing Everton a home defeat against West Ham while Manchester United were 2-1 winners at home to Aston Villa. On Saturday, Leeds United lost 3-0 at Tottenham who finished the match with 10 players and Brighton pulled back a 2 goal deficit to draw 3-3 at home to Wolves while Alexandre Lacazette netted twice for Arsenal who eased 4-0 past West Brom on their travels and Sheffield United lost 2-0 at Crystal Palace. On Sunday Chelsea lost 3-1 at home to Manchester City while Leicester won 2-1 at Newcastle and with Fulham’s match at Burnley being called off, on Monday Liverpool lost to an early goal at Southampton.

Week 18 – A cluster of matches were played in midweek with Sheffield United picking up their first win of the season with a penalty at home to Newcastle while a single goal took Manchester United to the top of the table with a win at Burnley and Wolves lost 2-1 at home to Everton. One goal was enough to give Manchester City a home win over Brighton while Fulham drew 1-1 at Tottenham and Arsenal drew blanks at home to Crystal Palace.  

Week 19 – Two Matheus Pereira penalties helped West Bromwich Albion to a 3-2 win at Wolves while Leeds lost 1-0 at home to Brighton and Burnley lost by the result to an early goal at West Ham. Fulham, who played half the match with 10 players, lost 1-0 at home to Chelsea while Leicester City were 2-0 winners against their visitors from Southampton. The clash at the top of the table between Liverpool and Manchester United ended goalless while Tottenham returned from bottom of the table Sheffield United with a 3-1 win and John Stones netted twice as Manchester City put 4 past Crystal Palace at the Etihad. While Everton’s match at Aston Villa was postponed, on Monday evening Newcastle lost to 3 second-half goals at Arsenal with 2 coming from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Week 20 - Leading up to the FA Cup weekend, several Premier League matches were played before week 20 began the following week. Leicester City enjoyed a 2-0 win at home to Chelsea and West Ham were 2-1 winners over their visitors from West Brom while Aston Villa lost 2-0 at Manchester City and Manchester United came from an early setback to win 2-1 at Fulham. On Thursday evening Burnley stunned Liverpool 1-0 at Anfield and on Saturday Newcastle were beaten 2-0 at Aston Villa. Week 20 was played in midweek and Manchester City moved to the top after a thumping 5-0 win at West Brom with Ilkay Gundogan netting twice for the visitors while Arsenal came from an early goal down to win 3-1 at Southampton and Leeds United were 2-1 winners at Newcastle. Bottom-of-the-table Sheffield United shocked Manchester United 2-1 at Old Trafford while Crystal Palace scored an early and late goal but lost 3-2 at home to West Ham with Tomas Soucek claiming a double for the Hammers and while Leicester City drew 1-1 at Everton, Chelsea drew blanks at home to Wolves in Thomas Tuchel’s first match in charge of the Londoners and Fulham’s visit to Brighton also ended goalless. On Thursday evening, Tottenham lost 3-1 at home to Liverpool.