EPL Winner and Losers: Matchweek 8

Oct 20, 2021 | News


The Winners

Mohamad Salah

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp labelled striker Mohamed Salah the ‘best player in the world’ after a masterful display in the 5-0 hammering of Watford at Vicarage Road. Salah scored the Merseysiders’ fourth with a fine solo effort and also created Sadio Mane’s opener with a defence-splitting pass. “Come on, who is better than him?” said Klopp. “We don’t need to talk about what Messi and Ronaldo have done for world football and their dominance, but right now he is the best. His performance was massive. The pass for the first goal was brilliant and the second goal was special. He is top, we all see it. He is the best.”

Wolverhampton Wanderers

Wolves produced an amazing comeback against Aston Villa to win 3-2 in a five-goal thriller at Villa Park. Bruno Lage’s men looked dead and buried after goals from Danny Ings and John McGinn put Villa 2-0 ahead. However, Wolves scored three times in the final 10 minutes through Romain Saiss, Conor Coady and Rubén Neves to claim what looked an unlikely victory. It was only the third time in Premier League history that a team has scored three times from the 80th minute onwards to overturn a 2-0 deficit and win 3-2.


Senegal international Mendy was the hero for Chelsea as Thomas Tuchel’s side held on to win 1-0 at Brentford. The league leaders were ahead thanks to Ben Chilwell’s first-half goal, but had to endure a torrid final 20 minutes to secure the points. Chelsea goalkeeper Mendy made several important saves to keep the hosts at bay, including tipping over an acrobatic attempt from Bees’ midfielder Christian Norgaard, while Trevoh Chalobah also cleared off the line. “In the end the last 20 minutes were like a cup game and they had nothing to lose,” said Tuchel. “They found some momentum and it felt as if we had one player less. They played with more belief and we focused too much on defending. I was happy with how we played before that and we should have scored more. But full respect to Brentford.”

Harry Kane

The England captain finally ended his goal drought with Tottenham Hotspur’s second in the 3-2 win at Newcastle United. Kane escaped the home defence to lob United goalkeeper Karl Darlow for his first league goal of the season, although it was initially ruled offside by the referee until the decision was overturned by VAR. It made Kane the second-highest away goalscorer in Premier League history after Wayne Rooney. The 28-year-old was linked with a move to Manchester City during the summer and has struggled to find the net in a disappointing start to the new campaign.

The Losers

Manchester United

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is a man under pressure following the 4-2 defeat at Leicester City. The Red Devils are now five points off the top of the table and the Norwegian’s future may well be determined in the next few weeks, with league fixtures against Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur to come. Solskjaer still has three years to run on the new contract he signed at Old Trafford early this summer, yet the signs are that he may be on borrowed time despite major investment prior to the 2021-22 campaign. Meanwhile, United are on alert for a possible fans’ protest ahead of Sunday’s clash with Liverpool at Old Trafford. Some Reds’ fans have raised awareness of a planned demonstration by using social media, with a section of supporters already frustrated with how the season has gone so far. The corresponding fixture last season saw United fans break into the stadium, which led to the game being postponed.

Newcastle United

Newcastle United were brought crashing back down to earth following the euphoria of their £305 million takeover by new Saudi owners as they went down 3-2 to Tottenham Hotspur at St James’ Park. The Magpies got off to a flying start with a Callum Wilson goal after just two minutes, but goals from Tanguy Ndombele, Harry Kane and Son Heung-min put the visitors in complete control by the break before the Magpies added a late consolation. The result will not have given Newcastle boss Steve Bruce any further security about his job, as he is widely expected to be dismissed, and he later called for his position to be clarified as soon as possible.

Claudio Ranieri

Claudio Ranieri’s return to the Premier League as the new Watford boss turned into a nightmare as his side were thrashed 5-0 at home to Liverpool. The Italian’s greatest achievement is steering Leicester City to a shock title win in the 2015-16 season, but this was Ranieri’s heaviest ever Premier League loss. Nonetheless, he remained positive afterwards. “I saw some bad things but I also saw some good things,” said Ranieri. “It was our first match together against one of the best teams in the world. That is not easy and when you play against big teams and the truth is on the pitch.”