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Premier League 2020-21: An underwhelming start for the “big six”

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Manuel Lanzini’s last-gasp equaliser sent shockwaves through the English Premier League. The insane, out-of-the-box strike not only forced Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham Hotspur to settle for a point against West Ham United, but it also made the obvious picture a little more clearer.

This season — the 2020/21 Premier League campaign — is like no other. This year, uncertainty is the only certainty in the English top-flight. And no team, irrespective of how illustrious their history is, have been able to beat the trap, so far. 

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Today, we’ll take a look at the “big six” in the Premier League and shed light on their hapless state in the division. 

Liverpool – 3rd

The reigning champions of England have been dubbed the favourites to retain their title. Yet, so far, they’ve been far from their ruthless and efficient best.

Their season opener, against Leeds United, ended in a 4-3 win at Anfield. The result was satisfactory, of course, but the performance wasn’t. 

Liverpool showed undeniable promise in their next two encounters against Chelsea and Arsenal, respectively, but then fell to a shocking 7-2 defeat at Aston Villa in the fourth Gameweek.

They got the opportunity to restore some pride and return to winning ways in the Merseyside derby at Goodison Park. Sadly, they couldn’t find it in themselves to keep the hosts at bay and had to settle for a 2-2 draw. 

Manchester City – 11th

Last season, Pep Guardiola’s champions were ousted by an insanely efficient Liverpool side. They still produced some impressive matches, of course, but couldn’t manage to win their third consecutive Premier League title. 

This year, they seem to have forgotten to produce the brand of football that allowed them to reign supreme in England. After securing a respectable 3-1 win at Wolverhampton in their season opener, Manchester City fell to a 2-5 defeat against Leicester at home.

The Foxes brought their ‘A’ game, of course, but City should’ve been able to keep the storm at bay — especially with such a star-studded squad. They also failed to get the better of Leeds United — 1-1 draw — and barely scraped to a 1-0 win over Arsenal. 

Chelsea – 8th

Even in the COVID-struck market, Chelsea managed to add some excellent players to their squad. When at their best, Chelsea look one of the most menacing teams in the division. However, so far, consistency hasn’t really been their strongest suit. 

They kicked off their campaign with a 3-1 win at Brighton and Hove Albion. Unfortunately, the win didn’t give them enough confidence to beat the champions.

The Reds convincingly outplayed the Blues and secured a 2-0 win at Stamford Bridge. Over the next three Premier League games, they managed only one comfortable win over Crystal Palace. The other two ended in 3-3 stalemates, against West Brom and Southampton, respectively. 

Manchester United – 15th

Last season, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer — somehow miraculously — secured a Champions League spot for Manchester United. Some lauded the late heroics, while others scrutinised the lack of consistency throughout the season.

This term, over the last four Premier League games, they’ve been even worse. They don’t even look a shadow of their glorious self, right now, at least. 

They started their 2020/21 Premier League campaign with an embarrassing 1-3 defeat to Crystal Palace, drawing all the flak in the world. In the next match, they responded with a narrow 3-2 win over Brighton, logging their first win of the season.

Sadly, their “joy” was rather shortlived, as they immediately had to sit through a 6-1 humiliation at the hands of Tottenham Hotspur. Just as the tension began to rise, they once again put three points on the board — winning 4-1 at Newcastle last weekend. 

Arsenal – 5th

There isn’t much to say about Arsenal, really. The Gunners fell off the wagon about four seasons back and haven’t found it in themselves to bounce back since. There have been a few good patches, but the overall scenery has been quite pale in comparison. 

Given the way they’ve performed over the recent season, they don’t exactly look in bad shape. However, the two Premier League defeats — which came against Liverpool and Manchester City — won’t let Mikel Arteta rest easy. He knows he must get those results against the big dogs. He knows how crucial those points are. 

Arsenal currently have three wins from five matches and are tied with fourth-placed Leicester City on nine points. 

Tottenham Hotspur – 7th

Historically, Jose Mourinho has always managed to do something special in his second season. At Tottenham, he would have to do something really special to extend that run. 

The north London club have acquired eight points from five Premier League fixtures. They have managed two wins and two draws out of those five, with the only defeat coming against league leaders, Everton in their first match.

Their most disappointing outcome, however, has to be the 3-3 draw against West Ham, at home. The Lilywhites surrendered their 3-0 advantage in the last eight minutes of the encounter. 

Also Read: 5 matches to look forward to on Matchday 01: Champions League 2020-21

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