Winners and Losers from Premier League Matchweek 33

Shane EvansContributor IApril 26, 2021

Carlo Ancelotti, Everton manager. Still fun to read.
Carlo Ancelotti, Everton manager. Still fun to read.Associated Press

Take one week off from EPL Winners and Losers, and the whole structure of modern football starts to crumble around us.

The European Super League. That was something, huh? Lasting, for better or worse, an entire 48 hours, it was a great example of how something so hated and admonished by everyone but those involved in its creation could come crashing down. The ship blocking the Suez Canal was able to jam up the world's economy for four more days than the ESL. Think about that.

Thankfully, we can return to our regularly scheduled set of Premier League-focused concerns, starting with one club not invited to the most super of leagues: The People's Club.   

Winner: Everton

If you look at the Premier League table right now, you'll notice that the race for next year's UEFA Champions League is as tight as it's been in recent years. With Manchester United looking comfortable behind runaway league leaders Manchester City, there are six clubs in the running for the two remaining places in football's most prestigious club competition.

Everton, winners on Friday against mid-table club Arsenal, kept their name in the hat for one of those places. Having not qualified for the Champions League since 2005, they employed a manager who is an expert on that subject: Carlo Ancelotti.

The 1-0 win, a second victory over Arsenal this season, put Ancelotti's side just one point behind Tottenham Hotspur and two points from archrival Liverpool. Chelsea, the club occupying the vital fourth spot, remains six points away. Everton has an oh-so-important game in hand, however, and could make things interesting down the stretch with upcoming matches against Aston Villa, West Ham United and Sheffield United.     

Winner/Loser: Jesse Lingard, West Ham United

Speaking of West Ham, the east London side has been one of the hottest in the Premier League recently and central to that is on-loan attacker Jesse Lingard.

Scoring an incredible nine goals in 11 matches, Lingard fired the Hammers to some of the best form in the division and had them knocking on the door for the fourth spot. Last weekend's match against Chelsea was meant to be the rubber stamp on West Ham's UCL gate-crashing intentions. 

Unfortunately for Lingard and Co., the match went by without so much as a whimper from a Hammers perspective (with some added VAR drama), as a Timo Werner goal (!) kept the Blues' grip on fourth place tight. Lingard wasn't involved nearly as much as he has been in previous matches, and the defeat was something of a reality check from the established "super" club.

Off the pitch, though, Lingard gave a wonderfully honest interview ahead of the match and opened up on how he was able to improve his mindset during the pandemic. He deserves "winner" credit for that.   

Winner: Manchester City

ODDSbible @ODDSbible

Jose Mourinho couldn’t give Tottenham a trophy but at least he gave us this iconic moment 😂 https://t.co/iqTnPIfZ3I

We touched on the Super League in the opener, and I don't want to give it too much play as, well, it's not a thing anymore—despite Florentino Perez's constant posturing.

Man City, to its credit, was the first club to officially withdraw from the Super League and return to earth with the rest of us commoners. Good on them. The club then went on to win the League Cup for a fourth consecutive year by beating Tottenham 1-0 at Wembley on Sunday. A third Premier League title in four years is rapidly approaching as well.

Oh, and they announced the signing of a 17-year-old Brazilian who does things like this. So, yeah, life is pretty good if you're on the blue side of Manchester—though maybe not if you're responsible for editing the club's social media posts. That's FlumineNse, people.

Loser: Mikel Arteta, Arsenal

This tweet sums up Arsenal's season thus far:

Yet another trophy for the Manchester City cabinet.
Yet another trophy for the Manchester City cabinet.Alastair Grant/Associated Press

Just when you thought things couldn't get much worse for the Gunners, they lose at home to Everton, get leapfrogged by Leeds United the next day and are now officially, 100 percent, mid-table. Arsenal is in 10th place, with Aston Villa just a point behind and with a game in hand in 11th.

That's not exactly the "super" performance you'd expect from a club of this stature. 

At the helm through this difficult season is Mikel Arteta, who is having a season to forget. Complaints against him range from slow tactical adjustments, poorly timed substitutions and a reliance on the wrong players from the start. 

To his credit, though, Arsenal has made it to the Europa League semifinals, where he gets the joy of facing his predecessor, Unai Emery, and his Villarreal side. Just imagine the scenes if the north Londoners don't make the final.

Orbinho @Orbinho

Leicester hadn't won away at Arsenal since 1973 before this season. Wolves not since 1979. Burnley hadn't won away at the Gunners since 1974. Everton hadn't won away at Arsenal since 1995-96.

In a year full of turmoil and unrest, Arsenal has been far from perfect. The displeasure with the club's ownership has further complicated things, but the supporters may be singing a different tune in the near future. Hopefully, Arteta can stick around to help right the ship.    

Winners: Thierry Henry and Alan Shearer

A quick note here for two of the best to ever do it. 

The Premier League agrees, as these goal machines were the first two players ever inducted into the league's newly formed Hall of Fame.

To say they are deserving of this honor wouldn't quite do them justice. Ranked first and sixth on the all-time goal chart, respectively, Shearer and Henry epitomized the Premier League in the '90s and early '00s. 

A familiar photo for Arsenal supporters.
A familiar photo for Arsenal supporters.John Walton/Associated Press

As for who's next to get into the HoF? Well, let's just say the league isn't short on options.   

Loser: Jose Mourinho

Last but not least, a few words for The Special One. Our sweet prince departs the Premier League once more after getting the sack from Tottenham amid the Super League shenanigans and six days before the League Cup final (he remains the only manager to beat Pep Guardiola in a final).

Say what you want about the Portuguese manager and his recent track record with Spurs, but he leaves a mark wherever he goes and will be a hot commodity on the open market, starting the minute the news broke.

We will miss you, Jose. Godspeed.