Chelsea winless versus traditional big six; Liverpool, Spurs thriving
Chelsea’s 3-1 loss to Manchester City put the finishing touches on a woeful first run through the traditional Big Six for the Blues, with only two of those teams yet to meet for the first time in the 2020-21 Premier League season.
The Blues took two points from Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal, Man City, and Liverpool to start the season and are not the only power to struggle against the big names.
There’s one match left between this group and it’s a big one. First-place Liverpool will host second-place Manchester United on Jan. 17 at Anfield. The Reds enter their Monday date with Southampton level on points with United atop the Premier League.
Who’s doing the worst and the best? Points-wise it’s Chelsea but get a load of the location for all of Manchester United’s poor results.
Grade: F -- No wins and two goals, both coming after the 85th minute in 3-1 losses.
Manchester United (0W-2D-2L)
Grade: F (pending) -- No there weren’t crowds at Old Trafford but maybe United should be happy there were not. The Red Devils still have two with Liverpool but have to go to Stamford Bridge, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, the Etihad Stadium, and the Emirates Stadium in the second half. Yeesh.
Grade: C- -- Took advantage of the big game struggles of United and Chelsea, plus produced more chances than their North London Derby rivals in the loss at Spurs. But four of the first five were away and Thomas Partey played seven minutes versus City, 90 versus United, and came off injured at Spurs. Guess which one they won?
Man City (2W-2D-1L)
Grade: C+ -- Will have wanted all the points at home to Liverpool. A note, though: It’s a results-based business but City was miserly in the big matches with a total of 4.08 expected goals conceded (and four actual goals conceded).
Tottenham Hotspur (3W-1D-1L)
Grade: A- -- A late Roberto Firmino header from near-perfect, and Spurs won their home matches, battered United at Old Trafford, and drew Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
Grade: A (+ pending) -- Jurgen Klopp would sign up for this: A controlling win over 10-man Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, 2-0 at home, and a draw at Man City. Will this be an A-plus or a B-plus, though? United at Anfield will dictate the grade.