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Tuesday Cannon Fodder: Premier League recap

Some quick thoughts on Matchweek 13.

Aston Villa v Brentford FC - Premier League Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Premier League Matchweek 13 has come and gone. I’m not sure there were any particularly surprising results per se, but there definitely were some eye-catching ones. If that makes any sense.

Nottingham Forest 1 - Liverpool 0
Alright, I guess this one might have been surprising. But Liverpool have never won at the City Ground in the Premier League (the only PL stadium they’ve played in more than once without a win), and while they looked good against Manchester City last week, they’ve looked pretty poor this season. Put differently, they are more likely the team we’ve seen most weeks (flawed, capable of greatness) than the “old Liverpool” we saw last weekend.

Everton 3 - Crystal Palace 0
Crystal Palace are The Hulk at Selhurst Park and Bruce Banner everywhere else. Patrick Vieira’s side have really struggled away from home this season. Everton should be comfortably safe this season. They’ve got plenty of talent.

Manchester City 3 - Brighton 1
City are dominant. It’s boring. Next.

Chelsea 1 - Manchester United 1
This was not an enjoyable match to watch. It was a slap-fight where neither combatant made contact with many swipes. A bit of a controversy around Scott McTominay dragging Armando Broja to the ground for a penalty, but I think it was correctly called. The next day, however, Arsenal did not get the same refereeing decision in a similar-looking incident.

Wolves 0 - Leicester City 4
Wolves stink. And they’re awful to watch. I’ve said that Leicester City have too much talent to be where they are, and I still think that’s true. But their last two wins have come with them massively overperforming their xG and xGA. Before that, they were significantly underperforming both. So who knows.

Aston Villa 4 - Brentford 0
The Bees are another one of those tough at home, wafer-thin away sides. Aston Villa got a nice dead-cat bounce from freeing themselves of the anchor that was Steven Gerrard as a manager. Yesterday, they hired Unai Emery as his permanent replacement. Arsenal play Villa on February 18th.

Leeds United 2 - Fulham 3
Don’t look now, but Jesse Marsch’s side haven’t won since late August. They’re energetic and comparatively fun to watch, but they might not be all that good. They might find themselves in the relegation battle come the business end of the season, I think. And I don’t think Fulham will.

Tottenham 1 - Newcastle 2
Spurs fans will tell you that the Hugo Lloris - Callum Wilson collision was a horrible non-foul decision. It wasn’t. It was comical decisionmaking from Lloris. The match had another handball / not handball coin flip incident. Tottenham came out on the losing side of the flip. Miguel Almiron is in fantastic form. I was rooting for Bane (Dark Knight Rises reference).

West Ham 2 - Bournemouth 0
Per Understat’s xPTS model, West Ham should have the 6th most in the Premier League. Bournemouth should have the fewest. So I guess this result makes sense. I don’t think you need fancy stats to tell you that the Hammers are better than their results this season have shown, nor do you need them to show that the Cherries are worse.