Manchester City and Arsenal—the football clubs that were sitting at the top of the Premier League table headed into this weekend—week 13 of 201516 EPL season proved to be thoroughly unlucky. Both teams lost, with Manchester City falling 1-4 against Liverpool and Arsenal stumbling to a 0-1 loss in an away game at West Bromwich Albion. The Sky Blues and the Gunners now occupy the third and fourth place spots on the table, respectively. It’s the lowest Manchester City have dipped all season.
For many of the other most notable soccer clubs in the Premier League, though, week 13 proved to be surprisingly full of luck. Topping the list of fortunate teams are Leicester City, who beat Newcastle United 3-0 to scoot into first place in the league.
The win, in addition to netting the Foxes an impressive 28-point tally, also saw standout scorer Jamie Vardy equaling a Premier League record. During the 2003 – 2004 season, Manchester United striker Ruud van Nistelrooy scored goals in 10 consecutive Premier League matches. On Saturday, Vardy tied that record, becoming only the second player to accomplish the feat since the EPL was founded in 1992.
Next week, Vardy will seek to break the Premier League record against Van Nistelrooy’s former team, Man United. The match will see Leicester City playing at home, with plenty of momentum on their side. If Vardy scores in that game, he’ll be able to start chasing another record, currently held by Sheffield United legend Jimmy Dunne. Dunne scored in 12 consecutive matches during the 1931 – 1932 season—an all-time record for English top-flight competition.
Needless to say, with Vardy’s goal streak intact and the Foxes atop the Premier League table, it was a special weekend for Leicester City.
Other Strokes of Luck
Elsewhere, Manchester United caught a lucky break as well. With Wayne Rooney out sick and Anthony Martial sidelined with an ankle injury, the Red Devils were shorthanded on Saturday afternoon. Still, with a weak opponent (Watford) and an early goal from a player who has mostly been disappointing this season (Memphis Depay), Louis van Gaal’s side managed a win. The victory puts United second in the Premier League standings, just one point behind Leicester.
Liverpool’s stock skyrocketed, with Jurgen Klopp earning his biggest win since signing on as the football club’s manager. Playing against table leaders Manchester City—and at Etihad Stadium, no less—the Reds were not expected to win this one. But an own goal in the first 10 minutes knocked the Sky Blues off their game, and Liverpool capitalized, scoring two more points in the first half to take dominant control of the match. Sergio Aguero managed to put the home team on the board, but Liverpool were the unquestionable stars of the fixture.
Also grabbing a lucky break were Chelsea FC, who won their home match against Norwich City after three consecutive Premier League losses. The match, which saw Diego Costa scoring his first goal in over a month, should add extra protection for Jose Mourinho in the management role—even though his job has already proven to be more stable than many expected. Following the game, Mourinho said that he still believes his team can rally and finish in the fourth position. A title defense, though, is likely an “impossible mission.”
“Maybe Tom Cruise can do it, but it’s complicated,” he said.
Elsewhere, Everton scored a 4-0 victory over Aston Villa, Stoke City topped Southampton 1-0, and Tottenham Hotspur beat West Ham United to preserve their spot in the top five. The big loss is especially bad news for Aston Villa, who managed a surprising 0-0 draw against Manchester City two weeks ago. That game, Remi Garde’s first in charge with the Lions, made it look like things were going to get better for Aston Villa. Now, football fans will be a bit more skeptical about whether or not Garde can turn things around at Villa Park. The Lions remain the last-place team in the Premier League at the moment.
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