Monday, December 14, 2020

Week 12 Review: Leaders Drop Points; Saints Continue Ascension; Scoreless in Manchester; Epic Futility at Bottom

Top of the Table

The top two teams dropped points this weekend, with both Spurs and Liverpool involved in 1-1 draws, as things tightened at the top of the table.  Spurs scored the opener versus Crystal Palace, tried to lock the game down, failed, and then were continually denied by Palace goalkeeper Vicente Guaita.  Harry Kane scored his ninth goal of the season for Spurs, assisted by Son Heung-min.  Liverpool was fortunate to draw with Fulham on a second half penalty called for a handball.  Salah deposited the penalty for his tenth goal of the season.  

Chelsea tumbled out of the top four with their 1-0 loss to Everton.  Chelsea goalie Edouard Mendy took down Everton’s Calvert Lewin leading to a successful penalty kick by Everton’s Gylfi Sigurdsson.  Chelsea offered little in attack, managing no shots on target after the 28th minute as they  suffered their first away loss of the season.  

Leicester replaced Chelsea in third position with a 3-0 victory over Brighton, all three goals coming in the first half.  James Maddison scored twice Jamie Vardy scored his tenth of the season for the Foxes.  

Saints enjoyed their own 3-0 victory, over beleaguered Sheffield United, as the Saints ascended to fourth in the table with a fourth win in their six home matches.  Che Adams fourth goal of the season matched his total for the entire 2019/20 season.  

West Ham moved to sixth in the table with their 2-1 victory at Leeds.  The Hammers have won four of five matches in rising from fourteenth in the table.  

Everton’s win at Goodison Park over Chelsea was huge for a team trying to recapture the magic of its sterling start to the season.  The Toffees moved to seventh in the table while registering their first clean sheet since the opening week.  

Manchester United is the third of three teams sitting on twenty points following its scoreless derby with Manchester City.

Mid Table

A Manchester City attack, which had shown signs of promise in two successive wins entering the match with its crosstown rivals, was shut down again versus the Red Devils. The clean sheet suffered by the Citizens was a seventh time in nine matches scoring a goal or less.  

Aston Villa benefitted from an extra time penalty kick to defeat Wolves.  The Villans are just five points from a top four spot while having two games in hand.  

Crystal Place leads three teams on seventeen accumulated points following the draw with Spurs at Selhurst.  Jeffrey Schlupp had the equalizer enabled by the free kick of Eberechi Eze.  Goalkeeper Vincente Guaita was Man of the Match, and perhaps the entire weekend, with repeated acrobatic saves to deny Spurs chances and preserve the point for Palace.


Newcastle relied on two goals scored more than eighty minutes apart to defeat West Brom 2-1. The Magpies have won three of their last five matches.  

Wolves defended fiercely but an attack which lacks bite doomed them in their 1-0 West Midlands Derby loss versus Aston Villa.  

Leeds squandered leads in both of their past two matches, a header by West Ham in the 80th minute sealing a 2-1 defeat for the Whites this week.  No team has conceded more set piece goals than Leeds this season.  The Whites sit fourteenth in the table after losing four of their last six matches.

Bottom of the Table

Arsenal are just five points from relegation after losing for the seventh time in their last ten Premier League matches.  A 1-0 loss to Burnley was a fourth consecutive home loss, a feat last accomplished sixty-one years ago.  The Gunners are off to their worst topflight start, after twelve matches, in forty-six years.  At least they scored, though the own goal by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang secured victory for Burnley.  

Brighton remains sixteenth in the table for a remarkable eighth consecutive week following a 3-0 loss to Leicester.  Of teams not currently in the relegation zone, only Leeds has conceded more goals than the Seagulls.  

Burnley crawled back to safety with its win over Arsenal, dropping Fulham back into the relegation places. The Cottagers fell in the table despite their fine effort in the 1-1 in draw with Liverpool.  

West Brom’s 2-1 defeat to Newcastle was the Baggies’ fifth loss in the last six matches, the only win in that stretch coming against hapless Sheffield United.  The Blades remain on one point after their 3-0 defeat to Southampton.  It has been fifty years since the last time a team in any tier of English football had as little as one point after twelve matches. 

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