Premier League Pecking Order- Matchweek 17 (Premier League Season 2020/21- In a Nutshell)
The pecking order is based on the performance of the Premier League teams during the given Matchweek; on this occasion, it’s Matchweek 17. Two teams didn’t play due to one game being postponed due to covid-19. Those two teams were: Burnley and Fulham. Therefore, the Premier League Pecking Order starts with the 18th team (worst performed team) on the Pecking Order. Consequently, it finishes with the 1st team (best performed team) on the Pecking Order.
18- West Brom
West Brom simply weren’t at the races. They were fortunate that they had Sam Johnstone as their goalkeeper. The fact that a 4-nil loss was flattering says it all. Their opponents; Arsenal, had 12 shots on target. Bringing Sam Allardyce in as Coach hasn’t worked for West Brom so far as they have lost comprehensively twice. They were utterly obliterated by Arsenal!
Chelsea appeared to be poorly prepared from a tactical perspective for their match against Manchester City. Some of Chelsea’s selections were wrong, with Olivier Giroud and Antonio Rüdiger not even brought on as substitutes. There’s no doubt that Chelsea weren’t up for the game. The two goal deficit at full time flattered them, as they lost the game 3-1. The goal they scored in 2nd half stoppage time was merely consolation. They have a lot of work to do. The fact is they’ve got a quality goalkeeper; Kepa Arrizabalaga sitting on the bench!
Liverpool would be bitterly disappointed in the manner in which they lost to Southampton. The only goal scored in the game was in the 2nd minute. What would be most upsetting is the fact that Liverpool had 67% possession, but just one shot on target. They only lost the game 1-nil. Despite that, it’s a game they would have wanted to win. Something has to change in their tactics as they have dropped a few points of late.
15- Newcastle United
Newcastle United appeared to approach the match hungry for a nil-nil draw. They finished the match with just two shots on target. They waited until Leicester City led 2-nil in the 72nd minute to come to life. The tactics of Newcastle United appeared and they were rewarded when they scored a goal in the 82nd minute. In the end they suffered a 2-1 loss, which was a deserved loss based on the manner in which they played.
14- Crystal Palace
Crystal Palace won a match 2-nil against bottom of the Premier League Table Sheffield United. The Crystal Palace goalkeeper Vicente Guaita was arguably man of the match. There’s plenty of work for them to do in order to finish in their style of play. They did manage to win the match, but they have to improve on their performance in Matchweek 17. That’s if they want to be a force to be reckoned with.
13- Sheffield United
Sheffield United put in a typical performance that sums up their Season. They played reasonably, but left the match with nothing to show for their efforts. They had 55.6% possession and were unfortunate to play against a top class goalkeeper in Vicente Guaita. The fact is they are competitive and just need to persevere and continue being resilient. The points will come if they can cope with the adversity.
Everton showed that they are fortunate to be in the top six. They put in a performance that was disappointing. It’s fair to say that Carlo Ancelotti was outcoached by West Ham coach David Moyes. The fact that West Ham had five shots on target to Everton’s two tells the story. Even though Everton controlled the match against West Ham from a possession perspective with 60%; stats can be deceiving. In the end Everton deserved to lose the match 1-nil.
11- Leeds United
Leeds United showed that they are susceptible defensively, once again. They may have lost 3-nil, but they never dropped their heads. The fact was that Tottenham won the game due to being clinical in the final third. The fact that Leeds United had 63.3% possession tells the story. They did manage to have five shots on target, but Tottenham have a top class goalkeeper; Hugo Lloris. Nothing much needs to alter from an attacking perspective from Leeds United. There’s no doubt that they need to improve defensively.
Wolves played a reasonable match. They went from trailing 1-nil to leading 3-1 against Brighton and Hove Albion. The match ended up 3-all, despite the fact Wolves missed an elementary chance to score late in the game. They would be frustrated they conceded a penalty, which was scored by Brighton and Hove Albion. It made the score 3-2 and brought Brighton and Hove Albion back into them. The fact is Wolves good play is impressive, while their mistakes are unfathomable.
9- Brighton and Hove Albion
Brighton and Hove Albion performed in the manner that they normally do. They played some attacking, expansive football. They did well to claim a 1-nil lead early on. Once again, they threw away a lead. How and why are difficult to decipher. They claimed a point and showed character to fight back from 3-1 down. It’s simply not good enough to keep on playing the way they are. Something needs to change tactically.
8- Leicester City
Leicester City played a match that they should’ve won by more than one goal. They defeated Newcastle United 2-1. Given the tactics that Newcastle United implemented, Leicester City should’ve cruised to victory. It was still an above average performance overall by Leicester City, but they would’ve like to have scored more goals.
Tottenham put in a performance that typifies their Season. They only had 36.7% possession. Despite that, they had seven shots on target. They won 3-nil, partly thanks to their goalkeeper Hugo Lloris as Leeds United had five shots on target. In the end they were too good for their opposition in the final third. They weren’t much better than Leeds United overall, but they were in the key moments.
6- Aston Villa
Aston Villa put in a reasonable shift against Manchester United, but Aston Villa lost 2-1. The fact that they had 51.6% possession and had five shots on target shows that they are a threat. There’s plenty of scope for growth. The match was lost due to a dubious penalty awarded to Manchester United early in the 2nd half. That was the difference between the two teams. The fact is Aston Villa are playing good football and could make the top four if they continue.
5- Manchester City
Manchester City won the match 3-1 against Chelsea. It appeared to be a comfortable win, but Manchester City should’ve won by more than two goals. They played plenty of good football, but finished with six shots on target. It could well have been a more one sided match on the scoreboard. Nevertheless, they would be satisfied with their display. They can take a lot of positives out of the match, but they need to be better.
4- West Ham
West Ham played an astute match tactically against Everton. In the 1st half West Ham sat back. Then in the 2nd half they made alterations. The fact that they failed to have a shot on target in the 1st half wasn’t concerning. They substantiated that the change in tactics were effective in the 2nd half. They did so by having five shots on target in that half and scoring a well deserved winner.
Southampton defeated Liverpool, despite having only 33% possession. The fact that Southampton scored in the 2nd minute meant they had the option of parking the bus. They still restricted Liverpool to one shot on target from 17 shots! It was a match where the tactics that Southampton had were executed by the players to perfection. Despite having 33% possession they managed to have three shots on target from a total of seven shots.
2- Manchester United
Manchester United proved that they may be the real deal. They had nine shots on target. That’s despite the fact they had less possession than Aston Villa. Even though Aston Villa played well they can thank their goalkeeper Emiliano Martínez to some extent. He kept them in the game. It’s inspirational that Manchester United are now Title contenders. There were plenty of people considered experts saying that Ole Gunnar Solskjær should get sacked!
Arsenal played an attractive brand of football that extremely enterprising. They didn’t play against the best opposition, as West Brom are struggling. The fact that Arsenal won 4-nil and should’ve won by more shows that they are improving. They finished the match with 12 shots on target. They were efficient in every area of their game. It was an impressive performance against what was a poor opposition.
Premier League Pecking Order- Matchweek 17 (Premier League Season 2020/21- Final Thoughts)
It was an unpredictable Matchweek 17 of the Premier League, which can be backed up by the Pecking Order. There were 27 goals in nine games= An average of 3 goals per game! There was one draw in nine matches. In six out of eight matches, the losing team had more possession than their opponents! All of the top five teams in the Pecking Order claimed three points. It was an enjoyable and fascinating Matchweek of football.