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EPL Winners and Losers After Sunday's 2019 Week 17 Premier League Results

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistDecember 15, 2019

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 15: Kevin De Bruyne of Manchester City celebrates after scoring his team's first goal during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Manchester City at Emirates Stadium on December 15, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Manchester City mauled Arsenal 3-0 at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday to move back within 14 points of Premier League leaders Liverpool, doing their utmost to keep alive any hope of a title defence.

Kevin De Bruyne led the onslaught and was resplendent in north London, scoring twice and assisting team-mate Raheem Sterling to stake his claim as likely the best player in the Premier League in Week 17.

Jan Vertonghen may feel he has cause to debate that honour after he headed an injury-time winner at Wolverhampton Wanderers, scoring late to seal a 2-1 win for Tottenham Hotspur and Jose Mourinho.

Mourinho's latest result sees Spurs move to fifth in the standings and one point ahead of his previous club, Manchester United, who were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Everton.

      

Sunday's Week 17 Results

Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-2 Tottenham Hotspur

Manchester United 1-1 Everton

Arsenal 0-3 Manchester City

     

Winner: Kevin De Bruyne

De Bruyne looked back to his irresistible best at the Emirates, where City looked streaks ahead of their hosts and played the same brand of fast-paced passing football Arsenal were once famed for.

The Belgium gem was at the heart of that movement and had City ahead inside two minutes, coming to play an instrumental hand in any attack that had an impact on the scoreboard, via Sky Sports (UK viewers only):

Phil Foden made his first Premier League start of the season and set De Bruyne up for a spectacular second before the break, via NBC (U.S. only):

NBC Sports Soccer @NBCSportsSoccer

Sublime stuff, this is, from Kevin De Bruyne. https://t.co/eEaA8VJQ0n

Neither City nor De Bruyne quite maintained that intensity in the second period, but he was nonetheless critical in directing play and looked effortless managing the pace of the game for the whole 90 minutes.

Six goals and 11 assists in only 19 starts this season is a record for any midfielder to be proud of, and De Bruyne continues to set the standard in what could end as his most productive individual season to date.

      

Loser: Moise Kean

There are few greater confidence-killers in football than for a substitute to be substituted, and Moise Kean was unfortunate to fall on the unsympathetic side of interim Everton manager Duncan Ferguson on Sunday.

Striker Kean was brought on to play an unnatural wing role when Everton led 1-0 in the 70th minute, but Oumar Niasse replaced the £27.5 million signing several minutes before the full-time whistle.

Ferguson spoke to beIN Sports after the game and backed Kean to "pick himself up" after the 19-year-old headed straight down the tunnel to express his displeasure:

beIN SPORTS @beINSPORTS_EN

"I just wanted another substitution to kill a wee bit of time... It's one of those things unfortunately and I'm sure he'll pick himself up and go again." Duncan Ferguson reveals why he hauled substitute Moise Kean off after just 18 minutes. #beINPL #MUNEVE https://t.co/rFbCfkiGlo

Despite explaining his decision was to waste time, Ferguson also told reporters Kean had "not quite got into the pace" of the game, his first experience playing at Old Trafford and one he'll be quick to forget.

Former Hull City midfielder David Meyler defended the decision to introduce Niasse—a former team-mate of his:

DM @DavidMeyler

@AJ3 Big Dunc is doing what he thinks is best to get Everton back up the table, Moise Kean wasn’t doing enough when he came on. He’s loads more ability than Niasse but I tell you first hand from playing with Niasse he gives everything for his team.

Ferguson may not be in charge of Everton long enough for Kean to hold a grudge, but the former Juventus prospect may grow more despondent about his Everton future following Sunday's embarrassment.

      

Winner: The Special One

Tottenham were almost held to their first draw under Mourinho when they travelled to the west midlands, but Mourinho came away looking like the architect of success once again after sealing three points late.

Chelsea were the only Premier League team to have beaten Nuno Espirito Santo's side on their home patch prior to Week 17, but The Special One got the better of his counterpart at Molineux.

Lucas Moura opened the scoring before Adama Traore balanced terms with a sensational equaliser, but Vertonghen rose in the 91st minute to push Spurs above Wolves in the table, via Sky Sports (UK only):

Mourinho praised Spurs after the game and told reporters: "It was one of those victories where quality is not enough. If you are not a real team in the real sense of what the word team means, it's impossible."

The tactician also came across as modest in triumph and heaped praise upon Portuguese compatriot, Espirito Santo, and his Wolves team, via Hayters TV:

Hayters TV @HaytersTV

“They can beat anyone home or away - incredible mentality!” 👏 Jose Mourinho full of praise for @Wolves after @SpursOfficial late win at Molineux 😅 https://t.co/76YIJrIP36

His "real team" have won back-to-back Premier League games for the second time since he took charge and are up to fifth in the standings following their victory at Molineux.

Three points against Chelsea at home in Week 18 would lift Mourinho above his former employers and up to fourth in the English top flight as Tottenham's surge under his command continues.

      

Loser: Mesut Ozil

After enjoying a slight boost in profile following Freddie Ljungberg's appointment as Arsenal interim coach, Mesut Ozil is again failing to enamour himself with his own fans following a contentious week for the German.

There was a noticeable ring of boos at the Emirates Stadium when Ozil was slow to come off the pitch for substitute Emile Smith Rowe on Sunday, with the hosts 3-0 down after 58 minutes.

The club's highest earner didn't exactly spur those around him to ignite a comeback after they slipped behind to City, but Ozil's response walking off the field won't have won him many admirers either:

B/R Football @brfootball

Mesut Ozil was not happy after being taken off. 👀 https://t.co/6PLcLUGDGN

Throwing his gloves and refusing consolation from assistant Per Mertesacker, the scene harked backed to Granit Xhaka's fiery reaction to Arsenal's fans when he was taken off in a 2-2 draw against Crystal Palace in October:

Ozil's recent comments on Twitter regarding China's alleged treatment of Uighur Muslims led Arsenal to distance themselves from their player, per Reuters (h/t Guardian), crowning a worrying week for Ozil.

Moreover, Ozil's display—but particularly his substitution—serves as more evidence the club is perhaps too heavily invested in players who appear disconnected with the club and lacking in team spirit.