Own goals, missed penalties and moments of madness were just some of the inexplicable incidents during the weekend’s Premier League action, a round of fixtures which saw Tottenham replace Leicester as the new league leaders.
Jose Mourinho’s side secured a backs-to-the-wall victory over Manchester City to move top, whilst the high-flying Foxes and Brendan Rodgers were humbled by the champions on Merseyside.
Elsewhere there were wins for Manchester United, West Ham, Everton and Brighton, though there was no such luck for Sheffield United and West Brom who both remain winless after nine fixtures.
Following the weekend’s action we’ve picked out some of the Premier League’s poorer performers, here are five players who ‘had a mare’ in gameweek nine:
Fulham’s woeful record from the penalty spot continued this weekend with yet another miss from 12 yards, Ivan Cavaleiro the guilty culprit this time following his miscue against Everton.
Scott Parker’s struggling side had been outplayed and outfought by the dominant visitors in the opening 45 minutes, but an improved second-half showing was followed by a lifeline as Ruben Loftus-Cheek was brought down by Ben Godfrey in the penalty area.
Having already missed two spot-kicks so far this season, Cavaleiro made it an unwanted hat-trick for the west Londoners, losing his footing to balloon his effort well over the crossbar.
It was an embarrassing moment for the 27-year-old who joined Aleksandr Mitrovic and Ademola Lookman in Fulham’s Hall of Shame from the spot this season, somehow contriving to hit his effort with both feet as he fell to the turf.
5/8 – Fulham have missed five of their last eight Premier League penalties, including each of the last three, all taken by different players (Aleksandar Mitrovic, Ademola Lookman and Ivan Cavaleiro). Woops. #FULEVE pic.twitter.com/C8LNvGGiCt
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) November 22, 2020
It was a decisive moment that cost Fulham a much-needed point in their battle to beat the drop, Parker’s side losing 3-2 despite their second-half improvement.
Jonny Evans has been one of Leicester’s most consistent performers in recent years and amongst their shrewdest investments after signing from West Brom, but the defender endured a harrowing evening as the Foxes were emphatically beaten at Liverpool.
The Northern Ireland international was poor throughout and inadvertently opened the scoring with a bizarre own goal, heading past his own goalkeeper when attempting to clear a James Milner corner.
Evans’ passing was erratic and he found himself continuously dragged out of position by Liverpool’s forward players, the experienced centre-back failing to provide the assured presence required next to teenager Wesley Fofana, who endured his most difficult night since moving to the Premier League.
— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) November 22, 2020
The 32-year-old almost doubled his own goal tally with another wayward header that struck his own post, a performance to forget for both Evans and Leicester who will hope this was just an ‘off night’ in their battle to secure a top four finish and Champions League qualification.
Nicolas Pepe has been vocal in his frustrations at his peripheral role at Arsenal of late, though was handed his opportunity with just a second league start of the season against Leeds this weekend.
Arsenal have lacked creativity so far this season and the introduction of the Ivorian to the starting side was hoped to provide an injection of attacking quality, only for Pepe to almost cost his side dearly with a moment of idiocy early into the second half.
The winger briefly tangled with Ezgjan Alioski before proceeding to plant a pathetic head-butt on the Macedonian, who predictably fell to the floor in a heap despite the light contact.
Alioski’s theatrics are inexcusable in their own right, but the idiocy of Pepe makes him a certain for this feature and have done little to aid the club-record signing’s chances of winning favour with Mikel Arteta.
The home side lacked any form of ambition against their west London visitors and managed a paltry 18% possession in the first half, failing to impose themselves on the game with a clear game-plan to frustrate Chelsea.
That plan unravelled after just 10 minutes, however, following a comical own goal from centre-back Federico Fernandez, who got his body positioning all wrong to divert Mason Mount’s cross into his own goal.
5 – Since his debut in September 2014, no Premier League player has scored more own goals in the competition than Federico Fernández (5 – level with Lewis Dunk). Misfortune. pic.twitter.com/p6Op0uHwa7
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) November 21, 2020
The Argentine appealed that there had been a push from Chelsea defender Ben Chilwell, though his appeals were little more than an attempt to spare embarrassment after a wayward attempted clearance saw the defender bundle his side behind.
Manchester City’s underwhelming start to the season continued with defeat to Tottenham, a Mourinho masterclass in defending frustrating the visitors as Spurs moved top of the division with victory.
Guardiola’s side were repeatedly caught out in behind as the north London side exposed their high defensive line, with the sweeper-keeper style of Ederson failing to cover the huge space afforded to the likes of Son Heung-Min and Steven Bergwijn.
Unfortunate for City that Ederson was only halfway back from international duty when Son got the ball pic.twitter.com/rVc4AjGc7a
— FootballJOE (@FootballJOE) November 21, 2020
The Brazilian was beaten far too easily for Son’s opening goal after rashly rushing out in an attempt to close the angle, before getting away with another moment of ill-advised haste in the second half – only a heavy touch preventing the same player rounding the goalkeeper to score once more.
Ederson was then rash off his line once more for Giovani Lo Celso’s game-clinching goal for Spurs, his desire to join the play proving costly with his positioning hugely questionable for both Tottenham goals.
Read Also – Premier League Team of the Week for gameweek 9